Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter

Starring: Kimberly Beck, Corey Feldman, Crispen Glover, Peter Barton, Ted White
Written by: Barney Cohen
Director: Joseph Zito

Rating: * * 1/2     Stars       +       (Fan Bonus *   )  Total: * * * 1/2 

Thought to have been killed in the last installment, Jason returns to the lake to kill the inhabitants.

A group of teenagers come to the lake and rent out a cabin for a weekend of fun in the great outdoors, which just happens to be next door to another cabin occupied by Mrs. Jarvis, her teenage daughter Trish, and tweve year old son, Tommy. While Trish makes friends with the new neighbors, Tommy mostly keeps to himself, reading horror magazines and making molds of monster masks. Tommy is very much into horror.

Meanwhile, at the morgue, Jason suddenly revives and begins a murder spree all the way back to Crystal Lake. As has been the formula, teenagers get killed one by one, each in a ghastly and unique manor. The Jarvis's learn about Jason and the grizzly killings he's perpetrated in the past. As Jason comes to kill the Jarvis family, young Tommy is ready for him. By being so engrossed in monster make-up and horror movies, Tommy has gained insight into Jason's psyche, allowing him to distract Jason long enough for his Sister to deliver a fatal blow. Of course, just when everything seems OK, Jason begins to move. Tommy quickly grabs the weapon and proceeds to hack Jason to pieces. It would seem this truly is the end for Jason. But has Crystal Lake produced another monster in the form of another small child?

Make-up and monster effects guru Tom Savini returns to the Friday franchise with the promise that he get's to kill Jason. In fact word has it that the character of Tommy, the little boy who makes horror masks, was inspired by Tom Savini himself. 

Of course this isn't the "Final Chapter", as Friday the 13th goes on for another 6 sequels, a reboot, and a showdown with Freddy Krueger. But this is the last time you'll see Jason resembling anything that could pass as human. 

This also marks the first time a Friday film doesn't live up to its predecessors, where the body count is less, the suspense is watered down, and the plot feels cliche'd at this point. Still, there is some decent performances, and this is the Friday the 13th with the most nudity. If you've come this far in the franchise, it's time well spent. Sadly, the next one, oddly enough, entitled "A New Beginning" is one of the franchise's worst. 

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