Horror films are at their best either when they’re really scary, or really self-aware. The Final Girls looks like a bit of both. It’s a new, ultra-meta take on the genre, where a girl meets her dead mom—after she finds herself inside the mom’s popular slasher movie.

Directed by Todd Strauss-Schulson (A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas), The Final Girls is basically Scream meets Last Action Hero and the first trailer was just released. It stars Taissa Farmiga as Max, a young girl whose late-mother (Malin Akerman) was the star of a popular old-school horror movie like Friday the 13th. Through some odd circumstances, Max and her friends (which include Silicon Valley’s Thomas Middleditch and Arrested Development’s Alia Shawkat) somehow end up trapped inside the movie. So the group has to survive, and figure out what happened to Max’s mom.

Buzz from the film festival circuit is The Final Girls works well in blending the smart horror elements along with the human story. If anything, some horror fans think it leans too much on the emotional stuff to work as a horror movie.

Personally, I think that sounds fantastic. Anything that shakes up the mostly stale horror genre is good thing, even if it just sets the table for something else.

The Final Girls opens October 9.

Contact the author at germain@io9.com.

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