Ha…the final chapter!? Yep, this was supposedly going to be the final Friday the 13th movie. I think the 6 movies that follow suggest otherwise.
Opting to open with, not just the usual re-cap of the last movie but a re-cap of all 3 previous movies it’s clear that the hockey mask that only appeared in the 3rd is being embraced from this point on!
Continuing on from the 3rd movie Jason is supposedly dead & his body is taken to a local morgue. Why no-one has checked if he is actually dead (pulse/breathing) eludes me but it’s not long before he is up, killing the sex-starved mortician & the nurse. It’s for the best as the dialogue between these two is just awful.
Early on it’s clear that the gore & effects have taken a step up, these 2 opening deaths are impressive & nasty.
The next day, another Friday the 13th movie so another group of teens on their way to hang out at a cabin in the Camp Crystal Lake area. Possibly the most unmemorable group of the entire series so far it’s quickly established that they are a bunch of annoying, horny idiots. A hitchhiker that they ignore is dispatched without a word said to show that Jason has returned to the area as well. I mean where else is he going to go!?
Focus in this movie is actually on a family that already lives in the area, next door to where the ‘Jason fodder’ is staying & interestingly enough one part of this family is a young boy, Tommy (Corey Feldman) alongside his bored sister, Trish & their mother.
Like all Friday the 13th movies it’s not long before the teens are skinny-dipping with a pair of twins they just met & inviting Trish to a party later that night. Trish & Tommy then meet Rob, the first really interesting character to enter the series so far. Rob claims to be there hunting bears but something about his manner seems off & it’s pretty clear he has an interest in the Jason story.
Night comes…the party is in full swing as we watch some of the worst dancing ever & awkward sexual advances. The men are an awful bunch of people willing to sell each other out for the slightest sniff of a shag. I got sick of hearing the insult ‘dead fuck’, it’s used so much that you’ll want to reach into the TV & punch anyone who says it.
A late night lone swim starts Jason’s nightly rampage off…I mean, its pitch dark & probably cold. Who goes for a swim? 4 movies in & these clichés are becoming less forgivable. That & the poor jump-scares!
Jason rampages through the house resulting in some varied & gory deaths; it’s a lot of fun.
A nice side story regarding Rob being the brother of one of the girls killed in a previous movie & wanting revenge is wasted when he gets killed by Jason in lacklustre fashion. The best bit being Rob’s declaration that Jason is killing him… “He’s killing me, he’s killing me”. That was hilarious.
Trish, having left Tommy alone at home manages to escape Jason’s attacks & even mounts a decent fightback resulting in a ‘real face’ Jason moment!
Cornered by the maniac it all looks to be over for Trish until Tommy comes up with the genius idea of shaving his head to make himself look like young Jason (having seen pictures of the boy amongst Rob’s stuff). This is enough to distract Jason & allow Trish to get him down…Tommy then goes to town on Jason battering him over & over again. It’s trying to imply that Tommy is going a bit psycho but I saw it as Tommy was making sure Jason was dead, that fucker keeps getting back up after all…funny that the smartest character across 4 movies is the child!
Still in case you weren’t sure that Tommy might be a bit disturbed a final scene in the hospital between him & Trish confirms this but at least we didn’t get another fake-out jump scare!
The best thing about The Final Friday is the gore, it flows here & deaths seem way more painful than they’ve ever done before. Jason is the king of variety & he flexes those muscles excellently here, it’s a lot of fun to see Crispin Glover (for those Back to the Future fans) take a corkscrew to the hand before getting a cleaver slammed in his face!
The film has some of the best acting of the series but everyone is out-shined by the young Corey Feldman who does a great job of seeing the boy within the monster & taking advantage of that. Ultimately as much as this was called The Final Friday the ending with his crazy pounding on Jason was clearly designed to set up a potential sequel.
An improvement over what has come before…just. I’m used to films claiming to be the final of the series & not actually ending (Friday will do this again later) so it’s not really a big deal. Happily Friday Part 4 is very entertaining & doesn’t over-stay its welcome.
Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter