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Friday, November 13, 2020

Review: Friday the 13th IV: The Final Chapter

Director: Joseph Zito

Screenplay: Barney Cohen

Year: 1984

Another Friday the 13th that brings us to the fourth entry of the legendary “Friday the 13th” saga. To honor tradition, this fourth part starts like the two previous ones, with an extense summary of the most important events from the earlier movies. Once the retelling and the horrible title card are done, this movie’s events start taking place right where the previous one ended. 

After being gravely injured, Jason Vorhees is taken into a morgue. When everyone thought he was dead and his killing spree had come to an end, Jason spontaneously comes back to life and wreak havoc in the morgue. Now he is on his way back to the camp to continue his retaliation.

Once in the morgue, the director Joseph Zito (“The Prowler”) makes clear that for what up to this moment was supposed to be the final entry in the series, he cranks up everything that distinguishes these movies. An ultraviolent Jason, creative deaths, and nudism populate the film from beginning to end. This leads to a film with a better rhythm that is kept up by Jason’s constant threat and the great number of deaths he authors. 

Once he leaves his bloody signature in the morgue hallways, Jason makes his way back to the camp, where casually a group of young people is spending a few days in a cabin. Although many of these characters are there just to pump up the body count and gratuitous nudism, they do a better job than the previous ones of presenting characters that we can be interested in. Part of the credit is for the screenwriter Barney Cohen (“Sabrina: The Teenage Witch”), but mostly it gets for the actors, who make a decent work especially considering the quality of this in the last entries. 

Although the fun factor is noticeably improved, mainly by how they exaggerate its characteristics, "Friday the 13th IV: The Final Chapter" suffers from some of their issues. The most notorious one is how silly the plot is, where its only purpose is to put bodies on Jason’s path for him to break apart. This time they do a better effort of having more interesting characters and a deeper story, but without much success. 

"Friday the 13th IV: The Final Chapter" is one of the better entries to the saga starting the famous horror villain Jason Vorhees, but its fun improvement doesn’t translate into a good movie. The level of violence, gore, and nudism is cranked up but around a dumb plot, which happened in all of the series’s entries. It’s worth watching for some memorable deaths, but it doesn’t offer much more.

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