Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Down A Dark Alley: Jason Redux

Here are the other reviews covering the work of one Jason Vorhees. Personal note: not all of the films in the series were seen during Horrorfests. Also at some point I plan on doing future updates of all reviews surrounding the series, too. Keep in mind I wrote these a couple years back.

Not much can really be said of the series that hasn't been stated already. "Its a cash grab enterprise, all about the money." "Most of it blows goats." "Meh." And the like. Me, I like the Friday the 13th movies. Okay, well not all of them, but most of them, yes. They are entertaining, and actually semi-enjoyable. The first 2 were all about being scary, and then the third and forth featured a descent into a pulp, campy style that I rather like. What you have here is the best one of the bunch.

After Part V didn't do so hot, the series creators realized they needed to bring back Jason. Nevermind the evil bastard was killed off at the end of Part IV (this isn't a spoiler, considering the only people who don't know this have been living under a rock their whole lives), it was time to bring him back. From the dead! *Cue the dun dun duh! music* In a fashion that paid homage to the Bava and Hammer horror movies in an awesome fashion that had left me with a grin on my face. Yes, this and Part IV are easily the most fun entries in the series overall.

I have to say that even though he's a cool protagonist, Tommy is kind of boring and a bit of a stiff in this one. Corey Feldman and even the guy from Part V were both much better, but then again its a thankless role. Since he's supposed to be the one to try and convince everyone that Jason is alive, battle Jason, etc. You can't really say much more about this movie, except that it has some good kills, some people actually not acting like idiots, and it covers Jason's surprised reaction to seeing children at the camp he's called home for so long. If you don't want to bother watching the entire series (I don't recommend it, but that's just me), check this one out. 85

Scare Level (out of 10)=2.0

Unlike the last one, this movie was merely decent, although there were some notable moments, as the series kind of reverted back to the "Consistent but not particularly great" mode that it is mostly stuck in. Still, considering the small track record of good seventh entries in long standing movie series, its not bad, and its certainly reliable in what it offers. Also, even though the first 3 movies were establishing the Jason mythology, and the next three covered Tommy Jarvis and his battles with the masked maniac, this one stands alone as the next trio was simply "Jason Goes to...." followed by him fighting Freddy.

So the creators made the best of the last movie in the regular series to really feature Jason at Camp Crystal Lake. If anything, its akin to a send off, and so they made the best of it and featured some nasty kills, plus Jason fighting a girl named Tina. WHO CAN MOVE SHIT WITH HER MIND! That's just crazy, plus awesome, thrown in with goddamn cool. The movie's problem is that you don't get enough of her wielding those wacked out powers, even though without them this movie wouldn't have been as entertaining, or even worthwhile.

Because at this point, the characters had mostly become really weak. When the silent, non-speaking guy in the hockey mask becomes the most interesting dude in the picture, you have problems. Even when he does do something badass like the sleeping bag kill, or when he saws a guy in half. Part Four was the last movie to actually have people who you cared about, or at least were worthy of acknowledging. Although I guess in Part VIII there were some decent cast members, I suppose. Anyways the series just kept going downhill from here. 76

Scare Level: 1.5

Okay, even though I knew that the series goes downhill from Part VI, I still pressed on; I plan to eventually view Jason X, and Freddy V. Jason, which I hear is actually quite good. Yet I couldn't resist watching more-I'll admit that I've become a fan of sorts, and that Jason is interesting. He's less annoying than Freddy, more creepy and inventive with his kills than Michael Myers. I've already seen most of the Halloween series, and I will eventually tackle the Nightmare on Elm Street movies (I've only seen the first one). Oh and this movie really doesn't have much going for it aside from the high camp value and its funny yet strangely welcoming 80s cheesiness. While it gets a lot of hate, I'm not one of those folks, as I save my disdain for the craptastic Jason Goes to Hell (which I watched last October). Plus the female lead here is actually quite cute and very likable.

In regards to her dreams/nightmares/visions of Jason as a boy, well that is the creators ripping off that one girl's nightmare/what may have happened to her in Part III. Both are semi-creepy here, and the only really thing that could possibly freak anyone out. But at the same time the fact that Jason not only takes out an entire cruise liner and ends up wandering around Manhattan, while the locals are so jaded they hardly even notice. That is something I find to be hilarious and great, if only because there is also a scene where Jason scares off some punks by simply lifting up his mask.

This movie unsurprisingly represented the series decline in box office receipts as well as standing for what really went wrong with the series. Still, considering that Jason was last scary in Part II and Part IV, it really isn't this movie's fault that by 1989 viewers weren't scared at all of the big lug. Oh and the remake while a nice attempt at a throwback to the series' glory days does actually signify that the old school slashers may just be not frightening enough to impact a hip and cynical new generation. 68

Scare Level=1.0

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