Not to be confused with the upcoming horror film Final Girl (which does not look very good), The Final Girls is a charming and clever ode to camp slasher movies, and the first trailer lays that charm on pretty thick. A metatextual homage to classic horror, The Final Girls follows in the footsteps of Scream (but way funnier) and The Cabin in the Woods (but more heartfelt).

I caught The Final Girls at SXSW earlier this year, and it’s a sweet, clever tribute to ’80s slasher flicks like Friday the 13th, obviously. Although it’s hardly comparable to any existing films, you could make comparisons to the previously mentioned films along with Last Action Hero, Mean Girls and Josie and the Pussycats. It’s self-aware but not obnoxious.

The film centers on Max (Taissa Farmiga), a high school teen whose actress mother (Malin Akerman) is tragically killed in an accident. Via a little movie magic, Max and her pals are transported into the world of Camp Bloodbath, an ’80s horror film starring her mother. In order to survive — and maybe save her mom — Max and her friends have to use their knowledge of the film and conventional horror tropes to try and subvert the expected.

While this concept lends itself easily to comedy, there’s a really sweet mother / daughter story at the heart of the film, which also has a little fun playing with sexist stereotypes in classic horror. Of particular note is Angela Trimbur’s character, who basically acts as the proxy for every girl who gets killed in a slasher movie, ever.

Here’s the official synopsis:

The Final Girls is an unconventional comedy about Max, a high school senior, who is mysteriously transported with her friends into a 1980s horror film that starred Max’s mother, a celebrated scream queen. Trapped inside the movie, Max finds herself reunited with her mom, who she lost in real life. Together with Max’s friends, they must fend off the camp counselors’ raging hormones, battle a deranged machete-wielding killer and find a way to escape the movie and make it back home.

The film was directed by Todd Strauss-Schulson (A Very Harold and Kumar 3D Christmas) and also stars Alia Shawkat, Thomas Middleditch, Adam Devine, Nina Dobrev and Alexander Ludwig. The Final Girls plays next month at TIFF as an official Midnight Madness selection before hitting theaters sometime in October.

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