Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter

01/16/2020 06:23

Film: Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter

Year: 1984

Director: Joseph Zito

Writer: Barney Cohen

Starring: Erich Anderson, Judie Aronson and Peter Barton



Now this was one of the Friday the 13th films I saw a lot growing up. This one always seemed to be on the movie channels and when this started, I settled right in like putting on a familiar outfit for sure. The synopsis is after being mortally wounded and taken to the morgue, murderer Jason Voorhees (Ted White and Tom Savini) spontaneously revives and embarks on a killing spree as he makes his way back to his home at Camp Crystal Lake.

We start this right where the previous film ended. Jason is dead in the barn and he’s loaded into an ambulance and taken to the hospital. There we get to meet a nurse and the morgue attendant, Axel (Bruce Mahler). The two of them have been sleeping together, but she’s getting fed up with him. Morgan (Lisa Freeman) is the nurse and she gets spooked when Jason’s hand falls off the table and touches her. These become his first two victims here as he wakes up and makes his way back to his home.

It then introduces us to our cast for this film. There’s a family where the mother is going through a divorce. She is Mrs. Jarvis (Joan Freeman). Her daughter is Trish (Kimberly Beck) and son is Tommy (Corey Feldman). Coming to stay for the weekend is a group of 6 people. There’s Samantha (Judie Aronson) who is seeing Paul (Clyde Hayes). There’s also Doug (Peter Barton) who is seeing Sara (Barbara Howard). Then finally we have Ted (Lawrence Monoson) and Jimmy Mortimer (Crispin Glover). These two guys are single and end up meeting twins on the way to the lake, Tina (Camilla More) and Terri (Carey More). Trish and Tommy meet Rob (Erich Anderson) who helps them with their car trouble and tells them he’s there to hunt bears. Trish takes a liking to him as does Tommy.

That night is starts to rain as Jason picks them off one by one. In typical slasher fashion, they don’t realize it as they go off for various different reasons and Rob might be there for something more than what he’s letting on.

As I said, I really have a found spot for this one as it seemed that this one and the next part of what is now dubbed the Jarvis Trilogy. Trying to temper my nostalgia a bit, I came into this with a critical eye and can say that I still dig it. We get an interesting group of characters that are diverse and I actually feel connections with them before they start to get picked off if I’m going to be perfectly honest. If you can do that, you have me on board, especially in a slasher.

I love that this one picks up where the last one left off. I don’t think that it really violates any continuity here from what we got in the past so that’s something else that I like. As a story guy, I want to you continue on. This one also did give us a good point where we’ve killed off the human form of Jason if they wanted to end it here. This shouldn’t come as a spoiler though that it isn’t in that we’ve gotten 7 more from this as well as a remake.

I think that the pacing of it is really good as well. It doesn’t waste any time establishing that this starts right after the other. I do find it interesting that it takes a couple days for Jason to get back to his home so this doesn’t take place on a Friday the 13th. To be honest, if my memory serves, only the first one does as these are all within like 3 month period. After the death starts, I think it goes into a solid slasher where we periodically get more kills and the tension builds as the survivors realize that everyone is being picked off. I was down for how this ends as well.

From here I want to shift to the acting, which I think is pretty strong for the most part. I think a lot of this is from the character development though. Feldman is interesting as I don’t feel he’s the main character until near the end. I like that they establish he’s into making monster masks as it fits for what he does at the end in defeating Jason. I also like Anderson’s reveal as things progress. It is an interesting aspect to the film for sure. I like that we get the opposite characters in Aronson and Howard, with one has a reputation and the other is a prude. Glover has low self-esteem as his girlfriend recently broke up with him and his best friend Monoson is over confident. I think they do really well in establishing all of this. There’s some overacting, but it’s also a slasher so I’m not looking for Oscar worthy performances.

That will take me next to the effects, which I knew that Savini came back to kill off Jason. He was infamously known that he thought the original was going to be a one off and didn’t understand how Jason could be the killer. We get some great kills that look real with how good he is at practical effects. I love the staging of the bodies as well that are done after they’re dead. The cinematography is well done in my opinion and I have no issues there.

The final thing to cover is the soundtrack. Harry Manfredini is back to do the score and although, this isn’t my favorite in the series, it is still really good. We get a lot of the iconic theme song that we hear in a lot of them to build tension. He does that really well here and it really fits for what was needed.

Now with that said, I understand that this has some flaws. This is really one of my favorites though in the series if I’m going to be honest. Part of that comes from the nostalgia, but I think we get some really distinct characters that I feel bad for as Jason is picking them off. We get good kills, it is paced in a way where it does waste time and gets tense as we go. The effects look great from Savini and although not the best soundtrack in series, I think it really still is solid. This could have ended the series, but I don’t blame them for continuing from here to start the Jarvis trilogy. I find this to be good movie for sure.


My Rating: 8 out of 10