Updated: Jul 19, 2019
Horror movies have made me happy since I was a child. The video store was my playground. Snippets of blood and guts molded my young mind and as I got older I was able to connect those bits and pieces with the films they belonged in. Exploding heads, blood filled elevators and machete wielding psychos have played a large role in the woman I have become.
What played a much larger role, were the women who were always left standing at the end of these movies. The final girls. They went through hell and lived to tell about it. They were beaten up, but never beaten down. Watching these women get hurt, fight back and ultimately prevail was a truly transformative experience for this little girl. It still is for this grown woman.
The final girl concept was first coined by Carol J. Clover in a book titled Men, Women, and Chainsaws. A read I highly recommend. As a girl immersed in these films however, it wasn't just the concept that appealed to me, it was the people. Their stories, their strength and their resilience spoke to me on a visceral level. I didn't just admire them, I wanted to be them. Some girls want to be Wonder Woman. I wanted to be Stretch from Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 or Laurie Strode from Halloween. These women are my super heroes.
I am a survivor of many things. I have always identified as a survivor. Never a victim. The women in these films rose above their victimization to become survivors. They were thrown into extraordinarily shitty circumstances and fought their way through them. I have always fought through whatever life has thrown at me. I have used my experiences to become a better and stronger woman. I will never give up. I will always fight back. And I will always find a way to win.