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Veevleigh

Watching Friday the 13th For the First Time

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Okay, so here's a confession from me. Before playing the game, the only Friday the 13th movie I had ever seen was Jason X, which I enjoyed in a 'it's so bad it's good' kind of way. Despite liking horror movies, I had a bit of a snobbish disregard for 'slasher' movies. I liked to be scared and feel tense, and I found most slasher movies just focused on gore and elaborate kills than actual scares. For that reason, I never bothered to watch the Friday the 13th series. I was born in 1987 so didn't grow up when they were popular, and never went back to watch them once I got 'in' to horror.

I fell in love with the game because the idea of using a slasher movie as an asymmetrical multiplayer game was great to me, but the fact it was licensed meant little to me. The cliched Summer Camp setting and playing as counsellors was great, but I was sold on that alone, rather than it being a 'Jason Voorhees' game. But really getting in to the game, and seeing the fanbase here, made me appreciate the lore and interesting development (even if fans admit a lot of the movies aren't great) of the movies, and I felt it really was time I finally watch them.

I saw Parts 5, 6 and 7 out of order as I managed to find them (and Freddy vs Jason, which I had seen before, but rewatched), but unfortunately the DVD box set is out of print in the UK, and it took me several months to find it for an affordable price. But I finally found it, so I thought it might be interesting to read my reactions at finally seeing the movies for the first time!

It's worth saying I've done a lot of horror costuming for a horror costume club, and have quite a good knowledge of horror movies even if I hadn't seen them, so I knew a fair bit going in, even if I'd not seen them. Add to that what I learned from the game and it's not like I'm seeing these with totally fresh eyes.

I've watched the first four so far, catching back up to where I was, ready to rewatch Part V.

Friday the 13th

The movie that started it all. Going in, I already knew that the killer wasn't Jason, and had a vague idea of what to expect. I knew the film's history as an attempt to capitalise on the success of the Halloween franchise and I wasn't expecting too much. Overall, I liked the movie more than I thought I would, but found the characters a little bland. The setting of using a summer camp for a horror movie might be cliched now, but was genius at the time, and I cannot over-state how fantastically it works. There's a reason it became such an iconic location!

Add to that the special effects, and you can see why the movie made a mark. For its low budget, the effects are great, and there are several memorable sequences. Also, it's worth mentioning that, even though I knew it was coming, the final jump scare is brilliant. By playing it in slow motion, and a great make-up job on child Jason, the entire sequence is horrific, and it isn't just one jump and over, as it extends.

However, as I said, the characters were bland and forgettable, to the extent I barely remember any of them beyond 'the one that jokes around a lot', 'the one played by Kevin Bacon' and 'Alice because she's the Final Girl'. This unfortunately plays against the movie's favour, because so much of the movie takes place with people being killed without the killer being known, we have to like the characters we're around, and instead, I found myself being bored quite often, waiting for the next kill.

Pamela is a great idea for the murderer in this one. While her presence can't maintain a franchise and her replacement with Jason makes sense, it's nicely seeded by the almost off-hand way a child drowning is mentioned, and it's a brilliantly unhinged performance. It's a nice finale because you have two characters physically quite well matched, making it tense, rather than just a terrifying final run, and there's almost something nicely feminist about the killer of all these strapping young people being a middle-aged woman. However, I also think Pamela should of at least had a small scene before her final appearance, because as it is, the movie is set up as a 'Whodunnit' when the answer is somebody we didn't even get to meet yet.

Friday the 13th Part II

Things were immediately improved for me in this instalment thanks to the presence of some more likeable characters, and the beginnings of an interesting storyline, rather than just a sequence of murders. The campfire sequence is a classic, and to me set the entire tone of what these type of movies should be, and Jason comes across as both mysterious, but very human. His shack being introduced early but the horror of what's inside being hidden is really well done, and there were genuinely some characters that I felt sorry to see go (Vickie and Mark spring to mind), making this have more of a 'horror' aspect for me (I tend to find something scarier when I like the characters, rather than just watching for the kills).

Jason himself comes across as a bit of a clumsy presence in this at the end, but very vicious, and his variety of weapons and kills are entertaining to watch. His design (at least in the mask) isn't fantastic, there's a reason the pillowcase never caught on, but at least it lets him appear as more of a physical presence and threat than Pamela ever did in the previous movie. I actually really loved the bearded, long haired design of Jason without the mask, even if it was dropped (or possibly just in a nightmare).

Unfortunately, for me, Ginny didn't really appeal as a final girl. There seemed to be an undercurrent that she was a little manipulative and she never seemed over-overwhelmingly pleasant or really get much redemption for the way she acted. She's tough during the finale, and her trick on Jason is iconic and brilliant, but as a character I didn't particularly care for her.

