Note from a Final Girl

Posted: October 13, 2011 by Jenny Dreadful in Editorial

Last week, we were very pleased to collaborate with Cinedelphia to present Still Alive: The Top 10 Final Girls. We posted links to the article via social media and, of course, on this blog. As we were discussing aspects of film that inspire us, we were surprised to receive an intimate and touching reply about the “Final Girl” as she exists in real life. It’s not our standard horror movie content, but we believe this message is worth sharing. We’re reposting the piece with our reader’s kind permission.

Note from a Final Girl

A guest article by Donna Jean

Every time I have written anything, it was because what I wrote wanted to be written. It had a voice which presented itself in my mind and flowed through my fingers as I typed. This is like that. The thought occurred when I read Jenny Dreadful’s take on the top ten Final Girls.

The thought told me that the Final Girl was the simple, unobtrusive girl who walked down the wrong alley, or went to the wrong camp, or opened the wrong door for the wrong man, or even had the wrong cell grow in her body. The Final Girl is the naive, innocent, unsuspecting average girl who was given the opportunity to make her simple life extraordinary by not becoming the monster which lurks in the “wrong” herself.

As we only see life through our own eyes, I have had the opportunity to meet the monster which lurks in the dark alley in a couple of different guises. For this writing, I will write about the beast I encountered when my daughter was a small child.

I was 25 years old when I innocently opened the wrong door when the wrong man knocked asking for help. This gave me the opportunity to become the Final Girl and not become the beast due to the hole ripped in my body and even worse, in my spirit. As a rape victim, I made a choice to become strong. It was not a choice I would have wanted to have to make and I did not know that was what I was doing at the time. By our choices, we become the monster or we become Ripley, who chooses to save everyone at risk of losing herself. In confronting a beast, one has to ignore the deep and abiding desire to turn, run away, and not look back.

So the Final Girl must act. What is her greatest strength? Is it tracking down the beast for revenge or is it trapping the monster and putting it in a place where it cannot harm anyone else? It may appear, on the outside, to be the same act. But it is the intention behind the act which is the real strength.

Finally, can she go on, not become bitter, not become hateful, not become the monster, lest she always carry the monster with her, smiling its hideous grin in her belly? To rise above the horror and to use the terror as strength of character is the challenge. To use what she lost to realize the importance of what she has and of who she is.

And that who she is, is amazing.

Written by one small, insignificant Final Girl Standing

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