Modern Day Final Girls Who Are Headlining A New Age Of Horror, Ranked

Over 70 Ranker voters have come together to rank this list of Modern Day Final Girls Who Are Headlining A New Age Of Horror, Ranked
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Vote up the actors who are the next fresh faces of the horror scene.

“Final girl” is a new term for a favorite film trope — the scream queen. For every male horror antagonist, there is an actress who, while she isn't always one of the good guys, lives to see another day. She's the last one standing, even if she has her own considerable body count. 

While women like Jamie Lee Curtis, Neve Campbell, and Sarah Michelle Gellar have taken their bows in the horror genre, a new generation of final girls have come to the forefront. Rate your current favorites below!

Photo: A24 / A24 / A24

  • Acted In: Ready or Not, The Babysitter, Guns Akimbo, Mayhem, Ash Vs. Evil Dead 

    Why She Deserves Our Attention: Meeting the in-laws isn't easy for anyone, but Samara Weaving’s Grace in Ready or Not has things all under control when she draws the worst card on their family game night, which makes her the mark in a game of murder. 

    Throughout the film, she relies on her instincts and wits to (all with tongue in cheek humor) to make it 'til morning. She said of the part: 

    I wanted to avoid playing the quintessential damsel in distress. I wanted to make Grace make smart, logical decisions in moments of extreme panic and confusion.

    58 votes
  • Anya Taylor-Joy
    Photo: The Menu / Searchlight Pictures

    Acted In: Split, The Witch, Glass, The Menu, The Northman 

    Why She Deserves Our Attention: It seems like Anya Taylor-Joy has been everywhere these past couple of years, particularly after her breakout role in the chess drama, The Queens Gambit, but she was a final girl long before that. 

    Robert Eggers introduced Taylor-Joy to audiences via The Witch, where she is accused by her family of sorcery in 1630s New England. While the the family is picked off one by one by Lucifer himself, she's given the option to “live deliciously" on the dark side and takes it with gusto. 

    In Split, she's been kidnapped by a man with a diagnosed 24 distinct personalities (the Horde) and spends the film either befriending or outsmarting her captors. 

    In The Menu, she plays a plus-one with some secrets and a steely sense of determination, both of which come in handy when a gathering of foodies on a private island turns horrific.

    Time and time again, she survives her situation using her smarts, allowing her to live another day. The true test of any final girl. 

    80 votes
  • Mia Goth
    Photo: Pearl / A24
    53 VOTES

    Acted In: X, Pearl, Maxxine, Susperia, A Cure of Wellness 

    Why She Deserves Our Attention: Seemingly innocent and waif-like, Mia Goth has proven she can be a real heartbreaker and can be the antagonist and protagonist of any film… sometimes at the same time. 

    In the Ti West film X, she talks on multiple roles, one of which is an older version of the murderous, sexually charged Pearl, who she plays as her younger self in the sequel. Of Pearl, director Martin Scorsese said, “I was enthralled, then disturbed, then so unsettled that I had trouble getting to sleep. But I couldn’t stop watching.”

    Goth also played the final girl, Maxine, in X, and she's now reprising her role as Maxine in the movie of the same name (spelled with three X's), which takes places in Hollywood's seedy adult industry of the 1980s.

    53 votes
  • Jenna Ortega
    Photo: Scream / Paramount Pictures
    45 VOTES

    Acted In: Wednesday, X, Scream (2022), Scream 6, The Babysitter: Killer Queen

    Why She Deserves Our Attention: You have to really hold your own if you're playing opposite Mia Goth. Jenna Ortega definitely makes in her mark in X, but she doesn't survive. She does, however, make it to the final scene of The Babysitter: Killer Queen with the help of final girl/demon Samara Weaving.

    Her horror career is red hot — her starring turn as Wednesday Addams on Netflix's Wednesday is central to that show's wild success, which was somewhat unexpected, given that she releases a school of piranhas in the swim team's pool. (among other Addams-ian mischief). 

    While Ghostface is certainly still the face of the Scream film franchise, Ortega plays the second lead, Tara Carpenter, in both 2022's Scream and 2023's Scream 6.

    45 votes
  • 5
    35 VOTES

    Acted In: Don't Breathe, Evil Dead, Castle Rock, Twin Peaks

    Why She Deserves Our Attention: One of the great attributes of being a final girl is the ability to go beyond what you thought possible to survive. Jane Levy has illustrated this in several movies. In Evil Dead, her character Mia is a heroin addict who somehow finds to the strength to survive an unforeseeable battle. As Levy said, the character is a survivor long before the final reel: 

    I think from the very beginning Mia has made the decision that she's gonna be healthy. So she's not using drugs at all in this movie. It's like, withdrawal starts the minute the movie starts, and then she has to live.

    She also illustrates this in Don't Breathe, where she begins her arc as a reluctant thief in a gang of robbers and ends up the last person standing. We look forward to seeing what she will survive next…

    35 votes
  • Acted In: American Horror Story, Final Girls, Anna 

    Why She Deserves Our Attention: Taissa Farmiga made her debut as Violet Harmon in American Horror Story playing a troubled high school student who dates a not-so-good guy ghost named Tate. While she is, in fact, dead, she does shows strength in the afterlife after finding out he was not only a mass murderer but impregnated her mother with a demon baby and banishes (or perhaps “ghosts”) him from her afterlife.

    And you know you've made it to final girl status when you're in a film of the same name. Once again, Farmiga makes it to the last reel in Final Girl, ultimately turning from a shy teen to a confident heroine as she takes on Billy Murphy, the villain of Camp Bloodbath. 

    43 votes