Friday the 13th Part III

This is probably my favourite of the first four instalments, dodgy 3D aside. There's enough of a subplot with Chris's past to keep things interesting in-between the killings, and the agnostic bikers add to it too. There's actual story line here, that helps keep you watching even when Jason isn't onscreen. Chris is likeable enough, but what surprised me seeing this (despite knowing his reputation) is that Shelly really feels like the star of the show, and given the most development. It's actually really sad that he died off-screen.

The finale in the barn is nicely done, with lots of great sequences. Barring Jason out only to become sealed in with him, for example, and the hanging are brilliant, even down to the "You can't still be alive!".

The acting is probably the poorest yet from some characters, but they're still enjoyable enough. What did surprise me was HOW human Jason was in this movie, limping and wounded and growling and grunting often. Having read all the debates on here about Roy from Part V only being human and therefore not making sense as a killer in the game, I'm really shocked to see how much MORE human Jason seems than Roy in this movie! Roy Burns would of kicked Part III Jason's butt!

The movie does lose some points for it's rip off ending of Part One. Not only does it obviously not go anywhere, it's just such an obvious rip off that it seemed very easy to see coming. Although I did like the bleeding, unmasked Jason watching from the window...

Friday the 13th Part IV: The Final Chapter

I wanted to like this one more than I did. It has some nice ideas. And it seems to be the origin of the appearance, at least, of Tiffany, my favourite character to play as, so I have to give it some leeway!

But unfortunately, we're back to largely bland characters that are dull to watch. Tommy and Trish are interesting enough, but their paths don't intersect with the main teens enough for them to get any story focus, and there just feel to be too many characters for me to really care about any of them, as we skip between the Jarvis family and the partying teens. There are some good ideas in inventive, and Crispin Glover puts in a strong, memorable performance giving us at least one character to be attached too (and his friend, Teddy, is equally memorable).

Rob manages to have some story and be a little interesting, at least, in his hunt for Jason, and helps fill people in on the killer, which works well, and the ending is great too, with Tommy distracting him, Jason losing his mask and looking fantastically grotesque, and Tommy's disturbed hacking him apart at the very end. That's all well done. It's not a bad movie, but it's not a great one.

So far (ignoring the instalments I'd seen previously, as I want to watch them all fresh) my ratings are:

Friday the 13th Part Three

Friday the 13th Part Two

Friday the 13th Part Four: The Final Chapter

Friday the 13th

I feel bad ranking the original so low, since without it, there wouldn't be a franchise, but simply put, out of all of them so far, it's the one I'd return to the least.

If people enjoyed reading these, I'll post up my opinions on the others as I watch them :).

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8 minutes ago, Jason Todd Voorhees said:

giphy.webp

*Me when I saw and read this post*

You... woke up?

Is that a good or a bad thing?

  • Haha 1

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15 minutes ago, Veevleigh said:

You... woke up?

Is that a good or a bad thing?

How can you not watch the movies first and then play the game D: this breaks my heart!

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I think I feel a lot of how you do, @Veevleigh The original has a special place for originating the series, but it's not a great film (cheap whodunit) and it is boring a lot of the time. 

Part 2 really moves. It doesn't get boring to me, though Jason is such a klutz that the third act comes off as a comedy. I never realized how cool the shack was as a kid and I'm sad that we didn't get more of it in later installments. 

Part 3 is a meh movie, but it has the best final act in the series. I recall peeking out from behind the recliner as a kid watching Jason menace Chris. It's probably the most memorable of the series for me, and who doesn't love those godless bikers. :lol:

4 is probably the scariest Jason, but the the film is a stutter step behind 2. I thought the final chase was good, but the actual way Jason went down was meh. 

All in all I'm looking forward to how you find part 6 and the reboot to be. 

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1 minute ago, Jason Todd Voorhees said:

How can you not watch the movies first and then play the game D: this breaks my heart!

Well, the 'single killer hunts down camp counsellors' cliche is ripe for a video game, with or without the licence. I enjoy the asymmetrical horror aspect of it. It's great fun. And I've seen dozens of similar slasher movies to still enjoy it. But I was (unfairly) dismissive of the film franchise itself, until being on this board made me appreciate how loved they were, and want to check them out more.

On that topic:

Friday the 13th Part V: A New Beginning

So, this is one I've seen before, and I guess I made my disappointment in this movie known when I did the 'Part V is a good idea really badly made' thread, but on a rewatch, having seen the rest of the series up to this point in a row, it's a little more likeable as 'just another entry' in the series. The problem is that it had potential to be so much more. A recovery house for people with mental health problems and a killer on the loose, especially when one is a surviving victim of a mass murder spree before, has a lot of potential. Really, these kids should of been developed more, and on to the killer from the start, with everybody else writing it off as symptoms of their delusion. If not the other characters, at least Tommy should of spotted Roy in amongst his delusions at some point and failed to realise it was real...

