The Final Girl Support Group by Grady Hendrix

The background is a black and white photo of trees. In the foreground, Sam's hand is holding the book The Final Girl Support Group, which is black with white letters with a red folding chair dripping blood. To the left of the book is a red splatter with the words "Cult of Personality book review" in white.First of all, I am unreasonably proud of this spoOoOoOky image I made for you. 🤩 Please provide compliments in the comments below. 😉

Second of all, this book was fun as hell & a super quick read. There are a million little slasher-movie Easter eggs—I’m still sorting through them all, and I love that kind of shit—excerpts from fake articles that I had to triple check to make sure they weren’t really real, and many nods to the classics of the genre, including The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Halloween, Friday the 13th, and more. (Full disclosure: I’VE NEVER SEEN SCREAM 😱🔪)

The premise of this book is built around the trope of the “final girl”—think Jaime Lee Curtis in Halloween. Except in this universe, these movie franchises are based on real murder sprees, the “monster” usually comes back in real life a time or three, and the real-life women are fetishized and famous in real life. They have stalkers and psycho fans, and lots & lots & LOTS of trauma that affects their lives in different ways.

The first names of the support group members correspond to the actresses who starred in their respective franchises. (Fun fact: the audiobook is narrated by Adrienne King, the actress who played the final girl in the first Friday The 13th movie. Cool!)

What a smart, funny commentary on the misogyny of the slasher movie, the poisonous possibilities of anonymous internet comments, and the fetishization of violence against women. (As one of the characters wonders, why is so much of what we consider “entertainment” centered around the killing and/or assault of women?)

With an irrationally likeable main character (I loved every second I spent with her), memorable sets (that final chase through the wellness center is hilarious), and a quick-moving plot that churns you through the pages like you’re running from a knife-wielding monster in a William Shatner mask…

… this one was a 10/10 for me.

sidebar: I just discovered Grady Hendrix’s Instagram account, and it is a vintage-horror paperback wonderland that I really needed in my life but didn’t know it ‘til now.

Samantha Pollack

About Sam

Samantha Pollack writes creative copy (mostly emails) for feminist companies and/or thought leaders who are working to build a fairer, more connected culture. She’s also the founder of The Highly Sensitive Entrepreneur, a 6-week course that helps HSP business owners create healthier, more sustainable systems in their work. 

She publishes frequent essays on feminism, privilege, pop culture, entrepreneurship, the creative process, and more on her website, cultofpersonality.co. She currently lives in Asheville, NC, and while she can *technically* work from anywhere, she prefers her adventures laptop-free.

Emails for cult thought leaders.

(Personality included.)

Want to learn how to craft emails that inspire action and engagement WITHOUT the “tried and true” (cough: patriarchal) norms we’ve all been taught?

I’m doing it, and I can show you how to do it, too.

(But sometimes, I also like to write about the books I’m reading, or the creative process, or the entrepreneurial experience, or why I hate Steve Jobs, or how I met my BFF. I’ll send you emails like that, too.)

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*Just kidding. It’s only an email list.

Interested in working together?