Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter (Joseph Zito, 1984, USA)

Friday the 13th IV: The Final Chapter, intended as the last film in the Friday the 13th franchise, was helmed by Joseph Zito - most known for his work on the 80s slasher The Prowler, and later for his films with Chuck Norris. It is clear that Jason was a cultural phenomenon at this point in the franchise, and his image is front-and-center of all marketing and promotional materials for the film. It is also the weirdest film up until this point in the franchise, mainly due to the presence of Corey Feldman as Tommy Jarvis, the little boy who comes to be possessed (?) by Jason in the film's absurd finale.

The fourth entry in the franchise is an improvement on the former in that it has memorable characters. As noted, Corey Feldman as Tommy Jarvis seems to be a point of entry for viewers - he could represent any number of young people who were watching this film on cable for the first time. Also of note is the presence of Crispin Glover. This was one of the eccentric character actor's first film roles, and it is remarkable that his persona was already fully formed in this role. As the awkward Jimmy Mortimer, he is responsible for some of the weirdest moments in the franchise - including one of the most memorable dance sequences ever put to film.

Chapter IV also has a unique dynamic from the other films so far, in that it centers not only on a group of teenagers and the "final girl", but also on a family. This gives the film an added dramatic dimension, which makes it more watchable even if most of the characters are cardboard. Notably, the film faced some heavy censorship, which is unfortunate considering Tom Savini's special effects were top-notch.


7/10

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