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

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Doctor Omega

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Your thoughts on this movie.......

After being mortally wounded and taken to the morgue, murderer Jason Voorhees spontaneously revives and embarks on a killing spree as he makes his way back to his home at Camp Crystal Lake.

On to the next movie.....


Back to the previous movie......

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Please feel free to share your views/reviews of this the 4th chapter in the Friday the 13th series.
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This will contain SPOILERS!

So the movie begins with a nice montage of the events of the first 3 movies, tied together by Paul's telling of the tale from Part 2.
I think it works really well to get the audience up to speed and showcases some of the more interesting deaths. I'm not too keen on the explosion when the subtitle appears but that is something that they've been doing since Part 2 I think.

We then pick up directly from the events of Part 3 with Jason's body being packed off to the morgue. I really like the lingering shot in silence on the barn after all the emergency services have left. After all the events that went on there it is now back to being just a barn.

The hospital sequence has become a bit of a horror trope, especially for sequels. The killer wakes up in the morgue to continue his killing spree in a new location. Most recently it has been used in See No Evil 2 (2014) and a similar situation in Cold Prey 2 (2008). Even Michael Myers went to a hospital in Halloween 2 (1981) (although making his own way there) but that preceded this movie.

The first death of the film is pretty impressive. Axel the Coroner has his neck cut into by a bonesaw and then wrenched around. The second death of Nurse Morgan is less effective, it is pretty much just a stabbing while Jason holds her up. He does seem to then try to cut her in half with the scalpel but the scene ends abruptly.

After this detour we are back on familiar territory. Lakeside with horny teens but this time we also have a family thrown in.
The first notable character is Tommy Jarvis, most likely now because it is Corey Feldman. It is the first time I think we have a child in the main cast. I've always like Feldman he never comes across as an annoying child actor. His reactions at watching Sam and Paul through the window seems pretty authentic of a kid that age, excited to watch but not quite knowing how to express it.

After this we meet another familiar face, Jimmy played by Crispin Glover. He is lamenting his poor track record with women.
The group stop to check directions to see a very clear gravestone for one Pamela Voorhees. I do wonder who erected this, I don't think it would have been Jason. Also is it complete, is the head we see in part 2 now in there?
Jimmy is accompanied by 5 friends so our pool of victims is building nicely. Ted seems like a bit of a cock, I did find his computer impression pretty amusing though.
They do also run into a hitchhiker who is quickly dispatched by Jason for kill number 3. It's a bit dull but I guess stabbing through the neck from behind harks back to Kevin Bacon's death in the first movie.

The group then run into twins Terri and Tina with Jimmy and Ted seeing the possibilities. It seems like Jimmy does eventually join in with the skinny dipping as we see him stripping down just before Trish and Tommy arrive (what is it with this movie and characters beginning with T?)
Sam's trick on Sara is pretty good as we have seen deaths below piers before in the series and her eyes as she float by are pretty effective. It does seem, especially when it is used for Rob Dier's arrival, that the violin screeching is being used at every opportunity.

Dier is interesting, he clearly has a mission from the beginning, showing great interest for who is around the lake. I do like his interactions with Tommy. He seems really impressed with Tommy's masks and Tommy enjoys showing off his kit.

Jimmy's dancing must be the most played clip from this movie. I think it works and makes sense, it is clearly music only he is into by the reaction of the others. I imagine that is how he dances to it on his own in his room, rocking out. Terri doesn't seem to mind and joins in to some degree. He also shows he can do the slow numbers later on.
It does make it odd that in the next scene he is looking so glum in the kitchen. He does come off as a bit of a cock when he moans to Ted that he didn't get "the hot one", of the twins. Though I am glad he finally shuts Ted up, shoving his computer shtick back in his face.
He does end up going upstairs with "the hot one" Tina. I guess once Paul leaves to seek out Tina she just goes of the next guy who was being shown female attention.

Sam has decided to go for a swim on her own (I am not complaining) leaving Paul to Tina. It's been about 25 minutes but death number 4 is ok, we know Jason is going to pop up, I guess bringing the knife from below makes it a bit different as does Sam's face. The discovery isn't particularly well done as it could have give us a chance a great reveal. The fifth killing, of Paul, is at least a bit memorable as Jason decides to fire a harpoon gun point blank into his crotch.

Dier goes investigating the scream carrying a machete. I couldn't help thinking this might not end well for him given that is Jason's now iconic weapon. But death number six turns out to be Terri, killed in silhouette and then pushed against a door. It's a crappy death.
Quickly following this Tommy's mum Tracy (more T's) goes out in the rain to search for their dog. It's dark and it's raining and she doesn't even take a flashlight. I can't remember when or if she dies at this point so I am going to guess her surprise is the dog is dead.

