- "Three times before you have felt the terror, known the madness, lived the horror. But this is the one you've been screaming for. Friday April 13th is Jason's unlucky day."
Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter, sometimes known as Friday the 13th Part IV is a 1984 slasher film and was the fourth entry in Paramount Picture's wildly successful Friday the 13th series of films. Though it was supposedly going to be the final film in the franchise, the enormous box office success (it grossed almost $33 million against a $2.8 million budget) convinced the studio to continue with more films. The next entry was Friday the 13th: A New Beginning, released only one year later. The Final Chapter was directed by Joseph Zito, from a screenplay by Barney Cohen. This film also introduced Tommy Jarvis, who would star in the next two films.
Stuntman Ted White portrayed Jason Voorhees in this film, though he refused screen credit for the role because he had personal reservations about these types of movies. He has since talked at some length about the film, and has said that it turned out much better than he had anticipated. Nevertheless, he got into the spirit of things while on set, as he would only have minimal interaction with the rest of the cast because he didn't want them to become too comfortable around him, which he feared would interfere with their performances. He was also very concerned about the well-being of his co-stars. In one heavily publicized incident, the actress who portrayed the character Samantha, Judie Aronson, was required to perform her nude death scene in the middle of a raft in the dead of winter. Aronson became so cold that she actually started crying, but Zito did not want to stop filming. White became so angry that he threatened to quit if the director wouldn't let her come out of the lake and warm up. Zito complied. In another death scene, actor Peter Barton, who played the character Doug, was hesitant to perform the scene because he had been seriously injured doing a stunt on a previous film and had required surgery afterward. Sensing this, White made sure that a pad was placed behind his head for the scene where his skull is crushed against a shower wall.
An alternate version was originally released to television that includes scenes which were edited from the theatrical edition. Some online sites offer this cut of the film.
The film opens to a joint police and paramedic operation at Crystal Lake's Higgins Haven property, as the bodies of several teenagers are placed on ambulances after a massacre the following evening. Included with the bodies is the hideously deformed Jason Voorhees, the serial killer of Friday the 13th Part II and Part 3D. After having been hit in the head with an axe at the end of the previous film, he is mistaken for dead and taken to the Wessex County morgue. Later that night, Jason wakes up and kills Axel the coroner by slitting his throat with a surgical hacksaw and snapping his neck; Morgan the nurse is soon after gutted with a scalpel by Jason as he makes his escape back to Crystal Lake.
The following afternoon, a group of teenagers drive to Crystal Lake for a weekend getaway, having rented a house at the edge of the forest. The group consists of Paul and his girlfriend Samantha; Doug and Sara who are mutually-attracted; jokester Ted and Jimmy, who Ted bullies over a recent breakup. As they approach Crystal Lake, they take brief notice Pamela Voorhees' gravestone. Soon after they find a hitchhiker, but without any room in the car they continue onward; Jason walks up behind the woman and thrusts a knife through her neck.
The teenagers leave their car to hike through the woods in search of the cabin, meeting local twins Tina and Terri as they enjoy a bike ride. Everyone but Sara; Ted and Jimmy go skinny-dipping in the lake. The teenagers' neighbours for the weekend, Trish and Tommy Jarvis, drive by while heading back from the store. Some of the group are familiar with Trish and invite her to their party later that night. Trish is more concerned about shielding an excited Tommy's eyes from the nudity and continues driving. Their car breaks down further into the forest, and they receive help from Rob, a stranger who claims to be hunting bears despite Tommy's objection to such animals being in the area. As a show of gratitude, Trish drives Rob to her house; there he is briefly introduced to the estranged Mrs. Jarvis, and Tommy shows him his homemade Halloween masks before he heads out to set up camp. Trish and Tommy then head out again to buy more goods.
As night falls, the teenagers begin their party, with the company of their guests Tina and Terri. As the group get acquainted with slow-dance music, Samantha becomes angry with Paul when he shows no reluctance to dancing with one of the twins. To ease her frustration, she heads outside to go skinny dipping. Noticing a raft floating in the lake, she swims out to it to relax, only to be stabbed through the stomach by Jason from underneath. At the party, Paul starts to feel guilty and heads outside to check up on Samantha. Finding her body in the raft, Paul frantically swims back to the shore to seek help, but is impaled through the groin with a spear by Jason, who was hiding under the pier. Rob hears Paul's screams and heads through the woods to investigate; finding nothing he returns to find Jason had entered into his tent; destroyed his gun and left.
Back at the party, Jimmy and Tina develop an attraction, much to the annoyance of Ted, who's increasing desperation repels Terri entirely. Jimmy and Tina head upstairs to have sex in Paul's room, leaving Terri with Ted. After finding a vintage stag film, Ted sets up a film projector so he; Terri; Doug and Sarah have something fun to watch. Now put off from Ted completely, Terri gives up and gets ready to leave; she gets into a brief argument with Tina and is forced to leave the house alone. Thereupon, she is impaled with the spear used to kill Paul. Soon after, Jason kills Mrs. Jarvis next door as she heads outside to investigate her house's sudden power loss.
Unaware three of their friends are dead, Doug and Sara finally decide to begin a sexual relationship and go upstairs to shower. As Jimmy and Tina finish having sex, Jimmy sneaks downstairs to tease Ted with her underwear, though Ted has now drank enough alcohol to no longer care. As Jimmy goes into the kitchen to get another bottle, Jason sneaks into the house and stabs his hand with a corkscrew followed by burying a meat cleaver in his head. Upstairs as Tina gets dressed, she notices Terri's bicycle is still parked outside. Moving closer to the window to look for her sister, Jason breaks through the glass and throws her onto the teens' parked car, killing her on impact.
