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‘Lisa Frankenstein’ shows us that Liza Soberano is ‘Final Girl’ material


[Warning: This article may contain spoilers.]

Liza Soberano’s performance in “Lisa Frankenstein” is such a remarkable revelation according to critics and reviews, so I had to check it out myself.

When the “Lisa Frankenstein” trailer dropped, many assumed that the 26-year-old actress would deliver minimal dialogue and screen time. But in the film, Liza turns out to be more than a comedic relief as she shares conversations and scenes with household names Carla Gugino and Joe Chrest—all while maintaining good chemistry and keeping up with the “Spy Kids” and “Stranger Things” actors. 

Joining Marvel star Kathryn Newton and “Riverdale” actor Cole Sprouse on the big screen, Liza does not fall behind as the cheerleader stepsister of Kathryn’s character. The two ladies just instantly click on-screen like velcro, while Cole, even without any dialogue, is the dreamiest leading man-slash-corpse.

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A post shared by KATHRYN NEWTON (@kathrynnewton)

Lisa Swallows (played by Kathryn) as the troubled and twisted sister is balanced out by Taffy’s (played by Liza) friendly and comforting beauty queen and cheerleader persona, which by the way goes against the stereotype of “popular” characters being mean. 

Most of all, Liza’s portrayal of the sweet yet spunky Taffy also probably cemented her place as a Hollywood scream queen, showing the audience her “Final Girl” potential. 

Getting caught by your sister making out with someone is already horrific. But seeing you with a guy she likes? It doubles—if not triples—the shock value. This is what Taffy has to face, causing the whole cinema watching the special Manila screening in early February to gasp.

To make matters worse, The Creature (played by Cole) barges into Taffy’s room. (She has no clue who he is, by the way.) He axes the penis of the guy she’s on the bed with so casually, blood gushing everywhere.

At this point, I’m screaming every time Taffy screams, because what if The Creature axes her, too? Taffy must live because she’s just that girl—and *spoiler alert* she did. She successfully gets out—cue a collective sigh of relief—with the help of Lisa, albeit all bloody with disheveled hair and shocked to her core.

What exactly makes her a Final Girl material, though?

Merriam-Webster defines Final Girl as “the female protagonist who remains alive at the end of the film after the other characters have been killed when she is usually placed in a position to confront the killer.”

Carol J. Clover (who wrote the book “Men, Women, and Chain Saws: Gender in the Modern Horror Film”) coined the term. In her book, Carol listed some common qualities final girls are known to have: virginal and virtuous, going by a unisex name, and usually brunette. Guess what? Taffy ticks all of them.

Apart from that, though, Liza’s performance proves that she is a force to be reckoned with—arguably someone you could line up along with Mia Goth in “Pearl” or Jenna Ortega in “Scream”. In “Lisa Frankenstein,” the young actress instantly becomes our next Final Girl bet because despite how she portrayed her character as the sweet, caring, stepsister and friend Lisa needed when the opportunity came for Taffy to step up, Liza did, too.

The actress showcased sides to her that arguably were overshadowed by often being “typecast” during her prior work in the Philippines. The actress herself alludes to this in recent commercials she’s done and actively participated in producing. That’s not to say her acting in the local scene did not allow her to shine, but Liza just proved with “Lisa Frankenstein” that there are more layers left to uncover—she can both be sweet and hilarious, while also screaming her lungs out when the time demands it. 

One of the scenes where Liza did splendidly was when Taffy’s mother had been reported missing. The switch up from the sunny, optimistic, and often bubbly and joking Taffy, to someone who was suddenly bawling her eyes out and visibly distressed, was a good opportunity to showcase her experience with melodrama. To me, it solidified her hold on the audience. Not only was she a delight on the movie screen during her funny scenes; she delivered seriousness and hurt and made sure the viewers felt that, too. 

In the end, it was also Taffy who spotted the gummy rings and the “beloved wife” written on Lisa’s gravestone, proving her presence to be very necessary until the end. 

Could we possibly see Taffy-inspired Halloween Pinterest boards soon? We already know she looks amazing in Getty Images—but even more in “Lisa Frankenstein” where she serves immaculate visuals even when smeared with blood and shocked.












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A post shared by Liza Soberano (@lizasoberano)

Although the trailer was able to show a lot about what to expect from the film, it still gave so much room for expectation. And Zelda Williams’ directorial debut, together with the world-building of Diablo Cody, certainly did not disappoint. 

“Lisa Frankenstein” is a dark comedy-horror movie, with a little bit of romance and musical aspects in it. It is chaotic—but chaotic good—as the movie quite literally and figuratively transports us back to the ’80s when horror comedies gave what needed to be given.

The movie may have met mixed reviews from critics, but a common ground they all agreed on was Liza’s prowess. After seeing the film, I completely agree.

Read more:

Liza Soberano as Alexandra Trese is happening, folks

Are James Reid and Liza Soberano prepping for a K-pop collab?

Liza Soberano and the curse of adulthood in “Alone/Together”

Photo from “Lisa Frankenstein – Official Trailer” from Focus Features/Youtube




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