In most horror films, the last remaining character is the stereotypical “good girl” who has evolved into her own trope, the “last girl”. Horror movie fans have seen plenty of final girls over the years. Some final girls have gained popularity for putting up a big fight, while others are known for being part of a movie series.
Just being part of a popular horror franchise isn’t enough to become a favorite Final Girl, they must have had a series-defining character. Some actresses had a huge impact on the horror movies they starred in, making them one of the most beloved final girls in private soldier.
To note: Ranking lists are live and continue to accrue votes, so some rankings may have changed after this posting.
ten Gelbman Tree – Happy Death Day
happy day of the dead follows Tree Gelbman on her birthday as she is murdered by someone wearing a baby mask. After being murdered, Tree wakes up on the morning of her birthday and relives the day until she dies. As she continues to relive the same day, Tree tries to figure out who killed her and stops them from doing it.
happy day of the dead is a relatively new movie, so it’s impressive to see Tree ranked so highly by moviegoers on Ranker. However, the character’s relative newness may have helped her as Tree is incredibly connected to modern audiences. Many popular final girls come from older films, and the characters probably don’t resonate with young and new viewers as much as Tree. Not only that, Tree is funny, smart, and really took charge in preventing his own death.
9 Heather Langenkamp – Wes Craven’s New Nightmare
Wes Craven’s New Nightmare brought a twist to the Nightmare franchise, acknowledging that previous additions to the series were actually movies. New nightmare follows Heather, the actress who played Nancy in the film as she discovers the movie’s Freddy has come to life and now targets her and her son.
Many fans consider New nightmare to be one of the best in the Nightmare series, aside from the first movie of course. Even though New nightmare wasn’t a huge hit at the box office, it’s still memorable for fans. It was also interesting to see Heather Langenkamp portray herself in real life, but Nancy’s beloved character is still heavily referenced.
8 Gale Time – Scream
Scream follows a group of teenagers as a killer appears to target their group of friends. Besides the teenagers, the focus is on two reporters, including Gale Weathers, who tries to get the inside scoop on the killer. Hungry for a story, Gale puts himself in danger to get it.
Gale Weathers is one of the smartest Scream characters, despite starting out as a slightly boring journalist. Gale was a unique character in the first Scream, due to being a massive risk taker. Over the course of the series, she ended up becoming helpful and a close friend to Sidney. She’s as important to the franchise as Sidney herself, which is why it’s no surprise that she’s a beloved character.
seven Erin Hanson – You’re Next
you are next follows a couple attending a family celebration on an estate. However, things at the party go awry when they are all attacked by assassins. Erin, who attended with her fiancé, finds herself having to fight back and survive an attack meant for her fiancé’s family.
Erin ended up being a great character in the movie, which many viewers probably didn’t expect. Erin seemed to be on top of the attack and always had the upper hand, even with the odds against her. She took charge of the situation and fought off the attackers with everything she had, which probably made her a fan-favorite girl.
6 Maddie – Hush
silence follows Maddie, a deaf woman living alone in the woods when she discovers she is being watched by a masked man. After her discovery, the man actively tries to kill her, and Maddie must fight for her life and rely on other senses to survive.
Maddie differs from the other final girls by being a deaf survivor. Her experience of fighting for her life was unique as she could not hear her attacker. Some fans consider silence controversial, with the belief that it shows being deaf as a weakness, but the film is careful and deliberate in depicting Maddie as capable and not defined by her deafness (per IndieWire). Overall, it seems Ranker fans enjoyed the unique perspective this film offers and Maddie’s determination to survive.
5 Nancy Thompson – Nightmare on Elm Street
Nightmare on Elm Street follows a group of teenagers who discover Freddy Krueger, a burnt-out killer wearing a metal-clawed gauntlet attacking them in their dreams. Nancy Thompson and her friends discover that the only way to stay alive is not to fall asleep.
Nancy Thompson was young and innocent at first Nightmare film, but she also returned in some future additions and proved to be experienced and knowledgeable against Freddy Krueger. It is undeniable that all the best films of the Nightmare franchise are the ones Nancy finds herself in, likely due to her personal connection to the killer.
4 Grace Le Domas – Ready Or Not
Ready or Not follows Grace after her wedding ceremony when her new in-laws tell her about a family tradition in which they play hide and seek after their marriage. When Grace realizes their version of the game is much deadlier, she must fight to survive.
Ready or Not is one of the best new horror films in recent years and Grace has easily become a character on par with the older “finale girls”. Grace fighting killers in a wedding dress makes the movie memorable and different from other slashers. Even with Grace having the odds against her, she proved able to hold her own, which led to her becoming a modern-day favorite final girl.
3 Ellen Ripley – Alien
Extraterrestrial follows a spaceship crew after discovering that their ship has been invaded by a vicious alien who is about to kill them. Together, the crew must bring the alien down from their ship and attempt to return safely to Earth.
Besides being known for horror, Alien is one of the best sci-fi thrillers and has spawned numerous sequels. Ellen Ripley has become a standout character on the show, even appearing in numerous sequels. Extraterrestrial has some of the most intense scenes in a horror movie, with Ripley often willing to risk her life to save others, making her an admirable character.
2 Sidney Prescott – Scream
Scream follows a group of teenagers stalked by a mysterious killer called Ghostface. As the teenagers begin to realize the attacks are personal, they come to the conclusion that the masked killer might be one of them. As they struggle to survive, the group tries to find out who the killer is before it’s too late.
Sidney Prescott had many action sequences in Scream, making her more than the stereotypical “final girl” who just runs and screams. As the Scream The series continued, she became an experienced fighter as she found herself attacked many times. She even went so far as to help others be targeted. For many fans, Sydney is as important to the Scream franchise as Ghostface himself.
1 Laurie Strode – Halloween
Halloween takes place at the famous party after Michael Myers, who was institutionalized after killing his family as a child, escaped from the institution with the intention of hurting others. Laurie Strode finds herself targeted by Michael while babysitting.
Michael Myers being a masked killer, Laurie became the face of the Halloween franchise. At first, her story was subtle and she was an ordinary teenager who just wanted to hang out with friends. Her character has grown a lot over the films, deepening her connection with Michael. In many films, Laurie is Michael’s main target, which shows his importance to the franchise.
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