The Invitation & 9 Other Movies With “Good For Her” Endings

This article discusses spoilers for The Invitation.

The gothic vampire horror The Invitation recently hit cinemas and has become one of the latest releases to feed into the “good for her” genre trope. The trend refers to films, typically of the horror genre, in which a female protagonist prevails in the final moments in ways that are not necessarily good or heroic in a conventional sense, but are generally supported by the audience.

With roots in the Final Girl trope, films with “good for her” endings have been around for decades. From characters created by Stephen King to Nathalie Emmanuel’s Evie in The Invitationhere are a few films whose endings leave viewers thinking “good for her”, in order of the years of their release.


Carrie (1976/2013)

Carrie coved in blood in the 1976 version

One of the original “good for her” movies is career, based on the novel by Stephen King. The 1976 film starring Sissy Spacek was remade in 2013 with Chloë Grace Moretz taking the lead as a teenage girl who is bullied at school and abused at home and develops telekinetic powers.

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Marketing for the original film framed Carrie as the villain rather than the victim she is, with the theatrical poster reading “if you’ve got a taste for terror, take Carrie to the prom.” Indeed, Carrie’s reaction to her humiliation at the prom, in which her peers dump pig’s blood on her, can be considered villainous, but given her treatment throughout the story, most fans are inclined to overlook this.

Alien (1979)

Sigourney Weaver famously starred as Ripley in Ridley Scott’s science fiction classic alien. Her character fights to be heard by crew mates who refuse to listen, but ultimately manages to escape the spaceship with her cat as the sole survivors after the others are hunted and killed.

As the voice of reason and logic, it is satisfying to see Ripley prevail in the final moments of the film. Not only does she succeed in killing the xenomorph, she also triumphs over the film’s true villains; the Weyland-Yutani Corporation who were willing to sacrifice them all for the sake of profiteering. In a film that challenged gender roles upon its release, the ending makes for a defining “good for her” moment.

Heather (1989)

Winona Ryder and Christian Slater take center stage Heathers as an unconventional couple who commit multiple murders together before turning on each other. The events of the film cumulate in JD (Slater) attempting to blow up their high school, then deciding to blow up only himself after being confronted and shot by Veronica (Ryder).

The iconic image of Veronica using the explosion that kills JD to light her cigarette has been immortalized in popular culture. Despite the misdeeds committed by the character, it feels as though her slate has been wiped clean in the final moments, as JD puts it.

Jennifer’s Body (2009)

The cult hit Jennifer’s Body pits two best friends against each other. As one (Megan Fox) is possessed by a demon and starts feeding on local boys after a failed sacrifice is performed on her, the other (Amanda Seyfried) tries to stop her. After successfully killing Jennifer (Fox), Needy (Seyfried) is admitted to a psychiatric hospital but is able to escape using powers that she acquired after being bitten by her friend.

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The “good for her” moment comes when the final credits roll, as the audience is subjected to a sequence of images that show Needy seeking revenge for Jennifer’s suffering. It is a reminder that, although Jennifer is depicted as the main antagonist, the true villains are the band members who attempted to sacrifice her. Through their deaths, both girls are avenged.

The VVitch (2016)

The A24 psychological horror movie The Witch (styled as The VVitch) sees a young girl portrayed by Anya Taylor-Joy accused of being a witch as her family is terrorized by evil forces. After killing her own mother in self-defense, Thomasin (Taylor-Joy) embraces the darkness and joins a coven during a Witches’ Sabbath in an unsettling concluding scene.

These witches are not misunderstood; they are everything that is historically feared most about witchcraft. Despite this, it is cathartic to see Thomasin find a sense of belonging, power, and protection in the coven. It is a further act of self-defense that she is forced to make in a world that seeks to condemn her regardless of her involvement in dark magic.

Midsommar (2019)

Audiences ache for Florence Pugh as Dani in Midsommara girl who suffers the loss of her parents and sister and stays stuck in a dysfunctional relationship with her partner (Jack Reynor) who feels like he cannot leave her but consistently mistreats her throughout the course of the film.

It’s no surprise then, that viewers turn a blind eye to her actions in the final moments, when she effectively sentences her boyfriend to burn alive after she is made May Queen by a sinister cult during their stay in Sweden. Thoughts of “good for her” naturally arise when, in the concluding shot, the first genuine smile throughout the entire film is seen on the character’s face.

Ready or Not (2019)

Samara Weaving shines as the charming bride in the hide-and-seek-inspired horror Ready or Not. As the unsuspecting new addition to an eccentric family with a dark secret, viewers naturally root for Grace as she fights to survive the night while her in-laws hunt her down.

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Despite the trauma she has endured, Grace explains away the night’s events when asked what happened by uttering the word “in-laws”. This final line, accompanied by the image of her smoking, covered in her new family’s blood, perfectly encapsulates the character and the general tone of this black comedy. It is a satisfying conclusion for a character who fiercely deserves her survival.

Last Night in Soho (2021)

Edgar Wright’s Psychological Horror Movie Last Night in Soho sees an aspiring fashion designer Eloise’s (Thomasin McKenzie) life become entangled with a woman from the 60s (Anya Taylor-Joy). The audience, along with Eloise, is lead to believe that Sandie is a murder victim, but it is later revealed that she is the murderer who targeted the men she was pimped to.

Despite an older Sandie also trying to kill Eloise, the latter is sympathetic to her motives, and it is understandable why. In the final scene, it is rewarding to see the long-suffering protagonist enjoying the fruits of success after the film’s turbulent events, with the spirit of Sandie by her side.

Orphan: First Kill (2022)

The recently released prequel to Jaume Collet-Serra’s 2009 horror Orphan sees Isabelle Furhman reprise her role as Esther, a woman who suffers from a pituitary disorder that makes her appear much younger than she is. The film has been well received by fans across Twitter.

Esther is the main antagonist in the first film, but her role shifts in Orphan: First Kill when the mother (Julia Stiles) is revealed to be the true antagonist. Although Esther is still the same manipulative, deceitful and dangerous character, audiences root for her when, in the climax, she succeeds in killing the family, despite it being known that she will go on to target a less deserving clan.

The Invitation (2022)

The story of The Invitation is inspired by Bram Stoker’s Dracula and even features characters from the 1897 novel. Nathalie Emmanuel stars as Evie, a woman who is taken in by her long-lost English relatives, invited to a wedding, and subsequently wooed by her host, who is later revealed to be a vampire.

Walter (Thomas Doherty) tricks Evie into consenting to be his bride, but against all odds, she is able to use her half-vampire powers to turn the tables, kill him, and thus set herself free. This in itself is enough to make one say “good for her”, but the film takes it further by ending with a scene that shows her returning for further revenge. It is refreshing to see female characters not only survive, but completely flip the power dynamic before the credits roll.

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