Paramount Clones 'The Final Chapter' For 'The New Blood'

Co-writer for Friday the 13th Part 7: The New Blood, Daryl Haney, has never been one to mince words when it comes to his writing duties on the film. The well documented power struggle between Director John Carl Buechler and Producer Barbara Sachs only compounded the ridiculous writing conditions that Haney was quoted in the book, Crystal Lake Memories, as saying "this whole stupid disaster". 

Many challenges arose during the creative process of getting a new Friday The 13th into cinemas.

After reading an outline of a story from Producer Barbara Sachs, fellow Producer and champion of the Friday the 13th series, Frank Mancuso Jr. called Haney into a meeting. In this meeting, Mancuso instructed Haney, in Haney's words, "to take The Final Chapter-which he considered to the best of the series-and basically knock off the structure". And indeed they did as The New Blood features numerous similarities in plot structure as well as ties between the two movies visually and also in shooting location.

The Same Production Company

As a coincidence, The Final Chapter and The New Blood were made my the same production company, Friday Four, Inc. This may explain some things in terms of what we look at below in regards to similar plot points, characters, shooting locations and the use of stock footage from the older Friday the 13th movie!

Lets take a step by step look at what ties these two movies together. First, the beginning of the movie…..

The Prologue
Each of the two movies begin with a prologue using a montage of older clips and a voice-over narrative recounting events of past movies. These are the only two movies in the franchise to do such a thing. The Final Chapter uses Paul Holt’s camp fire speech from Part 2 to tell the tale of Mrs. and Jason Voorhees and the legend/curse of Crystal Lake. A series of montaged clips from Part 1 through 3 are integrated into the prologue guided by his dialogue.

The New Blood’s prologue is narrated by Walt Gorney, who played Crazy Ralph in Friday the 13th Part 1 and 2. This is started off by zooming in on Jason’s grave, which was created for the Jason Lives trailer. Then we are shown past clips of Part 2, The Final Chapter and a majority of scenes from Jason Lives. All of this is done to bring the viewer up to speed on past events that will leave us on the edge of our seats and bring us into the title sequence.

Both title sequences start with the hockey mask breaking apart and the title pushing through. The Final Chapter has a pretty cheesy exploding mask and The New Blood does a pretty cool effect of the mask cracking and splitting into two pieces. As you can see, we have very striking similarities to how the movie itself has been started, but with The New Blood, there is more story to prologue about and a more flashy introductory title sequence. Now onto the movie ……

The Story Setup
We all know that there is a very simple formula to these movies. People show up at the lake, they frolic about and Jason kills all of them, except for the Final Girl or Final Guy. However, the situations they are placed into at the lake vary and have always been different. For instance, the original takes place at a rundown camp, Part 2 at a counselor training center, Part 3 at a summer home/ranch and so on. In the case of The Final Chapter and The New Blood, they share the exact same location situation. Both movies have the situation of two houses next door to each other in a secluded part of the woods.

Not only is there that logistical similarity, but the type of characters and their relation to that house are almost completely the same. One house, “the party house”, is populated by a bunch of teens that are there to do just that, party! The house next door is home to a family. The Final Chapter introduces us to the Jarvis family, without a dad. The New Blood introduces us to the Shepard family without a dad, well at least after the beginning of the movie.

Towards the end of the movies we have characters running between houses to investigate and then escape our boy, Jason Voorhees. These scenarios have never presented themselves in any other movies but these. Here, though, is where the similarities as the entire premise of Tina and telekenesis is a plot device that was used to amp up an older story for a new audience.

The Reused POV Shot
I have seen a certain number of films reuse footage from older films to tie movies together in a franchise so to give fans the feeling of continuity. These scenes are usually applied in a prologue or a flashback scene. However, have you ever witnessed a shot from a previous movie used to progress the actual story of a movie? Perhaps it is more common than I know.

In The New Blood there is a scene where the camper is waiting for her man to come back and a POV shot is inserted in to give the audience the impression of the girl being watched. The problem with this shot is that one, it’s a dome tent, and two it is raining. The tent shown in The New Blood is square and there was no rain in the forecast. This POV shot was obviously lifted from The Final Chapter when Trish is waiting in Rob’s tent.

So, I pose the question to you all, could this be looked upon as a cheap way to get a POV shot during post production or could it be a clever nod to an older movie as a way to tie an audience to an older and very successful sequel? And finally .......

Back To The Jarvis House

Another clever way to make an audience feel at home with a film is to give them scenery that seems familiar and as well as the sense that they can buy into a retelling of a favorite story. In the case of The New Blood, the above scene was actually shot in the Jarvis house from The Final Chapter. That’s right! For those of you that do no know, you are looking at the interior of the actual Jarvis house in Topanga, California.

Some could see this as using a location that is already known and easy to access. However, this could be another wink to the audience that says yes, we are remaking your beloved movies, but we haven’t forgotten where we came from.

The Conclusion
After reviewing all of the information laid forth above, it is safe to say that Paramount did indeed clone The Final Chapter to try and make a profitable and successful Friday the 13th sequel. The efforts of the Producer, Director and other crew members did not go unnoticed by the fans as Friday the 13th part 7: The New Blood still stands as the ultimate fan favorite due to its simple plot, straight forward and effective death scenes, and the portrayal of Jason Voorhees by Kane hodder.
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