Although I thought Steve Miner did a tremendous job directing parts two and three, Joseph Zito takes over as director in this one, really improving upon the formula and focusing more on the performances, it seems.
Sadly, I see this one as the true final chapter of the whole franchise because the other films never come close to the feel of the first four. What we get in the subsequent films are more silliness, bad acting, and a lot of actors and actresses who don't mesh well or weren't right for the part in the first place. Because that's one thing about the first four movies...the friends in the movie really feel like friends in real life, with chemistry and things in common. In the following sequels after part four, we see a lot of unlikeable characters, making us disbelieve that some of them would actually like each other, let alone want to be around them. Some of the lines are even unlikely, like the "Does he think I'm a fart-head?" line or, my favorite, the "wherever the red dot goes, you bang" that's actually spoken twice in one of the sequels.
The films really go downhill after Friday the 13TH: The Final Chapter, I'm sure mainly because of the atrocity that part five had been. Even though part six kind of saves the franchise a little, it wasn't until Kane Hodder took the role of Jason that the franchise gained some steam as he put more life into the role. Hodder took the role in part seven and continued on for three more films, until he was excluded from 2003's Freddy vs. Jason. But even Hodder's presence wasn't enough to get the series back on track. Poor casting and dialogue definitely contributed to it, as well as putting characters in dumb situations (female guitarist constantly filming a music video on a cruise ship?). Although Jason was never made into a joke, like Freddy became in the A Nightmare on Elm Street films, his character kind of became a little tiring and predictable to take on screen.
Of course, like all franchises that run their course, movie studios decide to give up and just start all over, like they had in 2009 with the remake. But they weren't ballsy enough to remake the first one by itself and introduce Jason's character in a second movie...oh, no. They decided to cram parts one through three-with a little bit of four-in one movie. As you can guess, I'm not going to follow this up with parts five and on. I'll just say they've had some great ideas for films, but just couldn't translate them onto film correctly. Don't get me wrong, they're all pretty much enjoyable, I just wanted to give attention to the best of the lot, ending with this one.
So, what's my final "bit" on Friday the 13TH: The Final Chapter?
The film screams 80s cinema all the way through-giving us a lot of night shots, grainy in some scenes, clearer in others. It's one of the best in performances out of all the films in the series, absolutely earning a top spot in my view of all-time horror movies. It's a great culmination to a renowned slasher series and you're going to hope the series doesn't end while you watch the climatic finish, but will have wished it did if you continue on to parts five and beyond. All kidding aside, grab a few tubs of popcorn, park yourself on the couch and after watching parts one through three, one right after the other, continue on to part four. It's a fun series. and certainly not a "dead fuck."
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