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Film Review: Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter
In 1984, Joseph Zito released Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter, the fourth film in the Friday the 13thseries. Starring Kimberly Beck, Erich Anderson, Corey Feldman, Jan Freeman, Barbara Howard, Peter Barton, Lawrence Monoson, Crispin Glover, Judie Aronson, Alan Hayes, Camilla More, Carey More, Bruce Mahler, Lisa Freeman, Bonnie Hellman, and Ted White, the film grossed $32.9 million at the box office.
The police and paramedics are at Higgins Haven and taking all the bodies to the morgue, including that of Jason Voorhees. However, as soon as he’s put on ice, Voorhees comes back to life and continues his killing spree. This time, his targets are near Camp Crystal Lake where the Jarvis family lives.
Originally meant to be the grand sendoff to the series, Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter is a pretty decent film. Here, Jason goes a little bit farther than Camp Crystal Lake and continues killing in the surrounding area after taking out the medical examiners in the morgue. What’s more is that instead of having the group of teenagers be the main protagonists of the film, the audience is given a bit of a swerve when it’s revealed that Tommy Jarvis has become the main protagonist. It all comes together to be a fascinating entry and since it was supposed to be a sort of series finale, Jason does end up getting taken out in a rather brutal and satisfying manner. Though it didn’t end up being the last in the franchise, it was a great attempt by the filmmakers to make the statement that Jason definitely wasn’t going to be coming back. If the line of films had stopped here, it would have been the perfect ending point.
The characters are pretty interesting in this film as well, considering no one in the main group of teenagers is a protagonist at this point. In doing that, the film just decides to throw out any characterization for them and turn them into sex crazed morons because the actual protagonist of this film is a little kid who’s seen and enjoyed too many horror movies. Further, the idea Tommy has to distract and kill Jason is an incredibly good one, almost on the level of Ginny pretending to be Jason’s mother. Here, Tommy shaves his head and pretends to be Jason as a child and asking him to remember. Tommy’s not the only good character in this film either as Rob is memorable as well. The brother of Sandra from the second film, he’s come to avenge her and has the knowledge that anyone in the area can be a target. Yet, even though he has that knowledge, and a gun to back it up, he still winds up getting killed.
Jason continues to be a great villain as he’s once again this unstoppable killing force that’s only beaten because of Tommy’s idea that he might be susceptible to remembering his childhood. What’s really remarkable is just how Tommy ends up killing him. As usual with the series, Jason is downed and the film sets up for his final scare before being dispatched permanently. Here though, Tommy knows his horror movies and once he sees Jason’s fingers twitching, he decides to not let Jason get up and instead stabs him over and over just to make sure that he won’t be getting up any time soon. In fact, if this film had a flaw, it would be that this sequence goes on for a little bit too long and becomes overkill. However, at the same time, it makes sense that the film would show in full someone’s attempts to make sure that Jason won’t be getting back up because of both his reputation and how many people he’s killed to earn that.
Speaking of those kills, the film once more gets creative and makes them some of the best part of the movie. Take the scene after Jimmy decides he wants some wine after sleeping with Tina. He has the bottle, but can’t find the corkscrew. Turns out Jason has it and uses it to pin Jimmy’s hand before putting a meat cleaver in his face. Jason’s strength is also demonstrated with one of the kills when he crushes Doug’s skull in the shower with only his hands.