This week, we played The Final Girl by Bret Gillan in which we played a group staying overnight at a haunted house to win a radio contest. Whoever is still in the house come 7am will win $10,000, with questions about the house used as tiebreakers if more than one lasts. Our cast includes Mavis, the naive mystery lover; Lind, a barber who acts spontaneously; Fiona, a pushy real estate agent; Toolman Todd, an upbeat handyman; Dyna, video gamer and cynic; Bob, a true believer in the paranormal; Mara, a stereotypically timid librarian; Veronica, sceptic and realist; Heidi, a bodybuilder; Powell, a fastidious cashier; Jim, an upstanding local college athlete; and representing the station, snarky radio DJ, Ragin Rick.
Our story begins with Rick welcoming the contestants in the house’s ballroom for a quick cocktail hour at which Rick messes with Mavis, Heidi, and Bob and Bob & Mavis make a connection through their shared belief. In the foyer, near a pair of massive staircases and a large fireplace, Dyna and Mara almost connect through their shared Mario Bros. ringtone. Mara apologizes to everyone, but Lind spends his time antagonizes Veronica and Dyna. In the backyard garden, Fiona and Todd discuss what it would take to restore this house if she were going to sell it. Powell joins them outside to escape her dust allergies, and Jim impresses Fiona with his forthrightness. Later, Mara and Powell go upstairs and find a library. As they try to open the window to let in some air, the dust begins to swirl into a small dervish that surrounds the two until their lungs fill with dust. At last, they collapse dead on the floor.
Jim, Todd, and Heidi are exploring the conservatory when a garden hose snakes around Jim’s leg, but he wrestles himself free. A large piece of the roof falls in, smashing Todd as glass shards impale him. A rake flies off the wall at Heidi, who sidesteps just in time. A pair of garden gloves crawl up Jim’s back and begin choking him; as he tries to rip them off, they snap his neck. Heidi manages to escape and goes to warn everyone else. Meanwhile, in the kitchen, Veronica is interrogating Rick about what tricks the station has planned for them, but he insists the house is haunted, pointing out its history of death and fear. As they talk, old rusted kitchen knives come flying off the wall at each of them but embed in the wall, and cast iron pots come crashing down but miss Rick. As Veronica heads for the door, a pipe bursts through the floor, causing her to slip and smash her head on the tile floor. Rick also slips on the floor but luckily falls forward and slides out of the kitchen. Another group in the foyer hear a scream and wonder if it’s a special effect. Dyna and Mavis head out of the room to check it out, leaving Fiona and Lind near the fireplace. A massive flame comes flying out of the fireplace, singeing Fiona and Lind as they step away. As Dyna and Mavis cross the room, they begin to sink into the carpet, which is slowly sucking them inside until they’re gone and the carpet returns to normal.
Lind, Rick, Heidi, and Bob gather upstairs in the children’s room. Bob is fascinated by all the happenings, closely watches a crayon writing on the wall, and is almost killed when a rocket ship falls from the ceiling. Scissors come flying at Lind’s neck but misses him. Sweaters come flying out the closet, wrapping around Rick, but he balls them up and throws them onto the floor. The sweaters form up into an animated scarecrow and go after Heidi, who grabs a hobbyhorse to smash them before they get to her. The broken horse gallops after Bob, using its teeth to rip his throat out. As Lind watches what is happening to Bob, the horse’s rockers fly up and stab him.
Rick, Heidi, and Fiona gather in a poolroom, trying to find an exit. As they cross the room, a huge water spout flies up from the floor. It sucks up Fiona and flings her across the room, but she rises, coughing out the water. It goes after Rick too but collapses as it gets too far from the pool. A tarp attacks Heidi, but she catches and balls it up before it can get her. It grabs at Fiona and pulls her into the water. She swims to the edge and slips away as the water turns its attention to Rick; a wave grabs him, pulls him to the bottom and crushes him. The pool’s lane divider wraps around Heidi, tightening as she struggles until she can’t breathe. As another wave comes for her one last time, Fiona holds up her cross while reciting the Lord’s Prayer, louder and louder, and the wave collapses and the room turning silent. Fiona runs out of the house into the street, where she gets in her car and drives away.