An Average Movie-Goer’s Review
Spoilers! If you don’t want spoilers – check out the Spoiler-Free post
I love horror movies and if I’m going to watch them anyway, why not write an entertaining/funny review from the POV of an average movie-goer and not a professional critic.
Today we’re looking at the 9th film in the Friday the 13th series, 1993’s Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday
Upon returning to Crystal Lake, Jason is immediately killed but his spirit continues to hunt for a special victim that will allow him to be reborn
Is Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday Scary?
Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday is not scary but it is gorier than the last few films. There are a few jump scares but only within the first 20 min or so, the rest of the movie starts leaning into campy horror so there’s not much that I would consider “scary”.
Overall you won’t leave Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday scared of anything unless someone tasks you with figuring out the continuity and lore of Jason Voorhees.
All Friday the 13th Explanations/Reviews:
Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday Full Plot Summary:
Last we left Jason he was left dead in the sewers of NYC and that’s all we should say about that movie cuz it sucked. We open this film with a woman (played by Julie Michaels) driving toward Crystal Lake and I guess Crystal Lake is now in Connecticut.
Based on the sign our unnamed driver passes, Crystal Lake is 28 miles from Fairfield and 38 miles from Westport Connecticut meaning that Jason’s murdering grounds have to be Northeast of those two places.
That would place it around New Haven or Woodbridge Connecticut. Why am I bothering to place Crystal Lake? Because the previous movies imply that Crystal Lake is in New Jersey and this further emphasizes how illogical Part 8 was.
If the students took a boat to NYC from Connecticut they would need to sail Southwest but in the film they spot the Statue of Liberty first, meaning they had to be sailing Northeast to Manhattan.
All this tells me three things; the writers of these Friday the 13th movies gave up on continuity a while ago, I’ve put more thought in my last two paragraphs than the writers of this movie did, and I’m going bet this isn’t the only continuity fuck-up this movie is going to have.
Anyway back to the movie. Our unnamed driver arrives at a cabin in Crystal Lake but the lightbulb blows and she has to get a new one from the shed. These scenes are well-shot and scored and are reminiscent of the first few films.
After switching out the lightbulbs, our driver gets naked to take a bath and because Jason doesn’t like women getting nude on campgrounds, the power suddenly goes out. Upon leaving the bathroom, the woman is attacked by Jason who swipes at her with his machete causing her to fall from a balcony.
The woman is still alive and runs out of the house as Jason chases after her. Unlike many of Jason’s previous victims in these films, this unnamed would-be victim is having no problem running through the woods. Arriving at a clearing, Jason teleports behind her but a bunch of lights suddenly turn on and surprise Jason.
Our would-be victim dives out of the way as a comically large number of federal agents in camouflage open fire on Jason with various caliber weapons. There are at least a dozen Federal Agents with several jumping down from trees so it’s as ridiculous as it sounds.
The whole thing was a sting operation to kill Jason Voorhees and our would-be victim is actually Federal Agent Elizabeth Marcus. We then get one agent yell “incoming” directly into the camera (is this supposed to be a bad comedy?) and Jason gets blown up. Jason explodes into pieces and his head falls onto the ground right next to his still-beating heart.
As the federal agents congratulate themselves for successfully killing Jason, a mysterious character (played by Steven Williams) watches them from the nearby trees. Talking to absolutely no one he audibly says “I don’t think so” and I can only presume he says this because he knows we’re less than 10 min into this movie.
Title screen! We next see Jason’s remains, including his heart, taken in for an autopsy performed by coroner Phil (played by Richard Grant). Phil notes Jason’s heart is not filled with blood but instead filled with a black viscous liquid. The heart suddenly starts beating and places Phil into a trance that causes him to eat the heart like it’s the most delicious thing he’s ever eaten.
Possibly because he just ate a heart, Phil starts to vomit up a black liquid. Red balls of light sperm leave Jason’s remains and enter Phil’s body which I guess is supposed to signify that Jason has possessed Phil. He also does a bunch of monstrous growls which is very un-Jason-like.
