>’Final Girl’ Studies


Film Studies For Free loves plucky female film protagonists (and false protagonists, for that matter) still fighting on in there at “The End”.

It also loves Carol J. Clover’s 1987 essay ‘Her Body, Himself: Gender in the Slasher Film,’ (Representations [Number 20: Fall 1987, pp. 187-228] – later included by Clover in her hugely influential book Men, Women, and Chain Saws: Gender in the Modern Horror Film [Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press,1992]), which was the first work to coin the resonant phrase ‘Final Girl‘ to name climactic female survivors of slasher/horror/fantasy-sci-fi-horror films.

Clover’s essay asked the following, rather fascinating, question: why, in these films which are supposedly principally aimed at male spectators, are the surviving heroes so often women characters?

It’s a question that has been frequently addressed, since, in film, television, and now videogame studies, many of them freely available online. So here’s Film Studies For Free’s not-so-weak-and-feeble list of terribly-brave-and-resilient links to open-access “Final Girl” Studies, beginning with Clover’s key essay, and then proceeding in an orderly alphabetical direction, by author surname:

FSFF also highly recommends that you visit Slayage: International Journal of Buffy Studies for lots of other relevant studies.


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