7. Heather Langenkamp, A Nightmare on Elm Street
Freddy Krueger may have gotten a little campy in recent years, but as a killer that stalks his victims when they’re at their most vulnerable—asleep—he was pretty terrifying back in 1984. It’s a good thing newcomer Heather Langekamp was around as Nancy Thompson to stop him—even if she couldn’t save Johnny Depp in his first big screen appearance first.
8. Rooney Mara, A Nightmare on Elm Street remake
Though Rooney Mara has said that she had a miserable time shooting 2010’s Nightmare on Elm Street remake, she’s definitely worth mentioning here. As with Friday the 13th’s remake, much changed in the transition from old to new, though the future Lisbeth Salander made a pretty good match for good old Freddy.
9. Alicia Witt, Urban Legend
The Urban Legend series, first launched in 1998, had a pretty neat gimmick: Its deaths mounted up in the style of urban legends made into reality. Alicia Witt played Natalie, our Final Girl (pictured above with fellow cast member Rebecca Gayheart)—although by this point, the Final Girl started to become a little less resilient. How? That would be telling, wouldn’t? Shhhh.
10. Marilyn Burns, The Texas Chain Saw Massacre
Let’s go back in time for a moment. Waaaaaay back. Back before Freddy, Jason, and even Michael. It’s time to meet Leatherface! Touted as being based on actual events (though in truth, this was quite an exaggeration), Tobe Hooper’s The Texas Chain Saw Massacre pitted a bunch of teens, including Marilyn Burns in her big screen debut as Sally Hardesty, against a family of cannibals who happened to be fond of logging equipment. Sally? Let’s just say that she’s a true Final Girl.
11. Jessica Biel, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre remake
In 2003’s remake, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (and yes, the studio fixed the typo in the title this time round) Sally Hardesty became Erin Hardesty and was played by Jessica Biel. Apparently, though, teenagers in 2003 still haven’t learned that you should never, ask for directions at a gas station run by a lone hillbilly in the middle of nowhere.
12. Elisha Cuthbert, House of Wax
You know what the best part about House of Wax is? Watching Paris Hilton get the proverbial it. Oh, right, and Elisha Cuthbert makes for a pretty good Final Girl, too.
Lucia Peters is BettyConfidential’s associate editor. She likes to think that she’d be able to survive a horror movie. Would you?