Autumn: season of mists, mellow fruitfulness and the final girl, a lone female survivor triumphing over the masked killer who has butchered her friends. This isn’t a spoiler for the new Halloween film, because we all know that this final girl – the slasher movie archetype incarnated by Jamie Lee Curtis in her early horror roles and first identified by Carol J Clover in her 1992 book Men, Women, and Chainsaws – will survive. She is the last woman standing and always outlives the rest.
Unless, of course, the trope is being subverted. But the fact that it can be subverted emphasises how much the final girl is embedded in culture. Her behaviour and sexuality have been analysed, horror films have even been named after her (2015’s Final Girl), but there is one question no one seems to ask. Where are all the final boys?