The term ‘Final Girl’ was first coined in 1992 by Carol Clover in her book, Men, Women, and Chainsaws: Gender in the Modern Horror Film. Not only does it refer to the women who survive the wrath of the villains in horror movies, but it also refers to the characters that the viewers see the movie through. In almost all horror movies, especially since Halloween in 1978, we start off by seeing the action through the eyes of the antagonist to establish a little bit of who they are. Then, somewhere along the way (usually after the opening scene concludes), the point-of-view changes to that of final girl.
Now naming the hottest final girls in horror movies is a little bit tricky because part of the trope of the final girl is that she is virginal. As is often the case in these movies, the more attractive the woman is, the more sexualized she is and the sooner she’s going to die. It’s a harsh fact of the horror movie universe for good looking women. Horror movies, especially slashers, punish loose morals in teenagers and no one has looser morals than pretty women.
Even though many of the horror movies in the past 20 years have gone about subverting the genre’s tropes, typically considered meta-horror films (see Scream, Tucker and Dale vs. Evil and Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon), the majority of final girls are more closely connected with masculine characteristics. This has led to many of the very best final girls being far from supermodel level attractiveness, characters like Laurie Strode (Halloween), Alice Hardy (Friday the 13th), Nancy Thompson (A Nightmare on Elm Street), Sally Hardesty (Texas Chainsaw Massacre) and Ellen Ripley (Alien). Amazing women, but not necessarily the best looking. That doesn’t mean that no final girls are attractive, though. In fact, there are some final girls who are insanely good looking. Here’s a list of the very best, the 15 Hottest ‘Final Girls’ in Horror Movies.
15. Sidney Prescott (Neve Campbell) – Scream
Sidney Prescott was one of the first to really challenge the final girl trope of having to remain a virgin throughout the film. In Scream she not only has sex, but she has sex with one of the villains; that’s hardcore. Sidney is a bada**, but she’s also easy on the eyes. Sure, she may not be as unbelievably hot as many on the list, but that’s why she’s coming in at 15. If nothing else, Sidney showed horror filmmakers that the final girl doesn’t have to be gender-neutral. They can be feminine, they can be sexy and sexual, and they can be tough as nails, all at once. If it wasn’t for Sidney, it’s possible this list doesn’t even get made. Sidney goes on to be the final girl in a total of four films, one of the longest runs for any female in the horror genre.
14. Ginny Field (Amy Steel) – Friday the 13th Part 2
Ginny Field from Friday the 13th Part 2 is probably the most contentious on this list. As the film goes on, Ginny loses her looks a little because she gets super dirty and gross (a trend on this list), but she is good looking. Like Sidney Prescott, Ginny’s also not a virgin. She’s in a relationship with Paul, and she’s not a high school kid either. She also gets some major points for being the first female to fight back against Jason Voorhees. Really, when you think about it, Ginny isn’t who you’d expect to be the final girl. At this point in time, 1981, the final girl trope wasn’t fully formed, so Ginny still predates many of the standard characteristics. That’s part of what makes this movie such a good one. It’s unclear how Paul dies in the movie or even how Ginny escaped after she’s grabbed by Jason (sure, it could have been a dream), but, in the end, she’s all that’s left alive. And she’s hot.
13. Lila Crane (Vera Miles) – Psycho
Even though Lila Crane is rescued by Sam Loomis in Psycho, she’s still a final girl, probably even the very first final girl in the history of film. Now, Lila isn’t as attractive as her sister Marion (Janet Leigh), but Marion gets all stabbed up in the shower, so she doesn’t count. Lila has that classic beauty that was so popular in the 60s. If she had the magic of Photoshop today, Lila would probably find herself much higher on this list, but for now, we will put her at 13 and say thanks for being so good looking. We only get Lila’s perspective after about the halfway mark in the film, but she still counts as a final girl in that respect because this movie was released more than 20 years before final girls became a mainstay in the horror genre.
