FearTASTIC Vault O’ Fun (09/19/13)
Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter (1984)
Director: Joseph Zito
Writer: Barney Cohen, Bruce Hidemi Sakow (Story)
Starring: Kimberly Beck, Corey Feldman, Ted White
My dilemma with the Friday the 13th flicks is that I love them all too much (with the exception of Part 5 *insert angry barf sound here*). It’s a good problem to have seeing that Jason Voorhees was the gateway drug for my appreciation of slasher flicks; the sub-genre of horror that consists of a mysterious killer that picks away at its victims in violently creative ways. This sort of artistry in completely taking someone away from reality with it’s over the top kills cemented my adoration for the genre as a whole. Nowadays, most slasher films have the sense of self-awareness or satirical approach where they try SO hard to flip the genre on its head they forget the development of the slasher itself which should be the foundation of the whole movie.
Jason Voorhees never disappointed in fun ways he decided to off his victims (If you don’t believe me, CLICK AWAY!) so I can’t just choose the flick with the most entertaining kills because surprisingly, they are sprinkled pretty evenly throughout the series. Heck, Mr. Voorhees has taken on telekinetic teens, went to Manhattan, caused some havoc in space and even went toe to toe with a dream demon (this is Jason’s article, I’ll mention the other guy at some point)! Instead I chose the flick that I would showcase on a movie night with friends where the plot line is simple, the kills are creative and a defining character that will set the movie apart from all the others in the Friday the 13th series.
Enter Tommy Jarvis (played by voice of Donatello himself, Corey Feldman), a boy who has a love for monster makeup/masks who lives in Crystal Lake with his mother and sister (Kimberly Beck). A group of rowdy teens make their way next door to the Jarvis family to the pleasure of Jason Voorhees. The horror ensues as each one of the teens start to face horrible fates through various creative kills, which includes the slaying of a young/pathetic Crispin Glover! What really sets this movie apart however is the origin story of the most successful recurring hero in the Friday the 13th franchise, Tommy Jarvis. When bringing back the survivor from a previous movie, the common path would have the character damaged and hardened from the whole ordeal so the next movie would have them ready to take on the oncoming carnage. What I loved about this movie is that you can pinpoint the exact moment where Tommy Jarvis’ life would forever be changed by Jason Voorhees, not by terror but by transformation. You are introduced to Tommy as an innocent child with great imagination and by the time the movie ends, you realize Jason Voorhees isn’t the only character in the movie that gives you an uneasy feeling.
The fourth in the Friday the 13th series, this flick was intended as the last film to feature Jason Voorhees. The studio naively added “The Final Chapter” to the title but when box office receipts started coming in, the studios realized they just shot themselves in the foot in the shape of a hockey mask. This movie capitalizes on the classic slasher genre and gives you a genuine introduction to the Jason Voorhees that clearly has already hit his stride. A good watch for anyone wanting to throw in a classic Friday the 13th movie with enough of a twist to engage in some good conversation!