80’s Slasher Review: “Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter” (1984)

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Today I watched Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter (1984) for the first time. Its been a couple months since I’ve last seen a Friday the 13th installment. I was hoping for ‘The Final Chapter’ to be an improvement over the mediocre Part 3. Was it?!

Rest assured I can tell that Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter is with no doubt an improvement over Friday the 13th Part 3. The characters weren’t necessarily less stereotype than in the previous installments, but they were for most part likeable this time around as was the complete opposite in Part 3. However, the characters weren’t given much backstory or even a smidge of development that would’ve ultimately made them more memorable. I blame the script for that as the actors tried their best with what they were given. Kimberly Beck is not an amazing actress by all means but in my opinion she pulled it off as the ‘final girl’ as opposed to Dana Kimmell in Part 3. She isn’t the bravest, smartest or toughest but she wasn’t given that much to do either. Corey Feldman did a solid job as Tommy Jarvis, very interesting character but too bad he wasn’t on screen a lot. Other notable actors like Peter Barton, Crispin Glover and Joan Freeman were fun in this sequel.

The plot gets more formulaic with every installment in the franchise but it definitely never manages to upset me. The deaths were creative and also a tad more fast paced this time around and the blood/make-up effects were fantastically done, thanks to the legendary Tom Savini. The soundtrack is effective as ever and the same goes to the direction, which is well done by Joseph Zito. The final act is definitely surprising enough and keeps the tension alive. This installment is nowhere near as good as the original, Part 2 and Part 7 for that matter but its a step up from Part 3. The 80’s style is amazing and these movies always tend to score high on the ‘fun factor’, its nice to see the focus wasn’t on Jason Voorhees the entire time. Good installment for better or worse, its a must-see for horror and slasher fans alike. Definitely NOT the final chapter.

–Ferdi Akkulak