What?! Jason is back, Jack! That’s right, we left Jason with an axe in his head and presumed dead. JK! He doesn’t die that easily. Instead he stalks right back out into the woods to slaughter another group of unlucky teens out for a romp in a rented cabin. Can they stop Jason before it’s too late? Find out in… Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter.
Why?! Jason will kill. Teens will have drug fueled sex-romps in the woods. It’s the way of the world. You can’t explain that, you can only accept it. There is one interesting little twist they throw in here with one of the major characters being a relative of a character killed in the second film. He’s in the woods expressly for the purpose of hunting down and killing Jason. It’s actually a cool little twist.
How?! After the events of the third film, Jason is sent to the morgue but turns out to not actually be dead… somehow. He awakens and kills a couple people before heading back out into his natural habitat. At the same time a bunch of teenagers are out for a fun week in the woods at a cabin they’ve rented next door to a family. Jason obviously targets this group of crazy teens and systematically takes them out. Only when he turns his attention to the family next door does he find that he’s met his match. Just as Jason is about to kill the daughter Trish, her brother Tommy Jarvis, a young boy obsessed with movie magic, dons a “young Jason” disguise and distracts Jason long enough for Trish to knock him out. Knowing that that’s not enough to kill Jason, Tommy proceeds to literally hack Jason’s head off making sure that he never returns again… for at least one film.
Who?! This entry definitely has the most interesting cast with Crispin Glover and Corey Feldman having roles. My favorite factoid, though, involves the song that Crispin dances to in the cabin called Love is a Lie by Lion:
The song was literally the debut by the band. They had never released an EP or album and had formed less than a year before. It almost seems like they were formed to produce songs for film because the next thing they recorded was the theme song for the Transformers movie:
Where?! Second of the series to be filmed in California and not the Northeast, but still takes place near Crystal Lake in New Jersey. Same grade as before. C-
When?! This is a continuing story so since the timing is super unclear from the first three entries in the series, it is similarly obscure here. The notable thing about this entry is that it establishes that Jason’s mother, Pamela Voorhees, was killed in 1979 (an event in the first film)… which so screwed up the overall timeline that fans have had to make up weird theories for why she still could have been killed in 1980 (usually it’s that the townspeople didn’t want the grave to become tourist attraction so they put a different date on the gravestone to throw off the scent)… they really were the worst at making sure this made any sense. C-
‘Ello everyone! Friday the 13th The Final Chapter? More like Friday the 13th The Banal Chapter, amirite? Heyoooooo. We’re chugging away through a staple of the horror genre, a franchise with nearly as many installments as the number in its name, surely the sequels can’t all be bad … surely. Let’s get into it!
- The Good – This feels like the conclusion to the series, and a solid conclusion it could have been. At this point they should have spun it off into a television series (which they did, but after the 6th installment). A few good things in this one. Apparently people complain about it (because of the screwed up timeline it creates), but I like the idea of the Jason hunter because it suggests he specifically looks for groups of partying teenagers to kill. Tickles that little bit of love for the lore I have (same thing about how the finale for each of the first six movies occur during a storm, as if Jason draws power from water itself, the mode of his demise). Out of the first three sequels I thought this one was ultimately the best.
- The Bad – It gives into the tropes a bit too much. I’m not sure if this or Elm Street gave us the if-you-do-drugs-or-have-sex-you-die trope first and when it was recognized / done intentionally, but this takes it a bit to its logical conclusion. The kills felt weaker than in previous installments perhaps. The suggestion that Corey Feldman made those masks is ludicrous. And the “young Jason” disguise he puts on is equally ludicrous. He just shaves his head!
- The BMT – The legacy of this film will be that it is the best of the worst of the herd of (early) sequels for a horror mega-franchise which should give us some of the more ridiculous BMT films we’ve ever done. It suggests what could have been (a button on a series that would have honestly been quite the cult classic if they let well enough alone). Horror films get overblown BMeTrics, and that is basically what happened here, the 20 is in actually more like a 10. One of the better examples of the early 80s horror sequels in my opinion.
Let’s do a Remake because they are after all remaking the series again. So if we ended up in the same place (Jason assumed dead lying in the morgue, two separate survivors presumably lying in a psychiatric ward nearby). I would show Jason escaping the hospital and then jump forward a few years. Tommy Jarvis and his family live on the other side of Camp Crystal Lake. People know the legend, but the weekend massacre beginning on Friday the 13th years ago is little more than ghost stories to much of the town. Driving in for a drug-fueled sexy weekend is a group of teenage party goers who have picked up a hitchhiker, a young man who just so happens to be going their way. When they arrive and unpack he disappears into the woods … and that’s when the murders begin again. The teenagers throw a party and Tommy’s older sister (and a very uncomfortable Tommy) are there to kick off the summer with some fun. As the kids get picked off one by one they wonder, is that hitchhiker responsible? A sick copy-cat come to celebrate the anniversary of the Voorhees murders? Venturing into the forest Tommy discovers than quite the contrary: the hitchhiker is the brother of one of the lone survivors of Jason’s two day rampage. Armed with the knowledge that Jason, the boy who died as teenagers boozed it up on Lake Crystal Lake in 1958, couldn’t allow such a situation to occur again, the hitchhiker is a hunter ready for revenge.
I was tempted to make the ending be Tommy drowning in the lake and his sister having to choose: kill the monster or save her brother? But leaving Jason alive after number 4 seems like a cop out (I think at some point someone has to kill Jason or else it gets a tad bit tired), and having Tommy drown and “become” Jason (or whatever) it pretty stupid. So I would end it roughly the same way. Tommy is the lone survivor after killing Jason.