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The Best Final Girls From Horror Movie History

Updated May 6, 2021 40.1k votes 3.1k voters 34.6k 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
    1,726
    276

    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
    1,588
    327

    Ellen Ripley

    Sigourney Weaver

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

  • 3
    1,681
    424

    Sidney Prescott

    Neve Campbell

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

  • 4
    1,584
    411

    Grace Le Domas

    Samara Weaving

    Ready or Not (2019)

  • 5
    1,187
    318

    Maddie

    Kate Siegel

    Hush (2016)

  • 6
    1,111
    343

    Nancy Thompson

    Heather Langenkamp

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

  • 7
    973
    349

    Erin Hanson

    Sharni Vinson

    You're Next (2011)

  • 8
    1,042
    448

    Gale Weathers

    Courteney Cox

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

  • 9
    830
    350

    Sarah Bailey

    Robin Tunney

    The Craft (1996)

  • 10
    1,042
    466

    Tree Gelbman

    Jessica Rothe

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

  • 11
    620
    277

    Heather Langenkamp

    Heather Langenkamp

    Wes Craven's New Nightmare (1994)

  • 12
    521
    229

    Carol Anne Freeling

    Heather O'Rourke

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

  • 13
    667
    327

    Sarah Carter

    Shauna Macdonald

    The Descent (2005)

  • 14
    774
    389

    Clear Rivers

    Ali Larter

    Final Destination (2000)

  • 15
    812
    427

    Dana Polk

    Kristen Connolly

    The Cabin in the Woods (2011)

  • 16
    573
    287

    Sally Hardesty

    Marilyn Burns

    The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974)

  • 17
    650
    342

    Buffy Summers

    Kristy Swanson

    Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1992)

  • 18
    414
    213

    Lila Crane

    Vera Miles, Julianne Moore

    Psycho (1960)

  • 19
    553
    309

    Mari Collingwood

    Sara Paxton

    The Last House on the Left (2009)

  • 20
    611
    348

    Anita "Needy" Lesnicky

    Amanda Seyfried

    Jennifer's Body (2009)

  • 21
    682
    410

    Julie James

    Jennifer Love Hewitt

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

  • 22
    508
    307

    Mia Allen

    Jane Levy

    Evil Dead (2013)

  • 23
    105
    31

    Alice

    Milla Jovovich

    Resident Evil (2002), Resident Evil: Apocalypse (2004), Resident Evil: Extinction (2007), Resident Evil: Afterlife (2010), Resident Evil: Retribution (2012), Resident Evil: The Final Chapter (2016)

  • 24
    375
    225

    Helen Lyle

    Virginia Madsen

    Candyman (1992)

  • 25
    443
    274

    Jamie Lloyd

    Danielle Harris

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

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List Rules: Vote up your favorite female characters who are still breathing till the end...