10 Horror Movie Final Girls Who Suffered The Most

These final girls sure were put through the wringer.

A Nightmare On Elm Street Freddy Krueger
New Line Cinema

There are few conventions of the horror genre more firmly regimented than the "final girl" - that is, the protagonist of the story, typically a woman, who ends up being the final surviving character to face off against the murderous antagonist.

When executed correctly, the final girl serves as a character to root for, with their general physical disadvantage over their attacker requiring them to use their cunning above all else in order to survive.

It therefore goes without saying that the overwhelming majority of final girls end up enduring a hell of a lot before finally putting the bad guy down and making it to safety.

Perhaps they suffer through massive amounts of torture and abuse, or maybe their punishment is more psychological in nature.

Either way, these 10 final girls absolutely saw some s**t throughout their ordeals, from witnessing their friends and family being dismantled by a murderous maniac, to getting put through the physical wringer themselves, and basically ensuring they'll never be the same again.

All final girls suffer, but these are the ones who are going to need a lifetime of therapy afterwards - assuming they actually survived at all, of course...

10. Dana Polk - The Cabin In The Woods

A Nightmare On Elm Street Freddy Krueger

The Cabin in the Woods' Dana (Kristen Connolly) initially seems to fit the role of the archetypal virginal final girl to a tee.

She appears to be the most virtuous member of her friendship group, but as with just about everything else in the film, writer-director Drew Goddard clearly relishes toying with expectations.

It's later revealed that Dana isn't in fact a virgin and that the Director (Sigourney Weaver) is effectively working with whatever she can find in order to facilitate the ritual designed to keep the subterranean beings known as the Ancient Ones appeased.

While Dana doesn't suffer quite as extensively as the other leading ladies on this list, she nevertheless earns her spot due to the impossible choice she's forced to make at film's end.

Dana is ordered to kill her stoner pal Marty (Fran Kranz) in order to complete the ritual and save the world, but infuriated at having been used in the ritual and feeling that humanity isn't worth these sacrifices, Dana ultimately refuses to kill Marty.

As a result, the film ends with the Ancient Ones bursting forth from beneath the Earth, killing Dana, Marty, and presumably the entire human race.

You can be mad at Dana all you want, but she was put in a terrible decision and decided to flip a middle finger at fate instead.


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