Final Girls (2019 – 2020)
With this series I reflect on the concept of the ‘Final Girl’, which was prominent in horror slasher films between the seventies and nineties. It refers to the last girl or woman alive to confront the killer in the slasher movie. The Final Girl is a highly sexualised female protagonist with very specific characteristics and appearance. In the slasher genre, she is often portrayed as a prude but beautiful teen. According to Carol J. Clover, the final girl in many movies shares common characteristics: she is typically sexually unavailable or virginal, but suits Western beauty standards. With this series, I tried to recreate the image and aesthetic of the ‘final girl’ as seen in promotional posters and shots for eighties horror films; the decade in which the slasher film flourished. For this project, I used unprofessional models I know and shot the pictures without professional lightning equipment to resemble the low-budget effect most of these films have. Contrary to the high contrast images, I used a pastel colour palette, which was inspired by Sofia Coppola’s cinematography. The young women in the photo’s carry ‘weapons’ most of us will perceive as masculine. With the series, I question the morals and problematic nature of the final girl; a concept that influenced me and me friends as a teen. Through putting myself in the role of (re)creator of these images and working with models I know personally, I explore these stereotypes and the effect they had on me personally as a consumer of horror films. Moreover, with this small series I reflect on the the way this outdated and problematic concept still influences the way we view young women.