Retro Review: Jason Goes to Hell – The Final Friday (1993)

Which side are you on?

I ask this question because of the split between the Friday the 13th films.  You are either a fan of the movie or a hater.  I am on the fence, do I hate Jason Goes to Hell?  I don’t really know, do I like it, a little?  Before Jason X was released I did believe it to be the worst of the series, now I go back and forth.  When I say worst of the series, it doesn’t mean I hate something.  Honestly, my least favorite is not Jason Goes to Hell and would probably surprise a lot of people…I am not gonna say which is my least favorite.

I actually got to see Jason Goes to Hell on opening night.  My mother was a fan of the series and shortly after I was born in 1980, she couldn’t wait, she took me to see the original film.  By 1993 I was 13 and a fan of the series, so she wanted to take me to see Jason Goes to Hell because she thought it was the last and we would have seen the first and last together.  It was a great time and we enjoyed our viewing of “The Final Friday”.

From the first viewing on to my 20s, I did like Jason Goes to Hell.  But, re-watching the series and seeing different documentaries really kind of turned me off to the film and Sean Cunningham as a creator.  The words will forever resonate in my brain, “get rid of that damn hockey mask”.  Of course, he and Victor Miller thought of Jason as being dead and had absolutely nothing to do with the growth or popularity of the character.  When New Line bought the rights to the character, they lost the timeline essentially.  Also, how in the hell do you follow up a movie like Jason Takes Manhattan?  I mean, the Paramount series was left in an odd place.

I am not going to write an article and talk about the story, I will voice my issues with the movie and things that worked.

For me, it is not about the change in the way the movie is, the story really isn’t great.  I am not a big fan of bringing in the lineage of Jason, a long lost sister and of course making Jason a demon, well basically a demon.  There is some kind of demon in Jason, New Line, did this work for Freddy?  Jason Goes to Hell is better than Freddy’s Dead, I will give them that.  There is a Voorhees house that places a role in the movie, a mystical dagger, a dagger that changes shape when in the hands of a Voorhees woman.  I think my biggest problem is the supernatural elements to the movie.  I guess that is part of the change, but the body jumping doesn’t bother me, it was interesting for sure.  I only feel a bit cheated as a fan, because I like Kane Hodder as Jason and this movie he was wasted.  Even if, the worst make up of the entire series was in this movie, I would have rather seen that.

When I posted about writing this article, a few friends commented on the status update.

Brian Bennett the Admin for Camp Blood: The Legacy Facebook Group:

Some people cannot handle “change” and rather keep the same formula going. To each their own, but I’m a fan of it myself.

New Line brings Jason over and most of us fans hope to see the Freddy vs Jason match up we’ve been looking for.  The ending left that open for the match up, but it would take 10 years and a ton of different scripts before we got to that disaster of a movie.  Yeah, I said it, it wasn’t great.

I do want to talk a little about Creighton Duke.  He was a cool character that I would have loved to see more from, where is the Creighton Duke spin off movie, he is a bounty hunter, but not your average bounty hunter.  I would watch a movie about him, especially if Steven Williams played Duke.  Even now, he is 68, I bet he could do a cool movie.  The scene in the jail when he was giving Steven information and breaking his fingers, it was amazing.  Also, his interiview on American Case Files was super good, when he things of Jason Voorhees.

I mean, there is not much I really like in the movie.  It has good entertainment values, especially if you look at it as a one shot, single serving movie.  I say that because it feels like it is in its own special world, separate from has been set up from Paramount.  The rules are different, Jason is different and there are all new characters, like the other movies.  But, it really gets away from the Friday the 13th formula, completely.  I know it is a change and that is fine, but even in atmosphere, it doesn’t feel like Crystal Lake or even a Friday the 13th movie.  Maybe its the body jumping, but the setting alone pulls you out of the woods and into a small town.  There is one part with people camping and sometimes I wonder if that was added in, just to give it a Friday the 13th feel.

The kills are good and there are plenty, but that is not enough for me.  There is a difference between watching the masked maniac killer and a coroner.  Oh, well I guess I should mention the ending with the resurrection of Jason and the demon taking that form, which makes absolutely no sense.  But, it brought the worst looking incarnation to Jason back for the final fight, which doesn’t last long and then the demons pull him to hell.  It was terrible, even seeing the demon crawl out of the cop’s neck.  Sigh…yes I sigh this movie.  This is why watching it as a stand alone movie is the best mind set, forget everything you know about the 7 sequels to the original.  Throw all of that away.  Just go in knowing Jason wears a hockey mask and carries a machete to kill people.

So, what do you think, I just can’t talk about it any longer.  I think the movie is overall a bad movie.  If you want to watch it again and already hate it, try what I said, single serving, stand alone movie.  It has to be, because Jason X comes after and he is not in hell and Freddy is no where to be seen.  Not to mention, Jason is walking around in Freddy vs Jason, not in hell.  So this movie could be pulled from the timeline completely and it wouldn’t matter.

Check out the trailer, enjoy the movie next time you watch it, and let us all lighten up about these movies, especially Friday the 13th part V: A New Beginning, it is a good movie.

Check out this video below the trailer, How New Line Cinema Destroyed the Friday the 13th Franchise.  It is super interesting.


About Ray Marek III 683 Articles
I have been watching horror films since I was 6 years old. The story, one Saturday night, my mom and I were watching movies and she fell asleep on the couch. We had the channel set on HBO and the movie we were watching ended and the next one, A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy’s Revenge. This was some time in 1986. I watched then entire film, I was sitting on the edge of my seat. When my mom woke, she asked me what just ended and I told her, “Freddy”. That was all I talked about for weeks and finally she broke down and rented more horror films for me. She rented, the Texas Chainsaw Massacre part 2, Re-Animator, Friday the 13th VI: Jason Lives and Halloween II. I watched all and fell in love with horror films forever. 5 Horror Films to Watch Inferno (1980) A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984) The Beyond (1981) Friday the 13th VI: Jason Lives (1986) Horror of Dracula (1958)