“Men die because they make mistakes. Women? We die because we’re female.”
To the casual observer, the group of women would appear to have little in common. They meet monthly in the church basement, arriving one by one and leaving alone. What the observer cannot know is that this is a meeting of one of the most exclusive support groups around.
These women are the girls who heard a mysterious noise in the dark forest and didn’t go to investigate. They’re the girls who didn’t check the basement by themselves. They checked the back seat of the car before they got in. They didn’t look behind and trip when they were running. They didn’t drink or do drugs. They didn’t sneak off for sex. These are the girls who knocked the killer out but didn’t creep nearer to check his pulse. These are the women who shot the slasher and then emptied the gun into him to made damn sure he was dead.
The Final Girl Support Group is for the girls who lived but, this time, one of them is dead, a Final Girl no more. And now the killer is after all of them.
I’m not a massive fan of the slasher genre – it tends to be quite formulaic – but I’ve watched my fair share and thought I’d give this a try. Whilst it’s not the best novel I’ve ever read, it’s more than just a rehash of all the tropes. Hendrix writes from the female perspective well, and the story also raises the issues of media harassment and how victims are taken advantage of, and how dangerous even the normal world can be to women.
Each final girl’s monster is a killer from a series of slasher films, which distracted me as half my attention was spent on trying to match the survivor to the franchise. I don’t know if this is why I struggled so much to remember who each character was, but somehow the characters weren’t distinct enough to register properly. I’ve noticed this before with Hendrix: the premise is generally good, but something gets lost in the telling – maybe the books would be better as screenplays? The chapter titles were cute, though.
If you’ve never watched a slasher film, then this is probably not the book for you. If you love them, you’ll almost certainly get more out of The Final Girl Support Group than I did.
I received an advance reading copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Publication date: 13th July 2021