The 'Whodunnit' aspect still falls down as the movie never really positions the Jason figure as an imposter until the mask comes off at the end, meaning there's no reason to suspect it's somebody else. And the characters are just handled SO blandly it really doesn't hold together as a movie. One of the biggest mistakes is that instead of using people it's already introduced and having them killed off, it literally just introduces random people to die in the same scene, often for no apparent reason (and against the MO of the killer, who wanted revenge on the kids of the house, so it didn't even make sense). This makes it, in my opinion, weaker than the other movies so far.

That SAID, there are some good bits about it. Mainly, the last fifteen minutes. Pam as a final girl is totally forgettable, and as a traumatised victim, Tommy is well portrayed, but he's not much of a hero figure either. Reggie seems to be a fan favourite for good reason, he's fun and memorable. But mostly once the film kicks in to high gear, I thought it was the slickest, scariest rampaging killer ending we've gotten so far in the series. Again, I'm utterly baffled by all the claims that Roy is just a 'normal human' compared to Jason when in this finale he literally makes a door explode with a gentle shove of his arm, he hurls a body through a window like it's weightless, and he shrugs off a chainsaw and being slammed by a tractor like its an insect bite. The ending is a tense, gripping finale and probably my favourite showdown with the killer yet.

I did think that this is the most 'Michael Myers' has felt in any of the Friday the 13th movies yet. An unstoppable, slow paced, utterly silent killer in spruce green coveralls. But I love the Halloween series, so maybe that's why I enjoyed this.

It's a little let down by Roy's death not being as interesting or as compelling as both Part II and Part IV's defeats of Jason, which play nicely in to his psychology, but it's still a tense finale, and while the twist with Tommy at the end was abandoned, it was still a pretty neat way to end the movie, even if both it and Halloween IV basically have the same ending.

 

@Risinggrave Thanks! I will try to keep going and let you know. I've seen Part VI and the remake (which I forgot to mention) before but not with these reviews in mind, so will let you know what I think when I get to them. I will probably throw Freddy vs. Jason in there too just to be completest.

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Totally agree with the lack of introductory scene for Pamela in the original.  I never noticed it until recently and it never bothered me before ... but once it was pointed out that it wasn't in there it now bugs me. Its the one thing that's missing and it would have been easy to add, even if it was just her sat in the café at the start in her famous blue sweater.

Disagree with the bland characters. I think in the running time Cunningham had he did as much as he was able to flesh them out; they all had their little personality quirks.  In fact of all the Friday the 13th films this is the only one where I can remember and name all the teens involved and most of the actors, though that might be because I've seen it more times than the others.

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On 3/18/2018 at 4:06 PM, Jason Todd Voorhees said:

How can you not watch the movies first and then play the game D: this breaks my heart!

I probably only saw a couple of them before I played the game. My buddy brought it over like a week after digital release and I fell in love with the game. Because of that and how much people here seem to know, I HAD to watch the movies. I watched them all then decided to buy them.

Coming here and not knowing shit about the movies made me feel pretty dumb sometimes. The game is the whole reason I took interest in the movies, and I feel a lot of the younger players feel the same. Many of us weren't around when the good movies came out, so all we were exposed to was Jason x, fvj, and the remake. None of which would really draw enough interest to watch the good ones.

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I first caught these movies when they ran on the channel what was then called "The New TNN" (remember how they used to have that awful lower bar that obscured the screen?).  That summer, they changed their name to Spike TV.  It was around Feb. 2003, I remember because I was 14 and had only watched Halloween for the first time 4 months earlier.  On Friday June 13, 2003, they aired a marathon where I finally saw Part 9.

 

I'm eager to read your impressions of the rest of the series, it reminds me of watching them on TV 15 years ago.

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33 minutes ago, Thatguyinktown said:

I first caught these movies when they ran on the channel what was then called "The New TNN" (remember how they used to have that awful lower bar that obscured the screen?).  That summer, they changed their name to Spike TV.  It was around Feb. 2003, I remember because I was 14 and had only watched Halloween for the first time 4 months earlier.  On Friday June 13, 2003, they aired a marathon where I finally saw Part 9.

 

I'm eager to read your impressions of the rest of the series, it reminds me of watching them on TV 15 years ago.

You make me feel old, Guy. I saw Jason takes Manhattan at the drive in, and JGTH at the theater. 

