Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter
Dir. Joseph Zito (1984)
Jason returns from the dead after being taken to the morgue, heading back to Camp Crystal Lake to stalk another group of not-so-innocent victims.
The horniest Friday the 13th movie picks up immediately where the previous chapter left off, with Jason Voorhees being carted to the morgue after being left for dead by Part III's Final Girl. A new bunch of teens are headed to the lake, of course, but this time they are renting a house next door to an unsuspecting local family. With a bit more (future) starpower, including a young Corey Feldman and Crispin Glover, Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter is the best-acted film in the series so far and has some interesting additions to the lore of the Crystal Lake killer.
Having abandoned all pretext of the teenage victims actually having a job as camp counselors, F13 TFC is just a collection of randy victims stumbling from one sexual encounter to another while being slowly and silently stalked by the recently resurrected Jason. As he picks them off one by one with whatever blunt (or sharp) object is within reach, brother and sister Trish (Kimberly Beck) and Tommy (Feldman) try their best to survive after their mother goes missing. Trish is the first full-on badass of the series, fighting with everything from a claw hammer to a television set to take Jason down. The film is teased as The Final Chapter, of course, so Jason gets an awe-inspiring end that is nothing short of spectacular.
The gore is pretty good in the film, and the kills are getting increasingly creative. The acting, as I mentioned above, is pretty decent as well. The Final Chapter does provide a nice closure to the story, though of course the franchise runners didn't take the hint. Not that I'm complaining: more slashers is always a good thing. The updated mask for Jason makes him look like even more of a badass, and Ted White's portrayal of the masked monster is downright perfection. While the movie itself is much more of a dumb sex comedy mixed with a rudimentary stalk-and-slash, it elevates itself by being one of the best that ever does it, combining interesting and impressive kills with a modern Jason model that exceeds those presented by any film in the series so far.
The Final Chapter falls short of being a good movie, of course, but it achieves its purpose of being wildly entertaining to the best of its ability. New director Joseph Zito does a great job with the film, making a film that looks mildly like the originals with an updated film, despite releasing just a year after the previous film. It's definitely interesting how close these movies are to each other, with a new entry in the series every single year until after the sixth installment. While one could argue that the filmmakers eventually wore out Jason's welcome, it definitely hasn't occurred at this point in the franchise. The Final Chapter is fun, bloody, and Corey Feldman-y in all the right ways.
Who this movie is for: Slasher lovers, Jumpscare fans, Corey Haim
Bottom line: The most Friday the 13th of all of the Friday the 13th films so far, The Final Chapter is a delightfully fun slasher that doesn't seek to do any more than it has to to entertain the audience. With lots of blood and even more sex, TFC is arguably the best of the bunch at this point in the series. It doesn't hold the cultural significance of the cult classic original, but it's got a badass Jason and a squirrely Final Girl that make it a must-watch for fans of the series.