A short time later the assistant coroner enters the room and doesn’t at all question why Phil is covered in black goo and blood. Instead, he decides to insult Jason’s remains which are some really weak burns. This angers Phil-Jason who grabs a probe and jams it into the assistant’s head.
As Phil-Jason leaves the room we see his reflection is actually that of Jason. Outside the room, two security guards also don’t question why Phil is covered in black blood and that can only mean this is a common occurrence. They then call Jason a “fucker” which leads to their deaths.
A week later a news program called “American Case File” hosted by Robert Campbell (played by Steven Culp) reports on the deaths. By the way, this news segment confirms that Jason is wildly known as a real-life boogeyman-like figure with 83 confirmed kills. In the following segment Robert interviews a famous bounty hunter, Creighton Duke who is the mysterious stranger we saw earlier watching Jason die.
Robert asks Duke what he thinks of when he says “Jason Voorhees” to which Duke replies that it makes him think of “a little girl in a pink dress sticking a hot dog through a donut.”…. What the fuck? Were the writers on every hard drug when they wrote this line?
Anyway, Duke tells Robert that Jason isn’t dead, he’s able to switch bodies when he “dies”, and only Duke himself knows how to kill Jason but he’ll only do it for half a million dollars. First, why doesn’t Robert, a reporter, ask Duke how he knows all of this? Or question the little girl’s comment? Or just say “What the fuck are you talking about?”
Robert continues his segment by stating there have been 5 more Jason-style deaths leading to Crystal Lake and offers to pay the 500 thousand dollars Duke has requested. We transition to a diner near Crystal Lake where one of the waitresses Diana (played by Erin Gray) has been watching the news program and appears to be more worried than she should be.
As she goes back to work we see Diana’s boss is trying to capitalize on the influx of tourists by renaming menu items to memorialize Jason. There are options like “Voorhees burgers” which are burgers shaped like hockey masks and “Jason Fingers” which I hope are chicken fingers.
While Diana complains about this to her co-worker and friend Vicki (played by Allison Smith), their boss Joey (played by Rusty Schwimmer) basically says “Capitalism baby” and sends them back to work.
Diana’s next customer is Duke who claims to know everything about her and says he needs her help to stop Jason otherwise, Jason will come for her. Sheriff Landis approaches and it turns out he’s dating Diana so he doesn’t take kindly to Duke’s random sexual comments towards Diana. Landis calls over Deputy Randy (played by Kipp Marcus) and has him arrest Duke.
Before the Duke is dragged out he tells Diana that Jason will come for her and her baby. Diana snaps at Landis for thinking she needed protection then talks to one of the patrons, Steven (played by John D. LeMay).
Diana tells Steven she needs to talk to him about Jessica especially if she still cares about her and wants to make things right. Though we don’t know who Jessica is yet, Steven seems worried and agrees to stop by Diana’s home at 11 that night.
That night while driving home (I presume), Steven picks up 3 hitchhiking teens and drops them off by Camp Crystal Lake. Later Phil-Jason shows up and kills all three teens by slicing one up with a scalpel, stabbing another with a metal pole that he then rips her in half with, and killing the last one off-screen. That metal pole kill was the goriest these movies have been in a while and was a welcomed surprise.
Later Phil-Jason has arrived at the Diner and watches as Diana tosses out some trash and feeds a dog. Before he can approach her, another Deputy, Josh (played by Andrew Bloch), appears and says goodnight to Diana. As Diana heads inside Josh’s girlfriend Edna (played by Diana Georger) arrives to pick him up and she overacts this scene like a champ.
Through Phil-Jason’s POV, he quickly runs up to the car and in a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it cut, he slams the car door on Edna’s head killing her. We then cut to the Vorhees house where I presume Jason and his mother lived decades ago when their last name was still spelled Voorhees.
Inside Phil-Jason has a naked Josh bound onto a table with leather straps for some reason and then shaves his face for him… the fuck is going on? What was the conversation that even led to this happening?
