Jason Goes To Hell: The Final Friday
jason goes to hell: the final friday | friday the 13th | friday the 13th part 9 | friday the 13th part ix | adam marcus | dean lorey | jay huguely | john d. lemay | kari keegan | kane hodder | jason voorhees | fantasy | thriller | united states | slasher | sequel
Film: Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday
Director: Adam Marcus
Writer: Dean Lorey and Jay Huguely
Starring: John D. LeMay, Kari Keegan and Kane Hodder
Now I do have to admit, this film I saw a lot growing up. This one came out at the time when I was renting a lot. I’m pretty sure my sister and I rented this one quite a bit, so I’ll admit I have quite a bit of nostalgia for it. I did watch this about a year and half ago for a podcast Movie Channel, so this is my second time watching this with a more critical eye. The synopsis is serial killer Jason Voorhees’ (Kane Hodder) supernatural origins are revealed.
This film starts with Elizabeth Marcus (Julie Michaels) driving up to a cabin in the woods. The lights aren’t working so she goes to a shed for light bulbs. She is spooked though when the light goes out in the shed as well. She then goes upstairs to take a shower. She undresses and gets in, but the power goes out again. When she goes to see what the cause was, the door opens and then she is attacked by Jason. He manages to slice her, but she runs out into the woods.
She comes to a clearing and stops. When Jason appears, lights come on and a bunch of federal agents open fire on him. He is finally blown up. It turns out that Elizabeth is a FBI agent and that this was all a set up. Jason is now thought to be dead.
The body is taken to Youngstown, Ohio where an autopsy on the remains is to be done. The coroner in charge is Richard Gant. He begins the autopsy, but when he is checking out the heart, he starts beating. He looks at it and sees it moving. This sound and movement hypnotizes him until the point that he actually devours the heart. We then see lights entering him. His assistant comes back and he murders him. He also kills the two security guards and vanishes into the night.
We then shift to a news show, where the anchor Robert Campbell (Steven Culp) is reporting on these events. The question is posed, is Jason really dead? Culp interviews a bounty hunter, Creighton Duke (Steven Williams), who thinks that Jason is still alive and he is asking for a reward to kill him.
The film goes back to the town that has been plagued by him. The local diner is owned by Joey B. (Rusty Schwimmer). The guy she is seeing, Shelby (Leslie Jordan) also works there along with Vicki (Allison Smith) and Diana Kimble (Erin Gray) are also waitresses there. They both think it is in bad taste to exploit what has happened for profit. Joey won’t hear any of it. Duke is actually at the diner and tells Diana he knows her secret and asks for her help. She tells him that Jason is dead and she freaks out. She is dating Sheriff Ed Landis (Billy Green Bush), who gets supset with Duke and arrests him. Diana then talks to a guy sitting at the counter, Steven Freeman (John D. LeMay). He had a child with her daughter and tells him to come over that night at 11, she has a secret to tell him involving her daughter and their child.
When Diana gets home, she gets a call from Jessica (Kari Keegan), her daughter. She is telling her she will be out next weekend so she can meet her new boyfriend. Diana informs her about Steven coming over and Jessica wants him to see the child. The problem is that the call is ended short. Jason is able to jump bodies and is now in one of the local police officers. Steven shows up and tries to save Diana. The problem is that the possessed cop kills her. Steven becomes the prime suspect as he tries to stop this supernatural monster.
As most will know about me, the story is what really draws me into a movie. I can overlook a lot of things if this aspect of the film is well done. This film has problems that it ignores the previous film where Jason was killed in Manhattan, how did he end back up by Crystal Lake? I did read that there is a comic book that explains he went on a murder spree back hence why the FBI is on to him. That is plausible, but I would have liked that there to be something.
I’ve kind of already established this, but growing up; this was one of my favorite films. As an adult, I see all the flaws in it. I do like that this one tried to do something different with making Jason able to take over other bodies. I do not like that the rules don’t seem to be consistent. The one that really bothered was a cheap trick near the end where she doesn’t know who is possessed, but both of them can talk normally. None of the others had this ability. This one also adds other Voorhees family members we never heard of and a new mythology to Jason. I can’t hold that against the film too much, but that is the problem with sequels on a franchise that was never intended to run this long. I don’t mind this explaining how he has been able to live as long as he has, but there are issues with it. My biggest gripe is that if he can possess a Voorhees, his body will go back to what it was or the fact that when he walks past a mirror, he looks like his old self. I had issues with both of these.
I do have to say though; the pacing for this film is actually really good. It gets right into it with what happens at the cabin and we never really go too long without a death. Despite the flaws in the story and some things irking me, overall it keeps my attention and is actually quite entertaining. It can be a bit clunky, but I think that is due to some story elements were removed. That could have been fixed. I also don’t mind the ending and I do find it intriguing the Easter Eggs in this film from Evil Dead and Creepshow.
The acting in this one is subpar as well. LeMay doesn’t have the look of a hero, but he wasn’t horrible. He did overact at times and had some bad lines. I do like the growth of his character though for sure. Keegan was nice to look at and was probably one of the better points. Hodder is my favorite actor to play Jason, since I grew up with the films he played this role in. Williams is a good concept, but way too outrageous for me. It doesn’t make sense that he knows so much though. They establish him as an expert. I really liked Schwimmer and Jordan though, they cracked me up. There were quite a few good looking women and some nudity, so that doesn’t hurt either for a slasher like this.
I will say that a bright spot to this film was the effects. They were done practically and I thought they looked very realistic. This was one thing that I could take from this film that was well done. This one does have some computer effects, but that is mostly for the possession of the coroner and for the death sequence. Both were fine and the film is shot well overall.
Something else I really liked was that the soundtrack was done by Harry Manfredini. This one takes some of the iconic songs we are used to and updates them for this film. I’m a big fan of theme of this one and I think the songs he produced fit the scenes. They definitely helped to build the tension as well in my opinion.
This franchise is one of the best in the horror world and this film has a soft spot in my heart, but as an adult I can see how flawed this film is. It has a lot of plot-holes in it, but I will give the story credit for trying to do something new. The acting is fine with a couple good spots here and there. Hodder was solid as Jason for one. The effects were good, but there were slight issues with the editing. Score was actually one of the best spots for sure. I do feel that his is a popcorn film and is still enjoyable despite my lower rating. Don’t take this one seriously and just watch it for all the kills. I would only recommend to those that are fans of the series or bad horror.
My Rating: 4.5 out of 10