The horror movie genre is full of tropes and stereotypes. You have the mysterious neighbor, the mad scientist, and the dim-witted jock — however, none are so beloved as the final girl
The final girl is the last female character to survive the horror movie’s ordeal. She’s the one who defeats the killer, finds a way to escape, or is saved at the last minute by an external force. Essentially, the final girl lives to tell the tale (after a lot of processing in therapy).
As coined in 1992 in Carol J. Clover’s “Men, Women, and Chain Saws: Gender in the Modern Horror Film,” Final Girl Theory presents an alternative depiction of women in a genre where gender is so freely victimized. By the end of the movie, the final girl has transformed from a “weak and innocent” type of character to one that’s more vigilant and powerful. Clover posits that the audience needs to see this character go through such abject terror in order for us to root for her and forgive her for any character flaws she may have.
The horror genre is historically a misogynistic one, so while it’s understandable that I take the motives behind the genre’s empowerment of female characters with a grain of salt, I can’t deny that most final girl characters out there are inarguably badass — particularly these 12.
While each of us may think we could be that girl, there’s no one clear path to get there. So, based on your zodiac sign, which famous final girl are you?
Aries | Erin Harson — ‘You're Next’ (2011)
After a family reunion goes horribly wrong, Erin Harson (Sharni Vinson) finds a way to survive by taking “Home Alone” style traps to a deadly and brutally effective level. Aries are known for their energy and strong sense of leadership, but Erin’s connection to this astrological sign really shines through her knack for war-like strategy. Erin is undoubtedly a fighter — definitely someone you don’t want to be on the wrong side of.
Taurus | Laurie Strode — ‘Halloween’ (1978)
Laurie Strode (Jaime Lee Curtis) is one of the foundational final girls — and one of the longest surviving. She’s dependable and practical, with a good head on her shoulders…and a trusty knife in her hand. Although born on Feb. 22, 1961 (making her a Pisces), Laurie exudes Taurus energy, which can be seen right away with her desire to stay inside on Halloween night. Tauruses love a good night in, a life-saving quality in Laurie’s case when a masked murderer runs — well — walks amok her town.
Gemini | Mia Allen — ‘Evil Dead’ (2013)
A character that spends half her screen time as the protagonist and the other half as the antagonist could only be a Gemini. Known as the twins, Geminis are no strangers to duality, although Mia Allen’s (Jane Levy) case is a little more complicated than that. Mia is constantly battling her demons — both metaphorical and literal — and even though her curiosity and unpredictable nature put everyone around her in harm’s way, we can’t help but cheer her on as she fights for her life.
Cancer | Anita Lesnicki — ‘Jennifer’s Body’ (2009)
After her best frenemy is turned into a succubus that starts killing their male schoolmates, it’s up to Anita “Needy” Lesnicki (Amanda Seyfried) to save the school. With her sensitivity, her love-hate relationship with her friend, and her ability to do what needs to be done, Anita embodies the essence of a Cancer. Plus, the movie ends with the hope that she will be a kinder, more compassionate succubus — only a Cancer would be capable of these idealistic mental gymnastics.
Leo | Maxine Minx — ‘X’ (2022)
Leos are strong-willed, energetic, and spotlight-seeking, all characteristics that can be found in aspiring adult film star Maxine Minx (Mia Goth). What begins as a road trip to a rural Texas farmhouse to create an adult film leads to a horrible bloodbath when the actors’ hosts catch on to what sort of movie they’re creating. Like a Leo, Maxine’s confidence and ambition help her survive the massacre, and her flair for the dramatic offers a satisfying ending.
Virgo | Ginny Field — 'Friday The 13th Part 2’ (1981)
In my opinion, Virgos are one of those signs that are most likely to be the final girl. They’re attentive, detail-oriented, and have the ability to stay calm under pressure — all traits that help Ginny Field (Amy Steel) escape the murderous madness near the infamous Camp Crystal Lake in “Friday the 13th Part 2.” By relying on her mind and psychology degree, she’s able to use Jason’s (Steve Daskewisz) weaknesses to her advantage and get away.
Libra | Dani Ardor — ‘Midsommar’ (2019)
At the start of the movie, Dani Ardor (Florence Pugh) struggles with her identity and sense of belonging but eventually finds her place as a part of a Swedish cult. As a sign that’s all about harmony, Libras can be easily influenced, much like Dani during her stay with the cult. Libras can also be vengeful, despite their preference to avoid conflict — qualities that Dani certainly embodies at the end of the film. I gotta say, this Libra-style villain era looks great on her.
Scorpio | Kirsty Cotton — ‘Hellraiser’ (1987)
Scorpios get a bad rap for being the villains of the zodiac, and I really couldn’t disagree more. This water sign is deeply complex, and underneath that hard shell is a beautifully vulnerable heart — qualities that are definitely shared with final girl Kirsty Cotton (Ashley Laurence). Scorpios are often criticized for their mistrusting nature, but it’s that same quality that ends up helping Kirsty fight for her soul. Plus, the truly strange and upside-down nature of this movie’s plot is the sort of weirdness that only a Scorpio could handle.
Sagittarius | Sally Hardesty — ‘The Texas Chainsaw Massacre’ (1974)
Sagittarians have a tendency to run away from their problems, and in Sally Hardesty’s (Marilyn Burns) case, this really works in her favor. In the film, what should have been a nice afternoon with friends, leads to a cannibalistic horror show where Sally is forced to watch the slaughter and go through the most hellish dinner in existence. Fortunately, Sally manages to slip away and find her way onto a passing truck — a mix of opportunity and optimism that this astrological sign can resonate with.
Capricorn | Jess Bradford — ‘Black Christmas’ (1974)
I’m sure the last thing any Capricorn wants is a zodiac selection that has anything to do with Christmas, but hear me out — this is way more about Jess Bradford (Olivia Hussey) than it is about the seasonal setting. After a group of sorority sisters are stalked, tormented, and eventually killed by a deranged murderer, Jess is left to her own devices. Like Jess, Capricorns are capable, independent, intelligent, level-headed, and unafraid to take action, although for Jess, this quick decision-making wasn’t without its errors.
Aquarius | Ellen Ripley — ‘Alien’ (1979)
Ellen Ripley (Sigourney Weaver) may have been born on Jan. 7, 2092, but despite her Capricorn sun sign, she seems to act more like an Aquarius. She’s a risk-taker and unafraid to make bold decisions, such as having a career on a commercial spaceship. When she and her crew are first under attack by a parasitic alien, Ripley tries to follow protocol as best as she can, staying true to an Aquarius’ unyielding nature. But, when push comes to shove, she isn’t afraid to use her creativity, intellect, and anything around her that can help her survive.
Pisces | Sidney Prescott — ‘Scream’ (1996)
Born on March 14, 1979, Sidney Prescott (Neve Campbell) is a Pisces by birth, but her actions throughout the movie are truly what define her as this astrological sign. Pisces have a tendency to see the best in people, especially their partners — even if that partner is suspected of being a psychotic serial killer. But, when pushed too far, Sidney takes charge of her fate and uses that Pisces adaptability to shift to a new role of hunter rather than prey.