Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter is a 1984 American slasher horror film. It was directed by Joseph Zito (Abduction: Bloodrage; The Prowler) and produced by Frank Mancuso Jr. (April Fool’s Day; Species series). It is also known as Friday the 13th Part IV and Friday the 13th Part IV: The Final Chapter.
This is the fourth film in the Friday the 13th film series. The popularity and financial success of the film, which grossed over $32 million – more money than the original A Nightmare on Elm Street and making it the highest-grossing horror film of 1984. Thus, Paramount Pictures felt financially obliged to continue the franchise.
Due to the finality of this film’s plot and title, the next film, Friday the 13th: A New Beginning, attempted to continue the series with a different killer; due to that film’s critical failure, it was ultimately partially retconned, making The Final Chapter the indirect predecessor to Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives in the series’ canon, in the sense of Jason himself returning at that point in the franchise. Likewise, Tommy Jarvis’s storyline was incorporated into A New Beginning, making a direct connection that picks up from The Final Chapter and then into Jason Lives.
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After being mortally wounded and taken to the morgue, murderer Jason Voorhees spontaneously revives and embarks on a killing spree as he makes his way back to his home at Camp Crystal Lake…
“The Final Chapter is a mean nasty movie, and if you don’t leave it visibly battered, then you’ve got a resilience that rivals the big man in the mask […] Expertly made and filled with set piece after set piece of amazing kills, solid performances (and this from a cast that includes a kid, a dog and a mute guy with a mask) and genuinely terrifying Jason, this is truly the iconic slasher movie.” Rhett Miller, Horror Digital
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“The best thing about The Final Friday is the gore, it flows here and deaths seem way more painful than they’ve ever done before. Jason is the king of variety and he flexes those muscles excellently here, it’s a lot of fun to see Crispin Glover (for those Back to the Future fans) take a corkscrew to the hand before getting a cleaver slammed in his face!”
“Even though we would see more of Jason over the years (first as a zombie, then battling a telekinetic super-girl, taking on Freddy Krueger within his own warped dreams, even hacking teens to bits in outer space), this one certainly felt as if it properly closed out the Friday the 13th series before it devolved into unadulterated camp.” Jeremiah Kipp, Slant Magazine
“The gruesome kills are superbly staged, though Zito also knows how to craft atmospheric set pieces without the need for graphic bloodshed (check out the “shadow” kill) and makes us forget that the usual array of false scares, corpses crashing through windows and assertions of “I’ll be right back” were, by now, very old hat.” Steven West, Horrorscreams Videovault