For our 22nd podcast, I talked with Kristin Morris and Kaitlin McKnight from Columbia’s Nickelodeon Theater about the upcoming Final Girl Halloween Double Feature screening on Thursday. They’ll show two horror films with a final girl (woman, really) who makes it to the end of a terrifying murder spree. The first, showing at 8pm, is The Descent, a thoroughly scary movie that follows six women on a spelunking trip in North Carolina’s Appalachian mountains as they become trapped in a labyrinthine cave system and, ultimately, face off with a horde of hungry humanoids. Next, at 10pm, is Fritt Vilt, or Cold Prey, a Norwegian chiller (there’s nothing chill about this, but there’s a lot of snow) that finds a bunch of skateboarders in need of shelter after one of them breaks a bone. They find an abandoned lodge, but, as you might expect, they’re not alone. Horror ensues.
Both films feature a strong woman still standing after everyone else around her is savagely murdered. Now, the final girl is a well-worn trope in horror movies. For decades now bookish brunettes who just say no (think Halloween’s Laurie Strode or A Nightmare on Elm Street’s Nancy Thompson) have been making it to the sequels, while their less chaste friends die brutal deaths at the hands of a maniac or monster. But McKnight with the help of University of South Carolina Film Studies professor Lauren Steimer chose these films because they flip the script on the final girl trope. But I’ll let you listen to McKnight explain it all, and, hopefully, you’ll SEE it all with your own damn eyes. Keep listening though, we don’t stop there. There’s a lot of horror fan geeking out and some BEES!
As always, many thanks to Robert Lipe of Optic Otter for making these podcasts possible.
*portraits by Alexis Schwallier and AB podcast image by Daniel Bein