Film scores

Soundtrack review: The final girls (Gregory Jenkins – 2015)

finalgirls

“The final girls” is an homage to the 80s slasher films. A young woman grieving the loss of her mother, a famous scream queen from the 1980s, finds herself pulled into the world of her mom’s most famous movie. Reunited, the women must fight off the film’s maniacal killer. Sounds like a lot of fun for an 80s nostalgic like me and I can’t wait to see the movie. If the music is also an homage to the scores from 30 years ago then I am a happy camper. Gregory Jenkins wrote it and this is my first experience with his music.

I can’t help but laugh at the brilliant title of the second cue “You wouldn’t catch me dead in a horror movie”. The cue is forgettable but I will remember the name. My atmospheric bone is tickled when “Wakeup” completely changes the mood of the score. I’m kind of hoping the music will stay in that zone. A door opened to my favorite place. It’s unfair to the funnier cues but I keep waiting for the 80s vibes. I feel like a lot of the pieces are just fillers put there to tell us this movie is also a parody in some moments.

But then something like “Theater fire” comes along and silences all my tribulations. My mind remains quiet as I enjoy the sound that’s dearest to me. There’s synth…there’s classic horror…there are atmospheric echoes…and this is my favorite kind of musical desert. I like how the composer handled this story. He never got too serious and he knew just what 80s buttons to push. You will find here inserts of romance, of boom box, of hair metal, of electronic music… it’s like a trip through the entire 80s musical museum and I am enjoying it.

Even if “The final girls” sounds to me more like a collection of cues than a musical story, the nostalgia factor and the way the music blends with what the movie is about made for a very enjoyable listening experience. Some cues are deep, others might sound like arcade game tunes, other are just funny but none of them are boring. Take this score for what it is, don’t expect it to shatter your world and you will have a great time with it. For me the atmospheric dreamy moments were well worth the time.

Cue rating: `83 / 100

Total minutes of excellence: 22 / 58

Album excellence: 39%

Highlights:

Wakeup

Theatre Fire

The Diaphragm Van

I Would Have Made A Really Great Mom

Depressed Dock Girls

Goodbye

The Final Girl

Camp Bloodbath Sunrise Credits

Geoff’s Jam

My So Called Credits

About the author

Mihnea Manduteanu

I have been listening to film music for 25 years and writing about it since 2014. I've written over 1000 reviews and I can't imagine myself doing anything else. I am also a member of IFMCA (International Film Music Critics Association).

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