Directed by Joseph Zito [Other horror films: Bloodrage (1980), The Prowler (1981)]
Long-considered one of the best of the series by many, The Final Chapter has the elements you’d come to expect from a Friday the 13th movie, and it puts them together well.
With quality special effects (certainly not something new for the series), some memorable characters (just look at Dead Fuck’s – I mean, Crispin Glover’s – fantastic dance moves), and just an all-around solid story (not that it’s hard to mess up script for Friday the 13th), I think that this one is remembered fondly for a reason.
I love the beginning to this one, a compilation of scenes from the previous three films, and the film picks up immediately following the conclusion of the third film, which is pretty fun to see (we don’t get much of Jason at the hospital, but what we did get was pleasantly reminiscent of Halloween II). Given that the third film and this one take place over the course of just a couple of days really brings forth the slaughter.
Some of the characters weren’t that memorable (Clyde Hayes, Judie Aronson, and Peter Barton being the best examples), but then we get gems such as the cute Carey More and Camilla More, the funky fun Crispin Glover (of Back to the Future fame), the unlucky Lawrence Monoson, the innocent-yet-fun Barbara Howard, and all-around quality Kimberly Beck. I didn’t care much for Erich Anderson’s character, but Joan Freeman was good, and Corey Feldman of Gremlins fame) really gave a great performance as a younger actor.
Plus, Crispin Glover gave us a great dance.
Either the corkscrew or shower kill is my favorite, but there are plenty of decent kills throughout the movie. I also enjoyed the rain coming back during the finale, as rain always felt like a good way for these movies to end. Tommy Jarvis too was an interesting character to challenge Jason, and I enjoyed his decently intellectual approach, as it reminded me of Ginny (Amy Steel) from Part 2.
Both this movie and Part 2 are pretty close in quality, truth be told. I don’t think either one is significantly better or worse in any real way, which is a good indicator that these are the two strongest films this series has to offer.
Definitely The Final Chapter has been a favorite of mine for years, and it will continue to be.