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The 5 best 'final girls' in Netflix horror films

The female body has always been an important part of the horror genre. From corrupting the innocent virgin to punishing the hypersexual woman, the female body is constantly insinuated as the seat of the grotesque that somehow adds to the overall claustrophobia. Since the genre is inherently phallocentric, the “final girl” is somehow masculinised.

The final girl is someone who manages to make it to the end despite all the obstacles that lie in their path. Their survival forms an integral part of horror and slasher films. The final girl, like the screamer virgin, is just another cliche horror trope.  

The trope of the final girl has been very popular in films like Halloween, Alien, The Nightmare on Elm Street, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and more horror classics. The notion has had a huge impact on the realm of slasher films, as popularised in the ‘70s, ‘80s and ‘90s films. 

Netflix, too, has its own share of films featuring a range of final girls whose survival makes us feel triumphant and we breathe a sigh of relief to see them emerge unscathed amidst raging violence. 

Ahead of Halloween, we, at Best of Netflix, have compiled a list of 5 best final girls in Netflix horror films:

The 5 best final girls in Netflix horror films

House of Wax (James Collet-Serra, 2005)

On their way to a football match, a group of friends find themselves at an isolated wax museum as they try to find help. However, things quickly go wrong as they are pursued by a murderous duo of whom one of the brothers is severely deformed. 

Played by Elisha Cuthbert, Carly Jones is the final girl. An ordinary everyday girl is stuck in a dire situation and must fight hard to emerge unhurt. Her struggle for survival is scary yet rewarding in the end.  Carly’s predicament adds to the heightened tension in the film. 

Available: Netflix UK, Netflix India

Happy Death Day (Christopher Landon, 2017) 

Imagine dying every day to wake up in the same exact time loop all the while being chased by a giant baby clad in a dark hoodie. That is the exact premise of this film, where a girl relives a particular day over and over again, trying to figure out what triggers her death. 

A deadlier version of Groundhog Day, the film features Tree Gelbman, played by Jessica Rothe, who is chased by death and must figure out how to put a stop to this endless cycle. A college student, she is coping with personal tragedies as she races against time to save herself. 

Available: All regions

The Cabin In the Woods (Drew Goddard, 2012)

In his “loving hate letter” to the genre of horror, Goddard puts together every single subgenre in horror and compiles the stereotypes to form a gruesome film. The flick sees a group of scientists conduct a series of experiments on a group of unsuspecting friends who are stuck in a cabin in the woods. 

Dana Polk, played with the naivete of the required “virgin” by Kristen Connolly, evolves from being the nice girl from next door to a brutal survivor who does not shy away from letting go of morality to stay alive. Her survivalist mentality helps her make it to the end and helps her cement her position on our list. 

Available: All regions 

Fear Street trilogy (Leigh Janak, 2021)

Set in 1994, this retro gore slasher trilogy has palpable influences from the 1990s slasher films and cartoons that can be traced. Based on the works of R.L. Stine, the master of horror, viewers need to watch all three films of the trilogy to get a hang of the mysterious occurrences in the cursed town of Shadyside. 

Deena Johnson is the latest final girl in the history of horror and is the protagonist in the trilogy. Deena is the ultimate badass lead — a gay, woman of colour whose bravado, perseverance and sense of responsibility help her prevail in the end.

Available: All regions

You’re Next (Adam Wingard, 2011)

A cunning family home invasion slasher, this film sees a family gathering occurring in a weekend estate. Things go awry when a group of thugs in animal masks overtake the house and attack the inhabitants. 

Sharni Vinson plays the final girl Erin Harson who goes to the house with her boyfriend and gets stuck in this uncanny bloodbath. With a survivalist mentality, she arms herself with weapons and does not hold back from harming anyone who tries to hurt her. She is dauntless even in the face of uncomfortable truths and her quiet determination to not resign to her fate makes her absolutely wonderful. 

Available: Netflix UK