Final girls are as synonymous with the horror genre as the killers in their respective franchises. Laurie Strode, Nancy Thompson, and Ginny Field are some of the most popular characters in the horror genre, gaining fans’ respect through their tactical skills when facing off against their movie’s killer. Unfortunately, being a final girl comes with a long-winding journey of suffering. Here are nine horror final girls that deserved better.
Erin wasn’t dealt the best cards to begin with. Growing up in a survivalist compound, Erin spent a majority of her formative years expecting that the apocalypse would someday end her life. When she manages to breakaway from the cult she was raised in, Erin decides to integrate herself into society like any other person, and meets Crispin while pursuing a college education. Erin believes she has finally moved past her troubling upbringing–that is, until she finds herself in the exact predicament she was trained for. Erin must use all her survival skills to fend off the three masked assailants targeting her and Crispin’s family. While she survives and gives the assailants their just desserts, it’s disheartening to see that the mastermind behind the whole attack was Crispin himself. Erin can’t seem to ever catch a break.
Alice is the classic example of a final girl done wrong by the franchise’s sequel installment. After surviving the events of the original Friday the 13th, Alice is continually plagued by nightmares of her ordeal with Pamela Voorhees, fearing she might someday relive her attack. Alice’s worst nightmare soon comes true when she finds the head of Pamela Voorhees in her fridge, only to be immediately killed by Jason Voorhees – relegating Alice from the franchise’s final girl to an opening kill.
The happiest day of Grace’s life soon turns into survival of the fittest when she realizes she’s married into a cult bent on sacrificing her to save their lives. Grace isn’t the damsel in distress that her in-laws believe her to be, single-handedly wiping out a good majority of them before witnessing the curse consume the rest. At its core, Ready or Not is a story of betrayal from the person Grace trusts the most; her husband, Alex.
Kyle’s whole life is a tragedy. Going from foster home to foster home, Kyle develops a cynical, rebellious attitude to cope with life, to make matters worse, Chucky sets his sights on her in order to get to his ultimate goal–Andy. Kyle and Andy manage to defeat Chucky, but their fate is uncertain as they leave the Play Pals manufacturing company to once again continue forward in foster care.
Jill just wanted to pay back her steep cell phone bill while getting over her cheating boyfriend; little did she know a quiet night of babysitting would become her worst nightmare. When Jill starts receiving strange calls at the Mandrakis desolate residence, she dismisses them as a prank. But as the calls become more menacing, Jill is prompted to investigate–only to discover that her tormentor has been inside the residence the entire time. After a violent chase scene that ends with Jill narrowly escaping, the film closes with Jill awakening from a nightmare involving the intruder, establishing that her psychological trauma will linger long past her terrifying experience.
Unlike most final girls, Chrissy unfortunately doesn’t survive her film. What’s most disheartening about the fact is that Chrissy is a genuinely good person; she has countless opportunities to escape but instead chooses to try to save her friends, even when the odds are clearly stacked against her. This is one time when not running away feels justified but nevertheless leads to a horrific demise for this horror film’s heroine.
Jamie Lloyd is inarguably the most tragic character in the entire Halloween franchise. Jamie Lloyd becomes an orphan at eight years old; she moves in with a foster family she barely knows, and she becomes Michael’s prime target, being chased for two consecutive Halloween nights before being captured by the Thorn cult. Jamie spends her remaining formative years underground, being tortured by the cult and ultimately impregnated. When she finally escapes short after birth, Jamie meets her untimely fate at the hands of her lifelong predator, Michael Myers, at only 15-years-old.
The original final girl in Halloween and one of the most popular characters in the horror genre, Laurie Strode has led a difficult life regardless of what timeline she’s in. In the original Halloween: Resurrection timeline, Laurie lives through the trauma of having been targeted by Michael Myers, becoming a functioning addict to survive her everyday life for 20 years. When Laurie finally decides to face her trauma head-on by going after Michael and seemingly killing him, she discovers she accidentally killed an innocent man in his place. Laurie lives in fear and regret until finally losing her life during her last confrontation with Michael Myers in Halloween Resurrection. In the Halloween 2018-Halloween Ends timeline, Laurie spends over forty years preparing for Michael’s return, and as a result losing the best years of her life to her trauma. Laurie eventually moves on with her life, but at the cost of wasting valuable years she could have spent with her daughter, Karen, before losing her during Michael’s 2018 rampage. Laurie Strode is as much a tragic hero as she is a survivor.
Sidney Prescott has faced each Ghostface incarnation boldly. Yet, Sidney has never had a moment of peace in her life. Before her initial Ghostface encounter, Sidney experiences a significant loss when her mother, Maureen, is brutally murdered. Scream itself focuses on the aftermath of Maureen’s life decisions, which makes Sidney the target of community talk and the Ghostface attacks from Scream-Scream 3. Even when Sidney finally settles down and starts a family, she is forced to once again face another Ghostface duo when Dewey is murdered and a new generation of potential victims needs her help. Sidney may be a tragic character like countless final girls before and after her, but she is also a hero deserving of peace; she’s fought her entire life for it.