The Last Final Girl by Stephen Graham Jones
What happens when a English professor (With a freaking PHD in creative writing. I don’t even know how that’s possible) falls in love with horror movies?
Every time Stephen Graham Jones ventures into horror, he does something different. Demon Theory is an incredibly ride- three horror movies that play with genre, shifting from slasher to monster to something else entirely while telling you another story, one you don’t realize is being told until it’s over. Zombie Bake off delivers zombie wrestlers and well.. a bake sale. It Came From Del Rio is a beautiful character piece, though the horror is much more muted.
And I’ve just finished The Last Final Girl.
It starts at the end. A girl on a cliff, facing a man in a Michael Jackson mask (No machete here, it’s an actual sword.) There’s a showdown, and a body goes over the cliff..
And then schools back in session, and the big question is: With most of the popular girls butchered last weekend, who’s going to be crowned homecoming queen?
That’s only the surface though. The body was never found, of course, and these are the kids from Scream- They knows the rules, they just aren’t sure if they are between movies, or just between kills. There’s Michael masks everywhere, and everyone seems to have secrets. There’s more accidents and incidents and what’s going on- Is this Carrie, Heathers or April Fools Day?
Jones knows every cliche in horror, and manages to use them, and change them. How often does someone give the address for the teens party (all that reckless drinking, sex, drugs that need to be punished) hours before the party starts? That’s the least spoilerish one i can think to give away.
It goes without saying that the characters are handled very well. Of course, this is a slasher, so we can’t spend time getting to know every would be victim, but the ones we do are handled more deftly than the last half dozen slasher movies I’ve watched combined.
If you love horror, and wish you could find a slasher that actually tried to tell a story- The Last Final Girl is well worth the 7 bucks it costs on Kindle
Why am I afraid of the dark?
It’s Physics. Bloody quantum mechanics. The act of watching something changes it. Think about that. When we look at the world, we change it.
So what’s happening when we can’t observe? If we can’t see, touch, taste, smell, or hear- Is there anything there? Does the tree exist in a forest, if there’s no one there to observe it? Well, interact with it, at least.
I was drinking while I studied for a physics test, some months back. That was a terrible mistake. In a bit of a stupor, I had a thought: What if there’s something else, something other, behind the universe? Something vast but, without shape or form. Something the size of the universe but by its nature impossible to define. Yet our interactions with the world forced this chaos into shape, into definitions. That if there were nothing to interact with the universe, it wouldn’t exist. Something terrible would be here instead.
What if the universe itself is a prison and we are the guards? Always looking, hearing, and feeling. Defining the universe, we keep the chaos at bay.
Some mythology hints at this. Lucifer cast into the pit. Loki chained underground. Gods of evil, of chaos, bound where the light won’t reach. Outside all possible observation. How many religions claim the world was born out of chaos?
Maybe it’s all just the ramblings of an alcoholic. But I can’t get it out of my head.
And sometimes, in the dark, I can almost hear a sound, like the clink of chains.