One thing that I always found interesting about the Friday The 13th movies is the timeline, primarily with the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th movies. Aside from the opening scene, the second movie takes place five years after the events of the first movie, with the third movie picking up the very next day. Then you come to today’s movie, which starts off on the night the third movie ends, meaning that Jason’s rampage was over the course of about 5 days to a week tops. I will be honest that I can’t decide if that is a good bit of world/story telling, or simple laziness so that you don’t have to really explain how he keeps showing up. Regardless, let’s see how well today’s movie holds up as I watch Friday The 13th: The Final Chapter
The plot: After a recap of the events from the previous films, the movie picks up with the police finishing cleaning up at Higgins Haven and transporting Jason’s body to the local morgue. After the morgue closes for the night, the attendant, Axel, and his girlfriend Robbie are fooling around in the morgue when Jason’s hand slips off the gurney he is lying on, scaring Robbie, who decides to leave. Axel puts Jason’s body into storage, then turns to watch TV but Jason suddenly revives and kills Axel, then kills Robbie as he leaves the hospital. The next day, Trish Jarvis and her mom are jogging around Crystal Lake before returning home, where they talk with Trish’s younger brother Tommy about the house next to theirs being rented by a group of teenagers. Meanwhile, Doug, Jimmy, Paul, Sam, Sara, and Ted are driving up to the cabin, with Jimmy complaining to Ted about his girlfriend breaking up with him. Along the way, the stop by a graveyard, where Sara notices the tombstone for Pamela Voorhees inside. They then pass by a hitchhiker but refuse to pick her up and as they drive away, the hitchhiker is killed by Jason. The teenagers finally reach the cabin and start unloading their car, being greeted by Trish and Tommy while they do so. The next day, the teenagers head to the lake and meet Tina and Terri, local twins that agree to show them to the lake. Trish and Tommy see the group as they are driving back home from town, but then have some car trouble after passing them. As Tommy tries to fix the car, they encounter a backpacker named Rob Dier, who helps them fix their car, and Trish offers him a lift to their house as thanks. Once there, Tommy quickly takes Rob up to his room to show him all of the monster masks that he has made, then Trish shows him where a trail is that leads around the lake and Rob makes his way down the trail. Back at the rental house, the teenagers are starting to party and Jimmy asks Terri to dance but after a while, Paul changes the song so he can dance with Sam, and Jimmy and Terri follow suit, as do Ted and Tina. As the party continues, Sam gets jealous when Tina starts flirting with Paul and decides to head out to the lake for a swim. As she makes her way to the lake, she hears someone moving through the woods and, thinking it is Paul, decides to tease him by getting naked and swimming out to the raft out on the lake and as she lays on the raft, Jason burst from the water and stabs her through the raft. Back at the house, Paul stops things from going to far with Tina and decides to go looking for Sam so Tina decides to turn her attentions to Jimmy, who eagerly accepts her offer to dance. Outside, Paul sees Sam on the raft and swims out to be with her but when he discovers she is dead, he quickly swims back to shore, only for Jason to kill him by shooting a spear gun into his groin. In the woods, Rob hears Paul’s screams and, grabbing a machete, heads out to investigate when he sees someone moving by his campsite and when he makes his way back, he discovers that someone had broken the stock on his rifle. Back at the house, Tina and Jimmy head upstairs to have sex, while Ted finds some old time dirty movies, which he decides to put on. Not enjoying the movie, Terri goes upstairs and tells Tina she wants to leave but Tina tells her to go without her so Terri leaves, only to be killed by Jason and pinned to one of the storm shutters. At the Travis house, Mrs. Travis comes home to find the power out and neither her kids or their dog answer her calls and heads outside, calling for their dog Gordon. Trish and Tommy return home to find their mom isn’t there and Trish decides to go find Rob to help look for her, telling Tommy to stay there in case their mother returns. Back at the house, Jimmy and Tina finish having sex and while she goes to take a shower, Jimmy heads downstairs to brag to Ted about having sex, then goes to get some wine for him and Tina, only for Jason to kill him. Tina returns to the room to find Jimmy missing and as she looks outside, she notices Terri’s bike is still there, As she looks out the window some more to see if she can spot her sister, Jason breaks through the window to grab her and throws her from the house, where she lands on Paul’s car and rolls to the ground in a heap. Meanwhile, Trish finds Rob’s campsite and ends up being attacked by Rob, who yells at her for being there. He then tells her about his sister Sandra, who was killed by Jason and tells her about his body disappearing from the morgue, and the missing hospital staff, and his belief that Jason is alive, causing Trish