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4 minutes ago, Thatguyinktown said:

You want to feel REALLY old, talk to @Riot_Dame

I need to find out if she knows what a drive in is! Maybe before she puts a riot stick in my neck. 

On 3/18/2018 at 5:16 PM, Veevleigh said:

 Thanks! I will try to keep going and let you know. I've seen Part VI and the remake (which I forgot to mention) before but not with these reviews in mind, so will let you know what I think when I get to them. I will probably throw Freddy vs. Jason in there too just to be completest.

FvJ. Ugh. That along with JgtH are the ones best left forgotten. I know it's not a popular opinion, but aside from the novelty of Freddy and Jason meeting up, it's a shit film. 

 

22 hours ago, Jason Todd Voorhees said:

I admit the first movie was slow paced but it was one of the best in the series with Part 5 in my opinion being irrelevant.

You know, if "New Beginning" wasn't about the "impostor" Jason, I bet most fans would rank it a lot higher. It's actually a reasonably solid entry into the franchise in my humble opinion. I'd even argue with you that it's better than part 1. 

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11 hours ago, Risinggrave said:

You know, if "New Beginning" wasn't about the "impostor" Jason, I bet most fans would rank it a lot higher. It's actually a reasonably solid entry into the franchise in my humble opinion. I'd even argue with you that it's better than part 1. 

I don't entirely disagree. I do think the first hour of the film is VERY weak, it feels smutty and unpleasant, and more than a little dull. But the final twenty minutes or so is, in my opinion, the best final 'chase' sequence in the series up until this point. If Roy had, in fact, been Jason, I think some fans would be more forgiving. Roy being the killer IS an issue, in my opinion, but not because the killer isn't Jason. More, because the set-up just makes the whodunnit aspect work really badly, and Roy is such a nothing-character in the movie it feels more like a "Ha, bet you didn't remember HIM!" moment rather than a "Ohhhh! Clever!" ending.

I'd say that the original is a better movie, but I'd probably be more likely to pop Part V in just for the ending sequence if I was picking one to watch.

Anyway, on to...

Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives

So, this is where the series undergoes a big change. I can only imagine it's pretty divisive among fans of the movies. The ones who prefer the more serious (relatively speaking) feral deformed Jason, and the ones who prefer the unstoppable zombie Jason. But more than that, it's really surprising how jarring the shift in tone is for this movie.

I do think tone is something the Friday the 13th movies struggle with up until this point. While I've enjoyed watching them, it's difficult to say why. They're not particularly scary, and the stories aren't particularly gripping. The mythos of Jason and who he is keeps me interested, but it's made their actual appeal hard to put down on paper. That is, until Part VI, which totally reinvents the tone with one very important word.

Fun.

From the moment this movie starts, it's obvious it's not out to provide hard disturbing scares. It's aiming to be a ludicrously entertaining piece of fun. It fully embraces the high camp (no pun intended) atmosphere of a cheesy slasher flick, and uses it to its advantages. Jason's resurrection is wonderfully goofy, lightning that brings him back to life for no apparent reason, and the film doesn't let up from there.

It still has its problems with the constant introduction of characters just to kill them off in a scene, but whereas before this was all done with an attempt at po-faced seriousness which made those scenes drag (at least, a lot of the time), here the characters that get introduced are wonderfully fun. You watch them with a smile, even if it's anticipating their deaths. It makes those sequences enjoyable (even if there are a few too many of them).

What I also think makes this entry the strongest for me so far in the series too is that it's finally got a decent narrative to the story. By that, what I mean is there's a reason to keep watching even when Jason isn't on screen. One of the big weaknesses for me of the first five movies is that if Jason isn't around, the situation is largely dull, meaning you're just waiting for Jason to show up. It's why I rate Part III so highly, with Chris's backstory and drama, at least there's something interesting going on during the non-Jason scenes. (And also why I feel Part V is a let down, as it has the perfect set up to do something interesting with that, but fails).

Here, Tommy is our protagonist from the get-go. There's no waiting for the main character to realise Jason is real or people are dying. He knows, and his desperate attempts to persuade people gives us something entertaining and gripping to watch, even when Jason isn't on screen. Thom Matthews won't win any Academy Awards, but I think he does a decent enough job here of being intense and desperate, and even gets some funny scenes. He basically fills the Dr Loomis role from Halloween, something the movies have been missing up until this point (and something that always worked to Halloween's strengths, you always had Dr Loomis driving the plot with dire warnings inbetween random teens getting sliced and diced).

I imagine some people dislike the campier/funner tone of this one, but it's my favourite so far. The others are curiosities I watched and enjoyed, but have no real desire to revisit. Part VI is a movie I can see myself popping in any time I want to watch a fun movie.