After shaving Josh, Phil-Jason goes to either bite him or kiss him but we only hear Josh’s screams as we cut away. At Diana’s place, she gets a call from her daughter Jessica (played by Kari Keegan) who also has a baby. Jessica lets Diana know that she’ll be visiting next week with her new boyfriend who just happens to be Robert.
We also learn that Jessica and Steven used to be in a relationship and the baby is his but the two broke up for some reason. Before the conversation can continue Josh, now possessed by Jason, breaks into the house and attacks Diana.
As Diana struggles with Josh, she looks over at a mirror and discovers it’s actually Jason. DUN DUN… wait we knew that already.
Confused as to why Diana suddenly hung up, Jessica calls the sheriff and requests he check on Diana. Meanwhile, Diana pulls a gun out of a drawer and shoots Jason-Josh in the head. Instead of double-tapping or walking around the body, Diana decides the best thing to do is walk directly over the body and unsurprisingly Jason-Josh grabs her.
Josh throws Diana to the ground, forces her mouth open, and some kind of worm or slug starts to protrude out of his mouth. Before the slug can get into Diana, Steven arrives and tackles Josh. The two fight briefly and by that I mean Jason-Josh has no problem beating the shit out of Steven.
After throwing Steven aside, Josh grabs a knife sharpener from the knife block and throws it without looking. Pretty sure his target was Steven but since he wasn’t looking, he didn’t notice Steven helping Diana up and the sharpener goes directly into Diana’s back, killing her.
As Diana falls to the ground, Josh catches a glimpse of himself in the mirror and is distracted at seeing Jason staring back at him. Because Jason knows he’s possessing someone, I can only assume Jason is distracted by his own beauty.
Josh admiring himself is interrupted by Steven who stabs him in the back with a fire poker. Josh struggles to pull out the fire poker and somehow this causes him to fall out of the window. Moments later Sheriff Landis arrives and arrests Steven for Diana’s murder.
The next day Jessica and Robert arrive at Crystal Lake and leave the baby with Vicki while the two meet with the sheriff. Meanwhile, Steven is in the cell next to Duke who somehow knows that Steven is charged with Diana’s murder.
Duke tells Steven he knows Jason killed Diana but that only he knows how to kill him. Steven asks for information and Duke offers to give it to him for a price. Turns out by “price” Duke meant “let me break your fingers” because I guess the writer really wanted you to know the Duke is weird.
Duke breaks two of Steven’s fingers and we learn that Diana is Jason’s sister, Jason knows this and in order to be reborn he has to possess another Voorhees, and the only way to truly kill Jason is if a Voorhees does it. Duke tells Steven he has to break out of jail, find evidence at the Voorhees house that Jessica is related to Jason, and convince her to kill Jason.
Determined, Steven calls out to Deputy Randy and rats on Duke for breaking his fingers. While Randy checks his hand, Steven grabs Randy’s gun and forces him to open the cell. A short time later Steven sneaks into the diner and visits his daughter who Vicki has left in a makeshift bed in the back. Great babysitter.
He’s caught by Ward (played by Adam Cranner), the son of Joey who also works at the diner. Apparently, Ward really likes Steven because he gives him his car to help him escape. Later Steven arrives at the Voorhees house and finds the Necronomicon from the Evil Dead series… so Jason is a deadite?
This implies that Jason’s mom, Pamela, used the Necronomicon to resurrect Jason and that is why Jason is super hard to kill. Honestly, that kind of works.
Steven hears someone coming and he runs into a closet. The floorboards immediately break but Steven is able to catch himself before dropping into the basement. Instead of Jason, it’s Robert who walks in on the phone with his producer. Did Robert not see Steven’s car right outside the house?
Robert tells his producer he has stolen Diana’s body from the morgue and has placed her in the closet. Why? For ratings! Robert plans to do a live show at the Voorhees house where he’ll “discover” Diana’s body. This guy sucks.
Jason-Josh suddenly busts in through the door, grabs Robert, and transfers the Jason-worm into him. Josh falls to the ground and disintegrates because being possessed by Jason just wasn’t enough of a punishment.