Like mother like daughter Trish also goes for a wander in the rain without a light. It makes even less sense with her as she gets to Dier's tent and just stops, I don't she really went looking for her mother at all. Dier decides to ruin his own tent assuming Jason has to be the one sitting there perhaps with a wig on. I had to go back to find out who Dier's sister was, she was the one that got turned into a kebab with her boyfriend Jeff while having sex in Part 2.

Continued in Part 2.....
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Part 2 (Also contains SPOILERS!)

At least after Jimmy's success with Tina, Ted seems genuinely please for him. Ted seems almost insanely enthralled with the old movies. Jimmy gets a decent death first getting his hand impaled on a corkscrew and then a nice effect of a knife to the face for number 7. Jason is in full flow going immediately for kill number 8 as he takes out Tina by throwing her out of a window onto a car. The effect of the windows blowing out is probably a tad over the top but it is pretty impressive.

Ted's time is also up as distracted and blinded by the projector he gets a knife to the back of his head for kill number 9. It's a fairly routine kill. I did expect the kill to come from in front as Ted would be unable to see who it was approaching so I guess it surprised me with that.
Doug's death is pretty brutal with Jason seeming to break his upper jaw and then force it back into the rest of his skull. The crunching of the bones and the bulging eye made this one pretty effective a good death number 10.
Sara's death caught me quite off guard with the axe coming through the door for number 11.

The way it is cut, it could have looked like Tommy had thrown the axe down at her, as it immediately goes to him coming down the stairs (although it would be in her back). The film wrings out another attempted jump scare when Dier punches out the door glass. Surely this was unnecessary as wouldn't Trish have a key or at least shouted to her brother?
Having now compromised the security of the house Tommy is in, Trish attempts to ring for help but Jason rips out the box. I suppose it would be too much to question how Jason even is aware of phone lines and what part this box would play? I guess he could have picked it up as a kid prior to the drowning or after, in his downtime between Friday the 13th's.
Anyway turns out I was wrong about the dog as Trish and Dier now leave Tommy alone to investigate the teen's house. It is clear something has happened but all the bodies seem to have been removed (I wonder what he does with them?)

At one point the dog is either thrown or leaps out the window. It's not entirely clear, there is a whimper before it happens but that could be pain or fear.

Well we find out what he has done with Doug's body as he has hung it neatly up behind the door with his knife. I wonder why? He moved all the others out of sight but this one he decided needed be displayed like a painting.

They run down into the basement where we get the most amusing death of the movie with Dier. He alternates between shouting "Run" and stating the bleeding obvious with "He's killing me, he's stabbing me" for that fact alone it's a worthy 12th death (13 if you count the dog which I won't)

It then turns out Jason is putting on an exhibition because Jimmy and Tina have now been moved from their original locations and are displayed for Trish to find as she shrieks around the house.

Dier gets thrown through the Jarvis's window to dispel any hope he might not be dead. Jason's grabbing of Tommy was very similar to the end of Part 2 where he grabs Ginny.
Jason does seem to take an eternity to get up the stairs, he looked to be right behind them in the previous shot and should have been able to knock that bookcase out of the way before they finished moving it. Perhaps he went to hunt for the axe. Trish dumps a tv on his head as he feebly tries to open the door having virtually destroyed it already.

Jason moves pretty quickly after Trish which I quite like. I think Michael Myers should always walk but Jason can run if he wants to.
Jason decides not to do anything to the helpless Trish, waiting till she is armed and back in the house. The effect as his hand is split is pretty good. Tommy then innacts his master plan which is to what? To impersonate Jason as a child? Impersonating Pamela Voorhees at least make some sort of sense in Part 2 but this doesn't really. It doesn't really seem to work much anyway but between them Trish and Tommy knock of Jason's mask and bury his machete into his head.

The deformed Jason face is pretty decent. I think it has evolved nicely from Part 2 and 3. I always think in part 3 he kind of looks like Tony from Total Recall.
The blade impact and then Jason's head sliding down it are very well done and probably the most visually impressive death in the film. Number 13 appropriately.
Jason seems to move and then Tommy goes mental on him with the machete, will these events have some effect on his young mind?

It turns out Tracy Jarvis is in fact dead, killed off screen, the lamest of deaths. There was apparently an extra scene where she would have been found in a bathtub and then attacks Trish in a dream sequence. So I guess she is death number 7 with everyone moving up one, which ruins Jason's death number, stupid Tracy.

I enjoyed going back to this movie. I think that the first 4 movies are generally quite strong and I like that they have a tight continuity of events.It is almost like they form a quadrilogy. This also does form the beginning of the Tommy Jarvis trilogy.
There are only a few standout kills in this, Axel, Jimmy's and Doug's being my favourites. Jason's is worthy of the character as well.
Most of the others are throw away and lack originality.

But Dier's is the highlight for hilarity, especially seeing as he was being built up as a hero, fully aware of Jason and with a score to settle. Instead he goes out narrating his own death.

Overall I think this is weaker than the preceding parts but a very good part of the franchise.
7 ways I am scoring this, I am scoring this right now, out of 10
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