This puts my current ratings at:

Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives

Friday the 13th Part Three

Friday the 13th Part Two

Friday the 13th Part Four: The Final Chapter

Friday the 13th

Friday the 13th Part V: A New Beginning

I feel a bit bad putting Part V at the bottom, as I do really believe it has some merits, but so far, it IS the weakest entry. I've enjoyed all the movies so far though, but Part VI is the only one so far I'd say I loved.

Part VII next, which I'm looking forward to. Out of the Friday movies I'd seen, it was my favourite before I started this, and it still holds that honour in my head at the moment. Will it hold up?

I'll find out soon! Thanks to everybody who's commented so far.

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12 minutes ago, Veevleigh said:

I don't entirely disagree. I do think the first hour of the film is VERY weak, it feels smutty and unpleasant, and more than a little dull. But the final twenty minutes or so is, in my opinion, the best final 'chase' sequence in the series up until this point. If Roy had, in fact, been Jason, I think some fans would be more forgiving. Roy being the killer IS an issue, in my opinion, but not because the killer isn't Jason. More, because the set-up just makes the whodunnit aspect work really badly, and Roy is such a nothing-character in the movie it feels more like a "Ha, bet you didn't remember HIM!" moment rather than a "Ohhhh! Clever!" ending.

I'd say that the original is a better movie, but I'd probably be more likely to pop Part V in just for the ending sequence if I was picking one to watch.

Anyway, on to...

The director had directed a hardcore porn film prior to this. 

I'd also argue the final sequence beating out part 3. I agree with you on the whodunnit. Part 1 and 5 were both shoddily done in that aspect. 

16 minutes ago, Veevleigh said:

Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives

We're on the same page. I really like the older films better, but part 6 just has so much going for it. 

I'm thinking once you review New Blood without the nostalgia glasses that Lives will still be  number 1. New Blood got gutted so badly by the censors that it's only merit is the final telekinetic chase sequence. Well, that and Kane Hodder lacing up the boots.

In my opinion, it's all downhill from here, until the reboot. 

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13 hours ago, Risinggrave said:

You make me feel old, Guy. I saw Jason takes Manhattan at the drive in, and JGTH at the theater. 

I still go to the drive-in every summer. :) It's almost the only way to watch a movie. I'll sit through shit (and I have) just to hang out outside and watch a movie.

The first movie I remember seeing at a drive-in is Jurassic Park. The first Jason flick I saw in an actual threatre was Freddy vs. Jason. I would've loved to see Part 8 at a drive-in.

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4 hours ago, bewareofbears said:

I still go to the drive-in every summer.

Those still exist? The only one I've ever seen was in the middle of nowhere and I'm pretty sure it's closed now...

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On 18/03/2018 at 6:08 PM, Risinggrave said:

4 is probably the scariest Jason, but the the film is a stutter step behind 2. I thought the final chase was good, but the actual way Jason went down was meh. 

Strangely enough, most people consider "The Jarvis" one of the best kills in the game.

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On 3/17/2018 at 12:34 PM, Veevleigh said:

If people enjoyed reading these, I'll post up my opinions on the others as I watch them :).

Indeed. Your write-up was warmly received by me, and -- even despite inflicting the near-unforgivable grammatical faux pas of "would of" and "should of" ;) -- your reviews were well thought out and quite logical.

I have to disagree with you on the original being the worst of the first four. I would put them in the order of 3, 1, 2, 4.  Yes, 3 had the most character development (especially with Jason), but 1 was ALL about the story. I do agree with you on your point that it would have been much nicer to meet Mrs. Voorhees earlier in the film, as it would have greatly added to the revelation at the end -- especially if she'd stated she would arrive at the camp "tomorrow night," therefore her sudden arrival in her Jeep would have not seemed suspect in the slightest. But still, there was so much storytelling in this film, I am greatly endeared to it.

I am very much looking forward to your reviews of future films. Although I have a feeling you're not going to enjoy parts 7 & 9 as much as you may the others. 

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Thank you to everybody for all the comments so far! Glad people are enjoying these (and @Cokeyskunk I apologise for my bad grammar!). Interesting to hear about the drive-in theatres. I live in England so we never really had those, but I'd love to have seen some good horror movies in one one day.

@Risinggrave had me nervous. Would Part VII live up to my memories, or would I realise it was the kitchsy, silly Carrie rip off everybody calls it? Well, I gave it another watch. So here we go...

Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood

I can see how this movie is even more divisive with fans than Part VI. The very concept alone must of raised some eyebrows, a psychic girl battling Jason Voorhees, but...