12. Mia Allen (Jane Levy) – Evil Dead (2013)
For like half of the Evil Dead remake, Mia Allen is disgusting. As a zombie, she looks absolutely gross, but she is the final girl here, and, in the finale, she is hot once again. After she is resurrected—oh spoiler alert—she is the one who fights and kills the Abomination. She’s basically the Ash/Bruce Campbell of the remake, but she is so much better looking than he is. I mean, Campbell is cute, but his chin is the size of Allen’s entire face, so we can’t even compare the two. You know what? I’ve changed my stance. Allen is still pretty hot as a zombie demon. In this fairly decent remake, she’s the only one who survives the demonic destruction and she looks great doing it. We’re big fans of her work.
11. Kirsty Cotton (Ashley Laurence) – Hellraiser
Kirsty Cotton literally goes through hell and back in Hellraiser, so we can forgive her for looking a little dishevelled at different points throughout the film. She’s got that 80s hairstyle too, which loses her a few hotness points in this modern age, but she still looks fly. She’s got the really dark features, which is something that you start to see from a lot of final girls as the trope developed. The tendency for hot blondes to be associated with stupidity became popular and stupid doesn’t live in horror movies, well, most of the time at least. Kirsty isn’t just a final girl in Hellraiser, she’s pretty much the only good character in the story, and she has to fight off like 15 different antagonists. Throughout the franchise, Kirsty is the final girl three times and is part of the strongest entries for the most part.
10. Erin Harson (Sharni Vinson) – You’re Next
In a nice little movie that subverts the home invasion horror film traditions, Erin Harson (Sharni Vinson) isn’t your typical final girl. She’s by far the toughest girl on this list and she is a rocket to boot. As a survivalist, Erin is trained to smash fools who try to test her abilities. She gets put into a tough situation with a number of people trying to kill her at once and she just destroys everyone. She runs through everyone who steps up to her and she’s got amazing booby traps. That’s funny, but seriously, she does. She’s got skills to rival Kevin McCallister. The actress, Sharni Vinson is actually an Australian model, so her looks aren’t really a secret. She was recruited with a purpose: be hot.
9. Judy Dutten (Radha Mitchell) – The Crazies
She’s about as far from your traditional final girl as anyone else on this list, but Judy Dutten survives the wrath of The Crazies, the 2010 remake of George A. Romero’s 1973 zombie classic. Judy does a lot of yelling and screaming, which is not only a little annoying, it’s also kind of ugly. But when she’s not bellyaching, she’s super hot. Because Timophy Olyphant‘s character holds down the masculine end of the film, Judy gets to play the silly and scared feminine character throughout much of the film, but we forgive her because she’s so pretty.
8. Julie James (Jennifer Love Hewitt) – I Know What You Did Last Summer
Every one of the final girls on this list have done things that are questionable. Most of them have committed murder in one way or another, even though 99% of the time it is in self-defense, but not Julie James (Jennifer Love Hewitt) from I Know What You Did Last Summer. Julie and her friends kill a man before the movie even gets going. I think we’re supposed to connect best with Julie because she feels bad about it on the inside. Yeah, she should. She killed a man and ran away from the scene of the crime. Just because you throw on a perplexed face with a furrowed brow doesn’t make you innocent. Julie isn’t the only survivor in this film, but she is the only female and she’s also the character we see the film through. In terms of her looks, this is Jennifer Love Hewitt we’re talking about, 90s sex-symbol extraordinaire. There is only one thing Hewitt is good at in films and TV and it isn’t acting.
7. Lori Campbell/Maddie Curtis (Monica Keena) – Freddy vs. Jason/Night of the Demons
Monica Keena has the distinguished title of being one of the only, if not the only, actress to play two different final girls in different film franchises (Freddy vs. Jason & Night of the Demons, 2009). Her better performance of the two comes as Lori in Freddy vs. Jason, where she seeks revenge against Freddy for killing her mother. Lori also mocks Freddy as she cuts off his head like a maniac (also reminiscent of how Jason’s mother was killed in Friday the 13th). In Night of the Demons, it appears that Keena’s character Maddie dies at the end of the film, but it turns out that she was only kidding, tricking the demons into leaving her alone. Keena knows her assets and she uses them well in both films, performing many different runs and jumps throughout. Not bad for that nerdy girl in Dawson’s Creek.
