Movie Review: Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter (1984)

Synopsis: Following his defeat at Higgins Haven, Jason Voorhees is transported to the county morgue. However, the supposedly dead killer makes a miraculous recovery and starts a brand new killing spree.

Who's in it? The movie stars Judie Aronson, Peter Barton, Crispin Glover, Corey Feldman and Ted White.

Review: One of our movie channels is showing several of the Friday the 13th films and my wife and I decided to take advantage of that and catch up on the movies we either don't remember or never saw before. This includes this 1984 installment, which we watched last night.

So far, the movie series is proving to be a bit better than I remembered and, up until last night, we had enjoyed watching the films. However, as it turns out, this film actually turned out to be an exception to that.

One of the reasons why I like the slasher movie genre in general is the films really aren't that hard to screw up. Basically, all you really need is a menacing bad guy, some likable heroes/victims and a simple but believable story. This movie pretty much failed in all those categories.

My biggest problem with this movie is the decision to focus more on sex than on the fact there is a resurrected serial killer on the loose. As I've said before, sex and gratuitous nudity are pretty much expected in this genre. But, when that becomes the central focus, it does end up being more of a distraction than anything good and, in the case of this film, it seemed like the majority of Jason's (White) victims were either naked, in their underwear or wearing a towel.

On top of it, the movie made very little effort to give the characters some depth or even make them halfway interesting. As a result, it was hard to care when Jason killed any of them. In fact, I was more concerned about the dog than any of the humans.

The only exception to this would be Corey Feldman's character, who seemed like he had a halfway interesting backstory to tell and, at times, was the creepiest thing in this movie (especially toward the end). But, unfortunately, the filmmakers didn't bother to flesh him out more and he failed to have the impact he had the potential to have.

Even Jason himself was a disappointment because, in all honesty, he seemed to be a bit wimpy in this movie. We're talking about a serial killer who has come back from the dead and has the strength to crash through doors and throw corpses through windows. Yet, he commits most of his murders by sneaking up on his victims and, the first time someone actually fights back, he gets his butt kicked. That's just not scary, at least in my opinion.

Final Opinion: If you like movies that feature a lot of nudity (including a dragged-out scene involving a black-and-white porn film) and a wimpy killer, then this is the movie for you. If not, then this is a film that I would recommend avoiding.

My Grade: D


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