...I loved it. Yes, I still really love this movie! By giving Tina an actual storyline and arc, her psychic powers, the sinister Dr Crews manipulating her, and her attempts to both face her demons and start interacting with others her own age again, we have a story to follow even when Jason isn't around. Just like Part VI, this movie remembers to keep us entertained when Jason isn't on screen so we're not just waiting for his next kill.

However, I'll admit, it doesn't start strongly. Gone is the self aware, fun tone of Part VI, and in its place, the opening is the wrong kind of cheese, with the slow zoom on Child-Tina's face as she uses her powers. It felt campy and silly, and not in the good way Part VI did. I began to fear that I was going to have to rate this film lowly. But as it got going, I found myself getting back in to it and really enjoying it.

Yes, Tina is literally a Carrie rip-off. But then again, Jason is a Michael Myers rip off really, and he's still hugely fun and became something new. Lar Park-Lincoln's performance is what makes Tina compelling. She plays the role with a fragile vulnerability that stops Tina from ever seeming over-powered, and keeps you on the edge of your seat every time she's put in danger. But underneath it, she has a fire too, and it's just so satisfying to see that strength slowly manifest until she's battling Jason.

And of course, the set up, of a fragile young girl with psychic powers against an unstoppable physical brute is a great set up. The finale is a joy to watch as the two do battle.

But even before that, the film manages to give us some great scenes. There's a group of memorable characters, namely Melissa, Eddie and Maddy. Maddy in particular gets the best 'extra' death sequence of any character up to this point (by which I mean the death sequence of somebody who's not a main character), having you on the edge of your seat as she survives for a really decent run. And it's even shot brilliantly. The shot when she's hiding against a wall and you can see on both sides, and see Jason looking for her, is masterfully done.

And of course, we need to speak about Jason when discussing this movie. He's never looked better. At this point, the toil and damage from all the other movies, as well as rotting at the bottom of the lake for years has taken its toll, and he looks better than ever in this horrific zombified state. The only bit that made me sad is with all the attention to detail on the damage he's accumulated over the years, the bullet hole in the mask from Part VI is missing.  But hey, you can't have it all!

But beyond just looks, it's Kane Hodder's performance that sells Jason here. He plays Jason with a real anger to his every movement. Gone is any resemblance to the almost passive Michael Myers style killing. Instead, here is a really angry, aggressive killer, and it makes him all the scarier. Jason has been played with rage before, but never quite on this level, and it makes him feel really dangerous. Made even better as his anger hones in and in on Tina as she challenges him, until near the end, you can feel his fury with her just through his body movements. A fantastic performance.

And I feel like we have to talk about that unmasking. So far, Jason's unmasking has never let me down and he's always looked pretty good, but here, he looks fantastic. It honestly reminded me seeing the original Predator. I remember seeing it as a child and being really sceptical that the creature would ever look as cool under that metal mask as I imagined, and then being blown away when it revealed itself. Jason's unmasking here is the same. He looks every part as horrifying and brilliant as I imagined he would. If he'd looked bad, the entire ending would of been ruined, but instead, we get what is in my opinion, one of the movie monster looks for the ages.

Of course, Part VII isn't perfect though. It's biggest problem is for all its pluses, it's a little gutless. You can see the censor's fingerprints all over it. If you love the Friday the 13th movies for the kills, which I know a lot of people do, I can see this one actually being near the bottom of people's lists. Nowhere is this more noticeable than with Dr Crews. The best non-killer human villain the series has had yet (in my opinion), and you're just waiting to see his death, and it's set up perfectly, Jason chasing him down with the perfect weapon... and then it's incredibly bland. And this happens throughout.

However, I don't watch the movies for the kills, so while I did feel this was a little disappointing, for me, it doesn't ruin the movie.

It is also undeniably a little low budget and cheesy feeling, feeling like a cheap B-Movie at times. The zooms on Tina's face and the cheesy levitation of objects on what looks like fishing wire dates it, but I think this is still in an enjoyable fun way, so I give it a pass.

So yes, I loved Part VII! Which may be a surprise to some! But the big question now is, where does it go on my list? To be honest, it's a tough question. Part VI could beat it on any given day, and I think if I'm being honest with myself, Part VI is a slicker, better movie, but I prefer Part VII. It just appeals to me more, it's got my favourite Jason so far, my favourite Final Girl, a good story I enjoy watching, my favourite side characters so far, and (at risk of sounding pretentious) a more 'female' energy, which I like. I much prefer movies with female leads over male ones, and I particularly like it when female leads are allowed to be three dimensional, showing weakness as well as strength, and evolving to be a hero as the movie goes on, so with Tina as the main character of this movie, for me, it pushes Part VII over the edge as my current favourite movie.

