Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter

Year: 1984
Director: Joseph Zito
Writer: Victor Miller, Ron Kurz
Genre: Horror: Slasher

I'll readily admit that I don't know much about the Friday the 13th world. As such, I can't offer up any explanation as to why this film (the 4th in the series) is called The Final Chapter. I highly doubt that they were hurting for money at the time the movie was put together, so why even give it such a name? Perhaps it was the last piece intended to be put together by the old crew? I'll look into it sometime...

I'm glad that this film exists because it turns out it's my favorite of them all so far. What makes it so different is that there seems to be more focus than ever on the story. There are some college kids heading out to have a blast in some cabin, yes, but they're not the only people in the story. There happens to be a family nearby and a camper who is also in the area. With these stories (equally as important) alongside the youthful travelers it helps make a much neater experience.

It's the attention paid to making the characters all real and likable in some way that helped the movie immensely. Because I cared and could recall who each character was it made their deaths all the more troubling. There were a few deaths that confused me because they never really had a "pay off" scene. Although, now that I think about it, it was probably due to the nature of these characters that it might have been viewed as upsetting to give them a fleshed out death scene.

Strangely, this also ended up being the first Friday the 13th film that made me nervous. I wasn't completely scared but it was all shot in ways that helped amp up the tension. For once I was actually hoping characters wouldn't die and was screaming internally for characters to just run or do anything to save themselves. It was great fun, a bit scary, and overall a good movie. Now I can only hope that there are a few more gems in the Friday the 13th series before all the goofy stuff happened.

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