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Paramount Pictures brought on The Prowler director Joseph Zito—and Tom Savini, makeup artist for the original Friday the 13th—to put a definitive end to its declining hockey-masked slasher franchise, and the result became one of its most beloved installments. After an opening montage recaps the first three films, The Final Chapter picks up in the immediate aftermath of Part III’s Crystal Lake massacres with Jason (now a hulking Ted White) waking up in a morgue and turning his attention to a new cast of prey, including Crispin Glover and 12-year-old Corey Feldman. Zito pulled out all the stops to make this a series worth saving: from mordant humor and glass-shattering kills to baffling psychosexual subtext to a gonzo finale—an insane nod to 2001: A Space Odyssey.
“The hockey mask is the Andy Warhol soup can of horror; the minimalist stalker. In the fourth installment, the introduction of a young hero draws a connection between monster and boy. It turns out to, in fact, not be the ‘final chapter.’ ” —Jordan Peele