This leaves my list as:

Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood

Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives

Friday the 13th Part Three

Friday the 13th Part Two

Friday the 13th Part Four: The Final Chapter

Friday the 13th

Friday the 13th Part V: A New Beginning

Next up, Manhattan. I've only ever heard bad things about this one. Is Part V about to be replaced at the bottom of my list, or am I in for a pleasant surprise?

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On 3/20/2018 at 3:16 PM, Risinggrave said:

I need to find out if she knows what a drive in is! Maybe before she puts a riot stick in my neck. 

i wasn’t even born when you graduated high school if i did my math right. 

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On 3/21/2018 at 5:48 AM, bewareofbears said:

I still go to the drive-in every summer. :) It's almost the only way to watch a movie. I'll sit through shit (and I have) just to hang out outside and watch a movie.

The first movie I remember seeing at a drive-in is Jurassic Park. The first Jason flick I saw in an actual threatre was Freddy vs. Jason. I would've loved to see Part 8 at a drive-in.

I dunno that we have any down here anymore. It's a shame, really. The drive-in is how I saw most of the classics growing up. Robocop, Terminator 2, Creepshow 2, Friday 8, Batman 89', etc.

To ease your pain, of the three Jason movies I've seen in theaters (Manhattan, JgtH, FvJ) two of the three sucked. I don't look back the kindest on Manhattan but at least it was cool to kid me. 

On 3/21/2018 at 10:08 AM, NoOneK9503 said:

Strangely enough, most people consider "The Jarvis" one of the best kills in the game.

It is one of the best kills in the game. However after all the shit Chris did to Jason before taking him down, a quick fakeout and one shot to the head made Final Chapter's Jason feel a bit like a glass cannon. It also retread quite a bit on how he went down in part 3. 

On 3/21/2018 at 10:38 AM, Veevleigh said:

 

@Risinggrave had me nervous. Would Part VII live up to my memories, or would I realise it was the kitchsy, silly Carrie rip off everybody calls it? Well, I gave it another watch. So here we go...

Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood

...

However, I don't watch the movies for the kills, so while I did feel this was a little disappointing, for me, it doesn't ruin the movie.

The suspense is usually meh, so yeah, I assumed we all watched for the kills. Color me surprised at any rate. 

This is indeed the best looking dead Jason, with part 9 being my runner up. I'm also partial to part 3-4's look. 

I do have a soft spot for this one regardless of it's softer tone. I'm a sucker for superheroes and this is pretty much a comic book movie. 

19 hours ago, Riot_Dame said:

i wasn’t even born when you graduated high school if i did my math right. 

Math?

Get off my lawn, NERD!

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48 minutes ago, Thatguyinktown said:

I think Parts 3 & 7 had the most impact on counselor design of Friday the 13th: The Game

I think that's definitely true. There are definitely recognisable counsellor designs in Part VII that got used for the game. With another one to come with Melissa coming if rumours are to be believed.

So, I managed to watch...

Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan

Wow. What a mess of a film.

It makes sense that after Part IV the Friday series started to try new things. After all, there's only so many straight horror slasher movies you can make set at summer camp. Some of these were, in my opinion, a huge success. Part VI being reinvented as a fun, entertaining, self-aware film, or Part VII being a 'versus' grudge match, or as @Risinggrave put it, a superhero flick (I love superhero movies too, so maybe that's why I love Part VII). Part V being a much smuttier, B-Movie whodunnit didn't work as well. So looking for 'gimmicks' to sell, I can see how 'Jason, but in a city', is a tempting selling point. In theory, it could even of worked.

But not like this.

There were obvious budget issues, but that doesn't mean you have to make a bad film. The original Halloween had a shoe string budget, and is one of my favourite horror movies of all time. Here, the approach is to leave the New York section until the final third of the movie, and set the majority of the movie on a boat. Again, there's potential here. A boat is a new setting, a graduation party style cruise leaves you with a bunch of teens in a confined space, and it gives us something new. It could of worked. But unfortunately, seriously substandard direction lets this part down. For a tense chase through a ship to work, there'd have to be some sense of geography to the boat, and there just isn't. Every scene feels like it's taking place on a disconnected set, and nothing gels. Add to that completely forgettable characters and a totally bizarre lack of urgency and the boat sections feel like an utter bore.

When the movie reaches New York, things improve slightly, but only in the campy, 'this is so bad it's almost fun' kind of way. The portrayal of New York here is hilarious. I can only imagine how New Yorkers felt watching it. New York is presented a lawless wasteland that makes the Wild West look like civilisation. Within two minutes of landing there, our heroine is kidnapped by junkies, and that's not even the only gang of punks we meet. Add to that apparently that the average New Yorker apparently won't even get out of their seat at a diner if a giant hockey masked zombie smashes down a wall and they certainly won't blink twice at him rampaging through a subway train, and you have a funny but god-awful set up. The other people in this movie might as well be mannequins, for the lack of interest they show in our main cast, and the lack of interest Jason shows in them. It doesn't even make sense. Jason has never been particular about who he kills before, but here, he seems happy to ignore all the people around him. And that's without mentioning that apparently face melting toxic waste floods through New York's sewers every night at exactly midnight!