to worry about Tommy. Back at the house, Jason makes his way back inside and kills Ted, who was still watching the movie, then heads upstairs, killing Doug in the shower. Sara discovers Doug’s body and goes screaming for Sam, only for Jason to kill her with an axe through the door. Back at the Jarvis house, Trish and Rob return to find Tommy still there, and Trish tries to call for help but when she gets no dial tone, Rob decides to go check next door and Trish goes with him. Seeing the broken door, they carefully make their way inside and find no sign of anyone there. Rob decides to check the basement and while he is gone, Gordon breaks free from Trish’s grip and runs upstairs, leaping out a window to the ground below. Trish heads upstairs to find Gordon but instead finds a body and yells out for Rob and as they go to leave, Jason attacks Rob, who yells at Trish to run before Jason kills him. Trish runs back to her house and she works with Tommy to barricade their house but Jason throws Rob’s body through the windows, then breaks another to grab Tommy. Trish attacks Jason with a hammer, causing him to drop Tommy, and they quickly run upstairs and lock themselves in Tommy’s room. As Jason starts to break down the door, Trish slams Tommy’s computer monitor onto his head, electrocuting him and seemingly killing him but as she steps over him so they can leave, he recovers and chases after her. As she lures Jason away from Tommy, Tommy, having seen Rob’s newspaper clippings concerning Jason, shaves his head so that he looks like Jason did as a boy. As Jason moves to kill Trish, Tommy yells out to Jason, who stops and stares at Tommy. As he moves towards Tommy, Trish tries to kill Jason but only succeeds in slicing off the hockey mask. Seeing his face, Trish drops the machete in horror and as Jason moves towards her, Tommy grabs the machete and buries it into Jason’s head. Trish and Tommy embrace each other and as Tommy hugs his sister, he sees Jason’s body twitch and quickly picks up the machete and repeatedly slashes at Jason while yelling “Die!”, all while Trish yells out his name to get him to stop. Some time later, Trish is in the hospital, where a doctor and the sheriff talk to her, and after they leave, Tommy shows up and runs to hug her, but as they embrace, Trish doesn’t notice the disturbed look in Tommy’s eyes.
Friday The 13th: The Final Chapter was panned by the critics, currently holding a 20% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. The critical consensus on the site is, “As lumberingly single-minded as its homicidal star, Friday the 13th – The Final Chapter adds another rote entry to an increasingly labored franchise.” In the morgue scene, the nurse’s name tag reads “R. Morgan, RN,” which is an homage to actress Robbi Morgan, who played Annie in Friday the 13th (1980). The movie was a box office hit, earning $33 million off of a $2.6 million budget, and despite the intentions of it being the final film in the series, the success of the film prompted another sequel to be released the following year.
Ok, There were some aspects of this movie that I liked, and there were some that just annoy the f@$#out of me. The sad part is, I remember some of these issues bothering me when I first saw this movie decades ago, and to watch it again now makes it seem even more mind boggling. Now the acting was pretty decent, with Corey Feldman doing a great job as Tommy. I also thought that Kimberly Beck did a good job as Trish, while Crispin Glover’s portrayal of the socially awkward Jimmy was great (which he seemed to use aspects of this character for his portrayal of George McFly in Back To The Future), but everyone else was just ok. The story was actually pretty decent, with Rob showing up to track down his sister’s killer, to Tommy tricking Jason much like Ginny did in Friday The 13th Part 2. However, there were a couple of scenes that just ruined any sort of “believability” for me. The first one was when Jason kills Sam in the raft. Since he stabbed her through the bottom of the raft, it would have taken in water and most likely been somewhat folded in on itself due to her body lying in it, instead of lying pristine in the water when Paul discovers her. The other issue I have is something of a timing issue in the kills. Jason kills Jimmy in the kitchen, then goes outside and climbs up to the second story in order to grab Tina and throw her out the window, then climbs back down and heads back inside to kill Ted. That honestly makes no sense to me, as I feel like he should have killed Ted, then Tina, as he would then be able to enter the upstairs through the broken window in order to kill Doug and Sara. If he killed Tina first, Jimmy might have heard the sound of the breaking glass and Jason would have still killed him, just not so much in the same way. Another thing that bothered me is that you never know what happened to Mrs. Jarvis; you are just left to assume that she was killed by Jason. The masks that Tommy “made” were top notch but that is most likely that Tom Savini, who had returned to work on this film, made them. The deaths themselves were also better than some of the previous movies but that is again most likely due to Savini’s influence. A pretty good movie that somewhat holds up and is worth giving a watch, especially during Halloween time.
Rating: 3 out of 5