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Final Girl Spotlight: Chris Higgins! (Friday the 13th Part 3)

We all love Jason. Sure, he might not be the most fun to camp with or take to Grandma’s birthday party (unless she wanted a bloody machete for her 75th) but he’s one of the reasons we all come back to the series time and again. He’s an icon, there’s no debate. However, as much as we love him, it’s the battle between him and the final girl that provides some of the most exciting and tense moments in the series; like Europe sings, it’s the final countdown. A shining example of this is the fight to the death between our hockey-masked homie and the great Chris Higgins in Friday the 13th Part 3.


Played by Dana Kimmell, Chris is likable, smart, and sweet; she’s the girl next door. You can tell she’s kind to animals and does the right thing even in the face of adversity. Chris is the first final girl in the series to get a backstory with Jason. Years ago, she had an encounter with him in the woods. She doesn’t know his name, and she was rescued after she passed out; now she’s returning to Higgins Haven with her crew to try and put aside the haunting memories of her attack. There has been much debate over Jason’s encounter with Chris, some suggesting it was sexual in nature, but Jason has never been shown as motivated by carnality; then again, these were the days before Craigslist, so maybe he was having trouble meeting women, being a mongoloid living in the woods and all. He was probably just walking the woods, looking for some berries and dead animals to eat, singing the latest Olivia Newton-John song to himself, when he happened upon Chris and wanted a hug; but then acted on the emotions he has been shown to feel – anger, rage, vengeance, and bloodlust.


Chris Higgins is a double-survivor of Jason’s wrath. When she returns to Higgins Haven, she walks right back into Jason’s wilderness, oblivious as her best friends fall victim to his rampage. Soon it’s just Chris and Jason, like a WWE Smackdown. Chris may be fragile, but she’s a fighter. Don’t underestimate her and her Members Only jacket and bright blue sweater. She’s an excellent screamer too; but when it comes down to survival, she rivals Bear Grylls in what she’ll do to make it out alive.

Chris is the perfect combination of courage, smarts, and strength. When Jason throws Rick’s body through the window and stares her down (an image that would make anyone need to wear Depends), she goes into commando mode; knocking a bookcase full of old books on to him. Have you ever been hit by an old book? It hurts. Chris launches a library on him. Granted, this is Jason. He’s Jaws on land; this is just a minor roadblock.

After Chris discovers her pregnant best friend Debbie’s body, she removes the knife that killed her to use against Jason. At this point, size doesn’t matter; diminutive Chris slashes away until Jason backs off and she gets a stab in his leg. After Chris jumps out the window and Jason ruins her Members Only jacket (those things were expensive back then -- thanks a lot Jason!), Chris makes a decision several of her counterparts in 1980s horror films often did not. That’s right, she got into her car to drive away. Sadly, she wasn’t aware that Ali, Loco, and Fox (the local 3-person biker gang – doesn’t your town have one of those?) siphoned all the gas, so it’s back to her edition of “Survivor: Higgins Haven”.


The barn battle (that sounds like a band name!) is a throw-down. Chris isn’t giving up, and Jason is clearly really, really ticked off (he probably had a whole other group of horny teens to kill and Chris’s penchant for avoiding his murder spree was keeping him). When Chris knocks lumbering, hulking, ginormous Jason out with a shovel, she has the unenviable task of having to get close enough to him to tie a noose around his neck. But she does – tossing him out the second story, snapping his neck.

But this is Jason. She opens the barn door and sees his body swaying in the breeze, only to be startled by Jason jolting back to life, this time revealing his face to her. She knows now – he’s the same man who attacked her that time before. Debate also circles whether Jason showed her his face on purpose or if it just came off while he was removing the pesky noose from his neck; either way, despite Chris’s subsequent meltdown, she gets herself together long enough to sink an axe into his head.


Chris Higgins, you are a valiant and brave final girl, worthy of the Friday the 13th series. When you walk on screen, your theme song could be Cypress Hill’s “We Ain’t Going Out Like That”. Hopefully you’ve sold off Higgins Haven and gotten a replacement Members Only jacket.

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