Part "Cabin in the Woods," part "Scream," part a lost Funny or Die video about the ridiculous tropes found in '80s horror movies, "The Final Girls" still manages to surprise. The horror comedy, which debuted during opening night of this year's South by Southwest Film Festival in Austin, Texas (on Friday the 13th, no less), hinges on some pretty aggressive dance moves.
Taissa Farmiga plays Max, the daughter of a celebrated scream queen horror actress played by Malin Akerman. A few years after her mother's death, Max is asked to attend a special screening of her mother's most famous film, an '80s summer camp slasher. Mid-screening, Max and her friends (played amazingly and hilariously by Thomas Middleditch, Alia Shawkat, Alexander Ludwig and Nina Dobrev) are transported into the blood-soaked summer camp and realize they must defeat the masked slasher themselves. The result is, well, camp. In the best way possible. It's a universe in which the characters literally hear that ch-ch-ch-ch, ha-ha-ha-ha classic horror atmospheric sound effect when the killer is coming, and it totally works.
The real gem of the movie, however, is a literal booby trap. As the kids figure out, anyone who has sex or displays any overtly sexual behavior in the movie is bound to become human sushi in the hands of the killer. A lure is in order, in the form of a striptease performed by the flighty and flaunty Tina (Angela Trimbur).
You'll never listen to "Cherry Pie" the same way again, that's for sure. In a Q&A following the screening, which was received by a rapturous audience at the late-night showing, director Todd Strauss-Schulson insisted that the dance you're about to imitate at parties for years to come was totally improvised by Trimbur.
"We knew you were doing that dance, but there was no choreographer," Strauss-Schulman said. "Angela made that up on the spot. Her heart almost stopped."
Trimbur even demonstrated her moves for the crowd.
"After that first take my face was purple and I had to like fan myself," she said of the exuberant performance. "I had like five Red Bulls, I don't know what I was thinking."
If you can't wait to watch Trimbur shake it in "The Final Girls," here are two videos of her dancing in HelloGiggles' Dance Like Nobody's Watching series:
A lot less murder and sending up of horror movie tropes than "The Final Girls," but you get the idea.
As Trimbur timidly said onstage, "Dance for life."
"The Final Girls" was well received by the audience, who tweeted comparisons to another beloved horror satire, "The Cabin in the Woods."
"The Final Girls" is produced by Sony.