Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Friday the 13th Part 4: The Final Chapter

Fans tend to be very divided about this film. Obviously part of that has to do with how it’s billed as “The Final Chapter”, and was initially intended to be the last Friday the 13th film, and then the profitability of the series enticed them to make seven more films and counting. Mainly, though, there’s a bit of an argument between those fans who feel that this was the last really good Friday the 13th, and those people like me who believe it’s actually the first really good Friday movie. One thing that is generally accepted by everyone is that it’s one of the best in the series.

I’m not completely sure why this one is so much better than the first three, but I can formulate some guesses. For one, despite the presence of Kevin Bacon in the original, this one really goes for broke on the star power, giving us none other than a young Corey Feldman as Tommy, who would later go on (with two other actors playing him) to be the star character of the next two films. Another key to this one’s success is in how it manages to neatly sidestep the problem of how the victims are invariably annoying idiotic teens by giving us two groups of people, the idiotic teens and a family that’s actually rather pleasant who lives near them that we can actually root for. Continuing with the last movie (just like the third film did, this one starts the same day the last film ended – I’m stunned people didn’t flee this town in droves), this one also ratchets up the violent and the sexual content, which is always appreciated with films like these.

Perhaps most important of all though, is that we finally get ridiculous Teleporting Jason, as he goes and kills someone in the kitchen, then is suddenly on the roof to kill someone from her window, and then its instantly back to the kitchen to grab a blade. There was absolutely no reason for him to go to the roof right then, but I certainly respect his decision to be the hardest working man in shlasherness. It may not quite reach the level of later movies in the series, but Teleporting Jason is aces in my book.

One final note on the ending; this may very well be the greatest ending in the entire series, with Tommy going completely insane and taking the fight right to Jason. I always have a fondness for the hero acting like a complete psychopath when he needs to be, so God bless ‘em for that.

Rating: ***

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