The bad direction and lack of geography returns here too, as we never have any real sense of where our heroes are, apart from the obvious Times Square sequence, and even that doesn't really feel like it connects. Running around the docks of New York being hunted only to reveal there's a busy road just around the corner (but somehow our heroes never find help) is just messy.

Jason's ability to appear anywhere is taken to a comedic extreme in this movie too. The Shift ability in the game has always been a fun way of working in the 'killer can appear anywhere' aspect of the movies, but I always thought it was more of a game mechanic to nod at Jason's ability to seemingly be everywhere, not a literal magic special ability he has as it is here. But here he just seems to be able to literally teleport, which is utterly bizarre. And he's also oddly a bit clumsy. He misses the odd kill and grab. I'm sure there's a joke about hit detection in there somewhere, but I mostly just found it baffling.

The score is also awfully misjudged, failing to have meaningful music at any time, and deciding to have utter silence at completely the wrong moments (ie: Julius's boxing match with Jason).

My final big complaint is Rennie. Here is by far the weakest 'final girl' of the series. She's utterly helpless for 99% of the movie, and although she manages to throw toxic waste on Jason at the end, she's just a literal damsel, who's weak both physically and emotionally. She spends most of the boat sequence locked in her room so we never get to know her, and she's even literally a kidnapped princess who needs saving. She's just an awful heroine. Sean is similarly poorly treated, there's hints at his resentment of his father wanting him to become a captain like him, but it's never explored, and he just comes across as unpleasant and ungrateful in those early scenes, and has nothing to really define him in the later ones.

Is there anything good? Well, Jason looks good. Not as good as he did in Part VII, but the constantly dripping wet look is still pretty cool, even if I'm not a fan of the pale zombie head he seems to have (and unmasked he looks awful, although you could argue that's because his face is melting). His child look is AWFUL though. Hilariously bad, with a cheap fake eye stuck on his face. Kane Hodder is, of course, as good as ever, but his Jason suffers here thanks to the direction and odd clumsiness they give the character. When he's on form, and playing it like he did in Part VII, with some real Jason anger, though, he's fantastic. And, as cheesy and dumb as it is, it IS heck of a satisfying to see Jason kill some street thugs.

McCullough is a great hateable character. Not an out and out villain like say, Dr Crews, but utterly hateable, and unlike Dr Crews, he gets a satisfying death scene. Julius also gets a very fun death scene, even if it's purely high camp and utterly ridiculous. 

But apart from that, sadly I don't see much fun in this one at all. Leaving my ratings so far at:

Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood

Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives

Friday the 13th Part Three

Friday the 13th Part Two

Friday the 13th Part Four: The Final Chapter

Friday the 13th

Friday the 13th Part V: A New Beginning

Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan

Jason Goes to Hell is next! I've heard even worse things about this one than Part VIII, so this could be interesting!

There may be a bit of a delay in getting that review up. Unfortunately, the box set I have only goes up to Part VIII. Luckily, both JGTH and Jason X are easy to get on DVD for cheap over here, and I already have JGTH coming in the mail, it just might be a few days. (FvJ and the reboot are both watcheable on Netflix and Amazon Prime respectively luckily).

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7 hours ago, Veevleigh said:

My final big complaint is Rennie. Here is by far the weakest 'final girl' of the series. She's utterly helpless for 99% of the movie, and although she manages to throw toxic waste on Jason at the end, she's just a literal damsel, who's weak both physically and emotionally. She spends most of the boat sequence locked in her room so we never get to know her, and she's even literally a kidnapped princess who needs saving. She's just an awful heroine. Sean is similarly poorly treated, there's hints at his resentment of his father wanting him to become a captain like him, but it's never explored, and he just comes across as unpleasant and ungrateful in those early scenes, and has nothing to really define him in the later ones.

My biggest complaint was Rennie's backstory with Jason and the ending. 

It wasn't until much later that I realized kid Jason was us seeing Jason through her eyes. It's pretty obvious she is a psychic, though an empath in this case. It's the only logical reason why Jason would be afraid of the toxic waste/water at the end, and the only way she could have seen Jason in the lake as a kid. He was a grown man by that point in time. 

Movies shouldn't make you do backflips to understand just what is going on. 

@bewareofbears  Anything you want to say about Manhattan?

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