Who is the Final Girl? Why does she matter? And where does her story go after she survives the events that make her into the Final Girl? In other words, what happens after the Final Girl kills the slasher?
For a long time, the answer has been simple, and brutal: she’s either swiftly dispatched in the first of many sequels, or else she lives on to be tormented over and over. But recently, there’s been a change—a reversal of the formula, in which these characters are seen not as victims but as survivors with stories of their own. A new wave of slasher stories on the page and silver screen revisits these final girls—all grown up and bearing scars both mental and physical. The women we meet in these stories have seized control of the narrative from the slashers and, in doing so, they subvert the regressive politics of slasher narratives to insist that there is hope for life beyond the systems of control, abuse, and oppression that defined their pasts (but not their futures).