Friday, October 14, 2005
Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter
Best one yet! We’ve got a new director, new writer, and a nastier new flavor. The killings in this one are different: they take slightly longer, so the death-throes are more than just staggering a bit with a spear in your eye. You can feel the characters’ pain; I thought that naked girl in the raft would never stop gagging. This is also the first one where Jason displays the hideous physical strength to match his hideous will. There’s that one guy’s head he just slowly crushes against the shower wall with his big grubby hand.
This is a much better gaggle of characters, too. Crispin Glover! Come on, his name just screams quality. The interplay between the characters is a lot more interesting, so you’re almost sorry to see them go (except for “Teddy Bear,” but there always needs to be at least one death you’re craving). I was even surprised to find Corey Feldman entertaining. This was pre-Goonies, so he’s just playing a little kid, not some little teen-beat icon you want to slap.
This takes place the day after Part 3, which took place the day after Part 2. It’s cool to think of them all as one big murderous rampage, although the “what the hell are all you people thinking?” clause applies here. If I lived in the woods and heard those radio broadcasts, I’d be off to a downtown hotel in 45 seconds. Anyway, another carload of teens rents the place next to Corey Feldman’s house for partying and bloody death. While Part 3’s ample drug references are nowhere to be seen, we’re back in genuine naked territory. The skinny-dipping scene is actually on-screen this time, hoorah.
This one has been a favorite of mine since I first saw it. I’ve always liked the murderous grace of the second twin getting thrown out the upstairs window and smashing all the car’s windows when she lands on it. There were two shots in this movie that particularly struck me, as they bespoke a cinematographer who was actually concerned about placing an artistic image. The first was the dock looming in front of raft-girl’s boyfriend as he tries to swim to safety; the other one was shower boy’s dead head framed by bloody glass. Each shot was set up like an evocative comic book panel; the mood was as important as the information. Stuff like that made Final Chapter seem like (and I hope you’ll forgive the expression) a real movie.