Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter (1984)

Movie Title: Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter

Year Released: 1984

Rated: R

Runtime: 1h 31min

Genre: Horror

Director: Joseph Zito

Writer: Barney Cohen (based upon characters created by Victor Miller, Ron Kurz, Carol Watson, Martin Kitrosser & Sean S. Cunningham)

Starring: Erich Anderson, Judie Aronson, Peter Barton, Kimberly Beck, Tom Everett, Corey Feldman, Joan Freeman, Lisa Freeman, Thad Geer, Crispin Glover, Wayne Grace, Clyde Hayes, Bonnie Hellman, Frankie Hill, Barbara Howard, Bruce Mahler, Lawrence Monoson, Camilla More, Carey More, Antony Ponzini, Ted White

Review: After his 3-Dimensional demise in Friday the 13th Part III (1982), hockey-masked horror icon Jason Voorhees returns to Camp Crystal Lake to continue his killing spree. But this time around he must take on twins, a former victim's brother seeking revenge, Crispin Glover's spastic dance moves, and a precocious Corey Feldman! I don't know about you, but I think Jason's done for. After all the title of the movie is: Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter.

As I've mentioned in a previous review for Part 3, the Friday the 13th franchise has a formula as old as the hills. Unmemorable horny teens are in the woods up to no good and the menacing Jason stealthily kills them off one-by-one. And that's about it. But, I must say, Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter shakes things up just enough to make this one arguably the best of the entire franchise. I know that's not a high bar, but it really make a huge difference.

This time around the victims, I mean the characters, are fleshed out enough, some of them leave next to nothing to the imagination, and have enough personality for us to distinguish them from one another and get us to root for some to actually survive the murderous mayhem that is guaranteed to ensue. Going in we know that the teens are doomed, but this time we have the nearby family, the Jarvis family (Joan Freeman, Kimberly Beck and Corey Feldman), that are in Jason's path. This is new to the series - and creates a nemesis for Jason in future installments - but is Jason evil enough to kill a loving family? It certainly adds to the suspense.

The teen characters each have their own quirks, subplots, and characteristics, that makes them distinct and memorable, especially Crispin Glover's Jimmy, who dances like a squirrel is crawling up his pant leg. His dance scene is probably what this movie is most remembered for - and rightfully so. It's amazingly bizarre, hilarious, and mesmerizing. The movie is worth watching just to see Glover dance. Trust me!

Now, one of the other perks of Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter is that Jason's creator and gore guru Tom Savini is back to create the special makeup effects that set this franchise apart from over-zealous offerings of slasher flicks that dominated the early 1980s. Savini gets creative with the various deaths and really goes for broke when it comes to vanquishing Jason once and for all. The effects are the other big reason to check this one out!

Also, this one is certainly more suspenseful, cleverly edited, moody, and stylish with its subject matter that the previous three films. I know. It's a Friday the 13th movie, how good could it be? This one is actually the best, in my opinion. Most of them are boring and you're just wait for Jason to show up and do what he does best, but this time you get better characters, better kills, and a Jason than is the most menacing, well, until Kane Hodder took over the role.

Oh, yeah, what about Jason? Jason is played, uncredited, by veteran stuntman Ted White - and he is awesome! He a big, scary, malevolent monster that truly made this character iconic with this movie. The scene alone where he burst into the house and attacks young Tommy Jarvis (Feldman) is as frightening as it gets.

If you've never seen a Friday the 13th flick let this be your first, and only one. I do enjoy the franchise, but this is the one that I always come back to. So come to Camp Crystal Lake for an intimidating Jason, bloodcurdling kills, plenty of nudity, and dance moves that Elaine Benes would be jealous of. Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter has it all!

Stars (out of 4):

Fun Fact: The strange dance performed by actor Crispin Glover and was based on the eccentric way he actually danced in clubs. On the set he was dancing to "Back in Black" by AC/DC as the scene was filmed. In the film however an edited version of "Love Is a Lie" by Lion was dubbed into the scene.


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