Megan Thee Stallion isn’t just sending lyrical messages through “Hiss.” She also used the video, directed by Douglas Bernardt, to convey that she plans to become the last girl standing, or in horror movie terms, the final girl. It’s a fitting reference for a woman who has been through as much as she has. However, given her background, she is the final girl who never should have been.
In 2020, the “Body” rapper named Tory Lanez as the person who shot her in the foot. Following the incident, Meg experienced a real life horror movie; people piled on her in a vitriolic whirlwind of victim blaming, attacked her character, and blamed her for the assault, all of which could have left her dead. While the subsequent trial concluded that chapter in her life, it didn’t stop people from attacking her, and at some point she was going to have to respond. That’s just how hip-hop works.
Enter “Hiss.” The song is full of bars for people like Nicki Minaj, Drake, Pardi and the cabal of bloggers and personalities who had something negative to say about her. However, in the video, she taps into her love of horror to showcase her strength by delivering the stark symbolism of walking through that red door as a nod to the Insidious movies.
In the Insidious movies, the door is a portal between the living world and the demon world. The gist in the movies is that people who go through the door either get caught by the demons or triumph over them.
The final girl in horror is a long standing concept that references the last woman standing. The term was created by Carol J. Clover, a college professor and author of Men, Women, and Chainsaws: Gender in the Modern Horror Film. In her book, she explores the theory that the final girl exists within patriarchal constructs. Stereotypically, and for a long time in horror movie history, final girls were all women who, through a patriarchal lens, did what women are supposed to do according to society. These are women who had no vices. They were virginal, didn’t drink or do drugs, and symbolically, making it to the end of the film as the last girl left spoke to them as deserving of that merit because of their hard work being good. Final girls have also historically been white. The latter has changed in pop culture, but the foundation of the trope at its core is about “the right girl” coming out on top.
Megan Thee Stallion flips the trope on its head in real life because she’s not a virgin and has publicly engaged in other vices like twerking, drinking and hard partying, but none of the above negates the fact that she was traumatized by the violence she has experienced. In “Hiss,” she uses the red door to signify that she is brave and ready to move forward, out of the darkness. She is the final girl in reverse — a Black woman who did all the wrong things, according to society’s standards, but had the gall to fight back and survive.
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