6. Clear Rivers (Ali Larter) – Final Destination
Clear Rivers (Ali Larter) is the final girl in Final Destination, the only woman to survive Death. After that, she comes back to help the new crew trying to evade Death in Final Destination 2, passing the torch in a way. Even though she’s got some decent skills for tricking Death, what we care most about with Clear Rivers is how hot she is. And she is, hot. You may remember Ali Larter as Niki Sanders in Heroes, where she was also hot. Her abilities as a final girl are probably the weakest on the list, but her looks are not. They come in at better than the halfway point, sixth to be exact.
5. Erin (Jessica Biel) – Texas Chainsaw Massacre
Erin (Jessica Biel), from the 2003 remake of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, is not nearly as good of a final girl as Sally Hardesty from the original Texas Chainsaw Massacre, but my sweet lord is Erin ever good looking. Even though she wears that stupid cowboy hat for much of the film, Erin looks like an angel running about while Leatherface tries to cut her head off. Despite all that running, crawling, hiding, and general roughhousing, Erin’s white shirt stays tied up so we can always see her stomach. God bless that shirt and whoever tied that unbreakable knot. God bless the Biel parents.
4. Kelly Driscoll (Jessica Szohr) – Piranha 3D
The character of Kelly Driscoll tends to get overlooked quite a bit because there’s so much to look at in Piranha 3D, like just soo much. As a final girl, Kelly plays a little bit of second fiddle to Elisabeth Shue, but we’re not talking Karate Kid here, so Shue doesn’t quite make the cut, though she does still look great. Kelly survives mainly because she’s so good looking that a guy would ridiculously risk his life to save her and preserve her hotness. I think it’s fair to say that Kelly is not the best looking woman in Piranha 3D, but that shouldn’t take away from how amazing looking she is. Plus, she survives and no other hotties do.
3. Cassidy (Briana Evigan) – Sorority Row
Even though a few of the sorority girls survive in this terrible movie, Cassidy is the hottest and she’s the one that we, as the viewer, see through. It’s a pretty remarkable feat that Cassidy is better looking than her sorority sisters because the entire cast was chosen strictly by their looks (something horror films tend to do). The acting in this one is pretty weak, but we don’t give many points for that. We’re looking at straight looks here and Cassidy has got them in spades. Cassidy doesn’t do a whole lot in Sorority Row except look hot, but I guess that’s all you really need sometimes.
2. Grace Andrews (Sophia Bush) – The Hitcher
Grace Andrews is the final girl in The Hitcher and she is absolutely stunning. You may remember the actress, Sophia Bush, from the TV show One Tree Hill, but it’s in The Hitcher that she looks her best. It’s Grace who eventually kills the Hitcher and becomes the last one standing. She’s one of the few on this list who never looks anything less than smoking hot. Even when she’s dirty and bloody and gross, she looks great. She hasn’t done a whole lot since her early career, but we will always remember her beautiful face, and I’m sure, in the end, that’s something she’ll be thankful for. Horror fans keep her going everyday.
1. Casey Beldon (Odette Annable) – The Unborn
Actress Odette Annable (she used to go by Yustman) is the kind of hot that makes people angry. She’s so damn good looking that she steals the show even when she’s in the background of a movie (like Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story). The Unborn was, by no means, great. But the final girl, Casey Beldon, makes it all worthwhile. Even if you hate horror films, you’ve got to watch her in this one. Call it a science experiment. The marketing crew knew well what they were doing by using a shot of her in her undies as the cover image for the film. She’s a thing of beauty, a magical beast, and we love her.