Meanwhile, inside the closet, Diana’s body falls from somewhere and slides down the hole Steven created. At Diana’s home, Jessica is in the shower when the power suddenly goes out. Following several sounds, she enters the garage only to be attacked by Jason-Robert but is saved by Steven.
Steven drags a very confused Jessica into the car and then runs over Jason-Robert seemingly killing him. A short time later Jessica demands Steven stop the car and he tells her everything about Jason… oh wait, no he doesn’t.
Instead, he’s pretty vague about what’s going on, doesn’t mention Jason at all, and tells her he can protect her and the baby. Jessica headbutts him and kicks him out of the car.
After driving to the sheriff’s office, Jessica tells Landis where Steven is and he sends Randy to go get him. A short time later Steven hasn’t moved at all and Randy finds him in the exact spot where we left him. The two fight but Steven gives up when he hears Jessica is at the station.
At the station Jason-Robert arrives, kills a few cops, and grabs Jessica. Just as he’s about to transfer the worm, Landis stops him but he’s quickly knocked out by Robert. Still, this gives Jessica enough time to run. Jessica reaches the hallway just as Randy enters with a handcuffed Steven. She then yells out for help as Robert arrives and grabs her again.
Steven knocks out Randy, which feels unnecessary, grabs his gun, and shoots Robert multiple times including once in the head. As Jessica and Steven flee the station, two cops arrive and check on Robert’s body. Jason-Robert wakes up and smashes their heads together killing them while another cop just stares in disbelief.
The cop runs away towards the cells where Duke knocks him out and presumably escapes the station.
Meanwhile, Jessica and Steven arrive at the diner but Joey holds them at gunpoint and refuses to let them see the baby. When Joey is momentarily distracted, Jessica grabs the gun, and the during the struggle they accidentally shoot the fuse box, causing the power to go out. Jessica then knocks Joey out with a napkin dispenser.
Outside Robert arrives and kills Ward who attempts to stop him from entering. Jason-Robert enters the diner and kills a cop. Steven opens fire and Vicki randomly pulls out a shotgun and fires as well. I rewatched the scene multiple times and that shotgun appears out of thin air.
We see Vicki jump over the counter, we see her behind the counter; there’s no shotgun. We cut away to Steven firing, then cut back to Vicki; she’s got a shotgun. It’s the funniest moment of the movie. She also accidentally shoots a cop behind Jason-Robert when she fires.
Jessica and Steven run to the back of the diner to get their daughter but instead, Jessica finds a note from Duke telling her he has taken the baby to the Voorhees house and she must come alone. Jessica hides this fact from Steven and just says that Vicki moved the baby.
In front of the diner, Jason-Robert brutally kills everyone, including Joey’s husband Shelby (played by Leslie Jordan), by dunking his head in the deep frying and caving in Joey’s face with a punch.
Jason-Robert then heads to the back where he grabs Jessica but she’s saved by Vicki who shoots him multiple times. Out of bullets, Vicki grabs an iron pipe and stabs him in the stomach. Unfortunately, Robert pulls Vicki towards him causing the pipe to impale her as well. He then grabs her head and crushes it before he collapses as well.
Steven and Jessica check on Vicki who is definitely dead and Steven announces he’s going to get some help. The fuck? It’s clear the writers just wanted to separate Steven and Jessica for a moment but that was a lazy reason. As Steven heads out front, Jessica takes the opportunity and runs out through the back to head to the Voorhees house.
Steven hears the door and runs back, finding the note the Duke left. Eyeing a machete on the wall that for some reason Vicki didn’t use, Steven decides to head to the Voorhees house as well.
At the Voorhees house, Jessica meets with Duke and he tells her about Jason. He then throws a knife towards her which transforms into a dagger that he claims is the only way she can kill Jason. Feels like that was information he should have told Steven about back in the cell but whatever.
Back at the diner, we don’t see who but a cop arrives and is attacked by Jason-Robert who presumably takes their body. A short time later Sheriff Landis and Randy arrive at the Voorhees house just as Duke falls through a random trap door and gets a metal rod impaled into his leg. Duke tells Jessica that Jason could be either Landis or Randy and demands she kill both of them.
