It’s been quite some time since I’ve done a “throwback” review. I’m in the process of clearing out my DVR and had a few Friday the 13th films on there. I’d fully intended on releasing this review a couple of weeks ago ON Friday the 13th, but life got in the way.
Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter was directed by Joseph Zito and is the fourth installment in the Friday the 13th franchise. It is a direct sequel to Friday the 13th Part III and tells how Jason Voorhees returns to Crystal Lake and continues his killing spree on a family and a group of neighboring teenagers after being revived. It stars Corey Feldman as Tommy Jarvis, Ted White as Jason, Kimberly Beck as Tommy’s sister Trish, and in one of his first roles, Crispin Glover.
Initially it was supposed to end the series which is why it is titled “The Final Chapter”. The film’s success of nearly $33 million at the box office with a $2.6 milion budget lead to a sequel, Friday the 13th Part V: A New Beginning the following year. Check our my review of A New Beginning here.
SPOILER ALERT: This review WILL talk openly about the plot of the film. We’re 30 years removed from its release so I feel rather confident that if you wanted to see it you would have. If not go check it out first and come on back afterword.
Plot & Thoughts
The night after the events of Friday the 13th Part III, paramedics clean up the remains left by Jason Voorhees and deliver him to the county morgue. Jason is (naturally) not actually dead and he escapes the morgue after dispatching a couple of workers in epic fashion. The following day, a group of teens (stupid teenagers) have rented for the weekend and meet their neighbors the Jarvis’ Trish and her brother Tommy. Skinny dipping happens, a car breaking down happens and a party with sex and drugs happens.
Let’s be honest, that’s really all you need from a plot perspetive right?
We get some really inventive and gory kills in this installment including a corkscrew to the hand followed by a cleaver to the face for Crispin Glover, an assisted skydive through a second story window, a kitchen knife through the back of the skull, a caved in face, an axe to the chest and a partridge in a pear tree.
We do get the introduction of Tommy Jarvis in this film played here by Corey Feldman. I’ve always been a fan of characters that they bring back from movie to movie in this franchise and Tommy is about the only one that makes it more than one installment. During the final battle, Tommy disguises himself to look like Jason as a child and distracts him long enough for Trish knock off Jason’s mask revealing his face. As Jason turns back Tommy takes the machete and jams it in the side of Jason’s skull and he collapses to the floor with the machete sliding deeper into his skull. Tommy and Trish hug and Tommy notices Jason’s fingers twitching and he takes the machete and begins to hacks him to pieces screaming, “Die! Die!” It’s creepy as fuck.
I won’t bury the lead. This is a strong recommend from me. I’ve never sat down and taken the time to rank my all time favorite Friday the 13th flick the way Xina did but this would near the top of the list for sure. (Xina put it as her #1) When I did my Favorite Horror Films of 1984, this was #2 on the list behind only the iconic A Nightmare On Elm Street. That should tell you how much I enjoy The Final Chapter. This has all of the blood and gore that you’d expect from a 80’s slasher film and it’s where Jason really starts to hone his craft. It also had the first appearance of Tommy Jarvis which is a great recurring character in the franchise that I really appreciate. The Tommy character goes on to appear in two other films (A New Beginning and Jason Lives) and never dies!
Pick up your own copy of Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter on Amazon in several formats!
Have you seen Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter? Leave us a comment with your thoughts!