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The Best Final Girls From Horror Movie History

Updated May 6, 2021 40.7k votes 2.9k voters 33.0k views53 items

List RulesVote up your favorite female characters who are still breathing till the end...

If you're a fan of scary movies, this is your opportunity to vote for the best final girls in horror movies. A "final girl" is a female character who manages to survive the wrath of the killer - human or otherwise - when most, if not all, of the other characters have been wiped out. Although the term originated in the 1990s, final girls were around for decades before that, such as Laurie Strode in 1978's Halloween, Sally Hardesty in 1974's The Texas Chain Saw Massacre, and Lila Crane in 1960's Psycho

Horror movie survivors of this type are most commonly found in slasher flicks. The Friday the 13th, A Nightmare on Elm Street, and Halloween franchises commonly make use of the final girls trope. Traditionally, these characters tend to be the purest and most virtuous of the group or cast of characters. That's because, for reasons known only to the filmmakers themselves, the abundance of '80s slasher movies usually had the villain target teens who were amorous with each other. Friday the 13th, in particular, was notorious for that. 

The threats final girls face are not always psychos wielding knives, machetes, or hooks. They can survive interstellar creatures, as Ellen Ripley does in Alien. What counts is that the final girl gets through the ordeal, leaving her to tell the tale of what happened.

Vote up your favorite final girl horror characters from the list below.

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  • 1
    1,729
    285

    Laurie Strode

    Jamie Lee Curtis/Scout Taylor-Compton

    Halloween (1978), Halloween II (1981), Halloween H20: 20 Years Later (1998), Halloween: Resurrection (2002), Halloween (2007), Halloween II (2009), Halloween (2018)

  • 2
    1,613
    328

    Ellen Ripley

    Sigourney Weaver

    Alien (1979), Aliens (1986), Alien 3 (1992), Alien Resurrection (1997)

  • 3
    1,650
    412

    Grace Le Domas

    Samara Weaving

    Ready or Not (2019)

  • 4
    1,687
    440

    Sidney Prescott

    Neve Campbell

    Scream (1996), Scream 2 (1997), Scream 3 (2000), Scream 4 (2011)

  • 5
    1,243
    321

    Maddie

    Kate Siegel

    Hush (2016)

  • 6
    1,096
    364

    Nancy Thompson

    Heather Langenkamp

    A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984), A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors (1987)

  • 7
    970
    355

    Erin Hanson

    Sharni Vinson

    You're Next (2011)

  • 8
    850
    359

    Sarah Bailey

    Robin Tunney

    The Craft (1996)

  • 9
    1,083
    482

    Tree Gelbman

    Jessica Rothe

    Happy Death Day (2017), Happy Death Day 2U (2019)

  • 10
    1,046
    465

    Gale Weathers

    Courteney Cox

    Scream (1996), Scream 2 (1997), Scream 3 (2000), Scream 4 (2011)

  • 11
    624
    285

    Heather Langenkamp

    Heather Langenkamp

    Wes Craven's New Nightmare (1994)

  • 12
    500
    233

    Carol Anne Freeling

    Heather O'Rourke

    Poltergeist (1982), Poltergeist II: The Other Side (1986), Poltergeist III (1988)

  • 13
    792
    404

    Clear Rivers

    Ali Larter

    Final Destination (2000)

  • 14
    678
    338

    Sarah Carter

    Shauna Macdonald

    The Descent (2005)

  • 15
    836
    451

    Dana Polk

    Kristen Connolly

    The Cabin in the Woods (2011)

  • 16
    662
    349

    Buffy Summers

    Kristy Swanson

    Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1992)

  • 17
    565
    300

    Sally Hardesty

    Marilyn Burns

    The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974)

  • 18
    574
    316

    Mari Collingwood

    Sara Paxton

    The Last House on the Left (2009)

  • 19
    625
    352

    Anita Needy Lesnicky

    Amanda Seyfried

    Jennifer's Body (2009)

  • 20
    406
    218

    Lila Crane

    Vera Miles, Julianne Moore

    Psycho (1960)

  • 21
    701
    428

    Julie James

    Jennifer Love Hewitt

    I Know What You Did Last Summer (1997), I Still Know What You Did Last Summer (1998)

  • 22
    516
    320

    Mia Allen

    Jane Levy

    Evil Dead (2013)

  • 23
    446
    280

    Jamie Lloyd

    Danielle Harris

    Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers (1988), Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers (1989)

  • 24
    372
    231

    Helen Lyle

    Virginia Madsen

    Candyman (1992)

  • 25
    406
    264

    Max Cartwright

    Taissa Farmiga

    The Final Girls (2015)