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The Best Final Girls From Horror Movie History

Updated April 12, 2021 39.7k votes 2.9k voters 32.3k views52 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
    1,684
    281

    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
    1,570
    321

    Ellen Ripley

    Sigourney Weaver

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

  • 3
    1,628
    392

    Grace Le Domas

    Samara Weaving

    Ready or Not (2019)

  • 4
    1,641
    427

    Sidney Prescott

    Neve Campbell

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

  • 5
    1,219
    310

    Maddie

    Kate Siegel

    Hush (2016)

  • 6
    1,054
    360

    Nancy Thompson

    Heather Langenkamp

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

  • 7
    948
    345

    Erin Hanson

    Sharni Vinson

    You're Next (2011)

  • 8
    839
    342

    Sarah Bailey

    Robin Tunney

    The Craft (1996)

  • 9
    1,063
    468

    Tree Gelbman

    Jessica Rothe

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

  • 10
    1,026
    452

    Gale Weathers

    Courteney Cox

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

  • 11
    606
    277

    Heather Langenkamp

    Heather Langenkamp

    Wes Craven's New Nightmare (1994)

  • 12
    778
    399

    Clear Rivers

    Ali Larter

    Final Destination (2000)

  • 13
    664
    333

    Sarah Carter

    Shauna Macdonald

    The Descent (2005)

  • 14
    481
    231

    Carol Anne Freeling

    Heather O'Rourke

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

  • 15
    645
    341

    Buffy Summers

    Kristy Swanson

    Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1992)

  • 16
    818
    447

    Dana Polk

    Kristen Connolly

    The Cabin in the Woods (2011)

  • 17
    564
    313

    Mari Collingwood

    Sara Paxton

    The Last House on the Left (2009)

  • 18
    545
    301

    Sally Hardesty

    Marilyn Burns

    The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974)

  • 19
    608
    344

    Anita Needy Lesnicky

    Amanda Seyfried

    Jennifer's Body (2009)

  • 20
    397
    213

    Lila Crane

    Vera Miles, Julianne Moore

    Psycho (1960)

  • 21
    692
    421

    Julie James

    Jennifer Love Hewitt

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

  • 22
    508
    317

    Mia Allen

    Jane Levy

    Evil Dead (2013)

  • 23
    437
    273

    Jamie Lloyd

    Danielle Harris

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

  • 24
    363
    228

    Helen Lyle

    Virginia Madsen

    Candyman (1992)

  • 25
    401
    257

    Max Cartwright

    Taissa Farmiga

    The Final Girls (2015)