Next door, Trish and Tommy return from the storm and find the house empty. Trish heads outside to Rob's empty tent to see if he has anything to do with it. Rob returns and almost kills her with a machete, thinking she was Jason again. He finally explains to Trish the real reason he is in the forest: he wants to avenge his younger sister Sandra, who Jason killed several days earlier during Part 2. Trish is adamant that Jason is dead, but with the area oddly quiet she can't get rid of any doubts.
Back at the rental home, Jason re-enters the building to kill Ted, luring him to the projector screen and stabbing him through the head from behind it. Upstairs, Sara finishes her shower with Doug to get dressed. As she dries her hair, Jason walks upstairs and smashes Doug's head against the bathroom wall and heads back down. Sara returns to find him dead and begins panicking, calling out the names of the others for help. Running downstairs, Sara desperately tries to get through a locked door, only for Jason to throw an axe through it, striking her in the chest.
After first checking if Tommy is ok, Trish; Rob and the family dog Gordon run over to the rental house to check on the teenagers. They find the house oddly empty. Rob and Trish first decide to check the basement, but Trish leaves to head upstairs after something frightens Gordon so much he jumps out of a window. Upstairs Trish finds Doug's body with the shower still running. Finally forced to admit Jason is still alive, Trish runs back down to Rob, but it is too late; Jason has taken advantage of Trish's departure to attack Rob. Unable to help, Trish runs out of the house with Rob's machete and runs home to start nailing the door shut. The reinforced door does little help, as Jason throws Rob's body trough a window to gain entry instead. As Jason gets inside, he throws a hammer at Trish, which misses her by inches. Trish and Tommy run upstairs into Tommy's room and try to reinforce his door as well. Jason starts hacking the door down with an axe, prompting Trish to smash Tommy's computer monitor onto the killer's head. Jason is not down for long, but Trish uses it for her advantage and lures him out to the rental home to give Tommy time to escape.
On his way out, Tommy finds some of Rob's newspaper clippings on Jason, especially a picture of Jason as a child. Reading on how Ginny overcame Jason in Part 2, Tommy begins shaving his hair in the hopes that resembling Jason as a child would confuse him. Trish returns to the house weakened after having fallen out of the rental home's window; finding Tommy still in the house she becomes distressed. Jason enters the home once more and a tired Trish swings the machete twice at him, splitting his left hand in half and piecing his chest; the damage is superfluous to Jason, and he continues his advances. As Jason begins choking Trish, Tommy runs downstairs completely bald and calls out to him. The plan works and Jason is transfixed, as he was with Ginny. Trish swings the machete again, but only scrapes Jason's face and cuts off his hockey mask. Trish is horrified by Jason's deformed face and drops the machete, giving him an opportunity to finally kill her. To protect his sister, Tommy grabs the machete instead and drives it into Jason's skill, which he finally collapses from, forcing the blade further into his head. Believing it to be all over, Tommy and Trish embrace. However, seeing Jason's hand twitch, Tommy grabs the machete once more and begins hacking at the body repeatedly, shouting "die!" over and over to Trish's hysterical screams for Tommy to stop.
The film cuts to Trish recovering on a hospital bed. Talking to a doctor about what happened with Tommy, the doctor assures her there was nothing abnormal in his behaviour. Tommy enters the room and the two hug once more. The camera then cuts to Tommy looking back with a cold stare.
An alternate ending to the film, included in the 2009 Deluxe Edition DVD, shows a dream sequence where Trish and Tommy wake up the next morning after killing Jason to the sound of police sirens. Trish sends Tommy to summon the police who have arrived next door. At that point she notices water dripping from the ceiling and goes to investigate. She enters the upstairs bathroom, and finds the body of her mother, drowned in the bathtub,and begins to cry. At that moment, Mrs. Jarvis' eyes open,revealing demonic white eyes,as Trish turns around. Jason appears behind Her,striking down. Trish then suddenly wakes up in the hospital in a scene reminiscent of the ending of the first movie. In his commentary, the director says this scene was cut because it interfered with the idea that this would be the final film.
- Kimberly Beck - Trish Jarvis
- Corey Feldman - Tommy Jarvis
- Erich Anderson - Rob Dier
- Peter Barton - Doug
- Crispin Glover - Jimmy
- Clyde Hayes - Paul
- Barbara Howard - Sara
- Lawrence Monoson - Ted Cooper
- Joan Freeman - Mrs. Jarvis
- Judie Aronson - Samantha
- Camilla More - Tina Moore
- Carey More - Terri Moore
- Bruce Mahler - Coroner Axel Burns
- Lisa Freeman - Nurse Robbie Morgan
- Wayne Grace - Officer J. Jamison
- Bonnie Hellman - Hitchhiker
- Frankie Hill - Paramedic Lainie
- Antony Ponzini - Paramedic Vincent
- Ted White - Jason Voorhees (uncredited by his own request)
Makeup artist Tom Savini, who had done the makeup work in the original film, agreed to do the makeup in this film under the condition that Jason would be killed off for good. As Jason eventually came back, Savini claims that the killer in subsequent movies was not Jason Voorhees.