Directed by: Joseph Zito
Cast: Erich Anderson, Judie Aronson, Peter Barton, Kimberly Beck, Corey Feldman
I’ve long felt as though Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter was the most refined film in the franchise (prior to the ’09 reboot). The story is familiar, but well layered, and the violence is about as graphic as it got in the early-80s. There are an assortment of memorable characters (more so than in any other installment) and one of the most gratifying finales in the franchise.
The only thing that’s missing from this picture is mystery, and after the first two films, that angle could no longer be applied with effectiveness (it’s attempted – to some degree – in the fifth series film). When you think about it, the first film was more of an outright murder mystery than a soulless copycat. The second held an air of intrigue because we really didn’t know what to expect of Jason Voorhees. From there on, Friday has been a mystery-free franchise.
It’s a good thing The Final Chapter tries to do a few different things, like making the picture more personal. There’s a lot of time dedicated to character development, and that’s something that often goes neglected in the world of Jason Voorhees. There’s a complete, subplot that actually makes sense, and that’s something else that often fails to accompany Friday flicks.
The Final Chapter gets all of those things right. But those aren’t the only home-runs in waiting. Tom Savini handles the gore gags, and he actually turns in some of his absolute finest work. It’s a really nasty picture when you start to examine each death scene, and that’s a big reason so many of us have ridden this train from the beginning. It isn’t classy, but it goes big when it counts. And the nudity flows in abundance keeping the teenage crowd plenty satisfied as the body count climbs.
This is one of the Friday the 13th flicks to genuinely cherish. It’s good everywhere, and it introduces the most important character in the entire franchise not named Voorhees, Tommy Jarvis, who for the record, is played with perfection by an extremely young Corey Feldman. He’s a quirky kid with a passion for creature designs.
When you’re lining up binge sessions and you’re isolating your Friday plans, stick with the first four films of this franchise. If you’re pushing the boundaries, throw in the reboot for good brainless fun.