Landis attempts to get Jessica to drop the knife but she refuses and stabs him in the chest when he lunges at her. As his body falls atop of her, she drops the dagger and it slides under a dresser. Meanwhile, Randy is revealed to be possessed by Jason as he grabs the baby.
Just as he’s about to transfer the Jason-worm, Steven arrives with the machete and cuts open Jason-Randy’s neck. The Jason-worm crawls out of the neck wound and it transforms into a somewhat baby-sized creature. The creature scurries around and attempts to attack Steven but he grabs it and tosses it down the trapdoor leading to the basement.
Jessica helps Duke out of the basement and the three are about to reach for the dagger but hear strange noises coming from the basement. Steven then remembers that Diana’s body is still down in the basement and asks if the Voorhees relative that Jason needs to possess has to be alive.
In the basement we see the Jason creature find Diana’s body, and enter by crawling under her dress… yep a reverse birth. Moments later a reborn Jason jumps out of the basement crashing through the floorboards.
As Steven and Jessica attempt to grab the dagger, Duke handcuffs one of his hands to Jason and the other to a nearby pipe. He also asks Jason “Do you remember me?” and of course, Jason remembers him, so he gives him a nice big hug…
Also, just to point out, Duke and Jason never interacted in this movie so it makes no sense for Duke to ask if he remembers him. Maybe there was a cut scene or something but if you cut a scene or portion of a movie that is referenced in a later scene, maybe you should update that scene so it all makes sense?… Oh wait, I forgot what movie series I was talking about.
Meanwhile, the dagger falls through a hole and into the basement so everyone is fucked. Jessica heads to the basement while Steven tackles Jason out of a window and the two fight outside. By fight I mean, Jason has some fun throwing Steven around because he could have easily killed Steven multiple times.
At one point he’s holding a metal rake and just hits Steven with the wooden part of the handle a few times. At another point, he grabs a shovel from Steven and just tosses it away. After some hijinks that involve Steven climbing a jungle gym to avoid Jason, Jessica arrives with the dagger and stabs Jason in the chest.
As Jason dies multiple large hands reach out from the ground and drag him down to hell.
The hands also grab Steven and Jessica just sort of watches it happen for like a little too long amount of time before finally deciding to help him. Jason then emerges and also grabs Steven but the hands grab Jason and pull him away. This allows Jessica to save Steven just as the portal to hell closes.
The two kiss and as the sun rises, the family walks away to a happy ending. Meanwhile, the wind blows away some dirt revealing Jason’s mask. The film ends as another hand reaches up and grabs it, but this isn’t any ordinary hand, this one belongs to Freddy Krueger.
Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday Spoiler Review:
Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday is okay, is it a bad Friday the 13th movie? Yes. Is it a bad campy horror movie? No. This movie could have easily not involved Jason Voorhees or Crystal Lake and it would have been essentially the same because instead of making it mainly about the Friday the 13th mythos, it’s mostly about new lore that is established for the first time in this film. Since it also contradicts a lot of other lore that was already established in previous films, it makes it a bad Friday the 13th film.
This entry is also much campier than the rest of the films and leans into the humor with overexaggerated characters. Duke the bounty hunter is just weird and unhinged but Steven Williams does such a good job at playing him, you can’t help but like the character. Robert’s character is something out of an 80’s comedy, he’s is an over-the-top villain who somehow manages to steal Diana’s body just to “discover” it and get ratings. Even the military that kill Jason at the beginning are over-the-top starting from the very moment one yells down the lens.
The acting overall is something you’d expect from the Friday the 13th series, nothing that I would classify as great but it wasn’t bad. The dialogue is campy except for the main characters, everyone else says some weird shit at random times or tries really hard to be funny or weird.
The story is entertaining, a dead serial killer body-hopping to fulfill some kind of ancient ritual (possibly included in the Necronomicon) that allows him to be reborn is interesting but not in the context of it being the 9th Friday the 13th film.
Overall I do recommend Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Nightmare if you have nothing else to watch but I don’t recommend it to Friday the 13th fans who really enjoy the lore of the Jason of previous films.