Horror movies have long been fascinating by the character of the 'Final Girl,' the last woman left alive to confront the bloodthirsty killer and give the story some kind of completion. She's especially prevalent in slasher films, like Jamie Lee Curtis in Halloween, and, as Cabin in the Woods illuminates, she can defeat the killer or die at hand depending on the movie.
The trope has reached self-referential territory recently, and this month sees the release of the movie Final Girl, which subverts typical expectations of what a Final Girl should be capable of.
Despite the Final Girl's prevalence in popular culture, I've never really thought about the real-life implications behind the concept. That all changed when I read this gut-wrenching account of a woman who escaped being the last victim of infamous American serial killer Ted Bundy.
Redditor arabbel shared her mother's brush with being an actual Final Girl, and to me, it's more disturbing than any slasher movie out there.
Her story is downright terrifying
It starts like any other normal day, it just happened to be a few days before Ted Bundy was caught for committing crimes of rape, murder, and necrophilia.
The poster's mom ventured to a nearby college campus where her husband was studying, but she never found him. When she went to head back to the apartment, she spotted a suspicious looking vehicle that seemed to be tailing her.
As she was walking, with no one else in sight, she turned the corner onto the street where the apartments were on the other side of the road. Just as she did this, a guy in a red/orange Volkswagen Beetle (a pretty rare car, especially in colour) was coming down the street toward her, and leaned over and waved at her in a really friendly, excited manner. She only saw him briefly and not from very close, but he was young, dark haired, and she didn't recognize him.
Bundy was known for stealing Volkswagen Beetles for the most upsetting reason
Though the beige VW Bug that he owned is the one that gained notoriety, Bundy would knowingly use Beetles for his killing sprees because they were easily cleaned. Since the seats could pop out, he would just hose down the blood and splatter.
Of course, this woman didn't know this, but she smartly became suspicious of this stranger who was all too excited to see her.
She could see by the lights that the guy was sitting with his foot on the breaks, and worse, that he had his head tilted up and was blatantly watching her in his rear view mirror. She also knew the particular duplex he was stopped in front of was vacant, so there was no way he was waiting for someone inside.
Some quick thinking led to her fearful escape
When she noticed the strange behavior of this random man and remembered the gruesome murders of college girls that took place in the area, she knew that she had to act fast. There were no cell phones at this time, and her apartment didn't even have a landline. Still, she figured out an ingenious way to get out of Bundy's line of sight:
However, there was a nice thick tree up ahead a little, and she realized that if she walked behind it, she could then walk at such an angle that the tree would block his line of vision of her for quite a while, and he wouldn't know exactly where she was. She did this, and after getting a decent bit further, she peeped around the blocked line of vision, and his car was gone. She figured he realized she was onto him and didn't want to deal with a woman putting up a fight.
As I wrote earlier, Bundy was caught only a few days after this close call took place, effectively making this woman a real-life Final Girl. Luckily, she got away from a grisly end and Bundy was brought to justice, but I can't help but shiver when I think about how she could have gone the way of so many other innocent women.