This paper was written in 2001 as part of my "plan of concentration" at Marlboro College . This particular paper was paired with a film festival, both to be evaluated by an outside examiner (who happened to be the fantastically talented Steve Bissette ). Just briefly: the final girl is the ‘masculinized’ surviving female character in horror films – the character appeared in 1974 with The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. The final girl ‘replaced’ the stereotypical ‘girly-girls’ of earlier horror films. The helpless women of early horror and the dominant women of more recent horror are almost binary; they are either entirely weak or exceptionally strong. Over the years the final girl character has matured into a more balanced – and realistic – representation of women. Obviously, there have been cultural changes since than that ARE NOT reflected here. When I am less intimidated by my own writing, I will endeavor to update the following... until then, enjoy.