Friday, 13 October 2017

Happy Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter (1984)

Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter is a 1984 slasher movie. Directed by Jospeh Zito (The Prowler) and starring Corey Feldman (Gremlins, The Lost Boys), Kimberley Beck and Crispin Glover (Willard). The film was intended to be the last instalment in the franchise, however, a further 6 sequels would be produced.

The film picks up right where part 3 left off with the action moving to a local hospital that Jason's body has been brought to (suspiciously similar to the plot of Halloween 2). In typical fashion, Jason Voorhees rises from the dead and resumes his killing spree. Meanwhile, a group of horny teenagers make their way to Camp Crystal Lake where, oddly, there is also a local family living including young horror nerd Tommy Jarvis (Feldman). Jason returns to the camp like a homing pigeon and begins dispatching the teens in familiar style, only Tommy seems to have an understanding of what makes Jason tick and uses his youthful wits to defeat Jason once and for all.

The idea of an 80s slasher franchise stopping after 4 films seems laughable now but in 1984 the genre was already starting to wane and the video nasty furore was putting much unwanted heat on the producers of slashers. Therefore, this was to be the end of Jason Voorhees at the hands of a troubled young boy no less, true poetic justice. You could certainly consider this the last of the classic Friday the 13th films as, when the series hilariously returned less than a year later, something had certainly been lost (namely Voorhees himself).

The final chapter is good 80s slasher fun with all the archetypes intact, Feldman gives the star performance in what would be the first of many iconic horror roles that decade with Glover also playing an entertainingly nerdy character. There had been inclusions of horror kids in the franchise before but Feldman gives a really authentic perfiormance that certainly drew me in when I watched this as a young horror nerd. The kills and gore are on top form due to Tom Savini returning to the franchise, and director Zito was also no stranger to violence after his own controversial slasher The Prowler (1981).

The Final Chapter was not the last we would see of Jason Voorhees, and i'm grateful for that. It doesn't even really have any finality about it but it is a lot of fun and sees the continuation of a horror icon that, in fairness, had only aquired his famous hockey mask one movie prior. The most many people have seen of this movie is Crispin Glover's famous, and bizarre, dancing, but it's worth a watch to see Jason Voorhees dispatching Horny teens in his prime.

**** 4 stars

Have you seen The Final Chapter? Are you glad they continued the series?


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