This is it. The Final Friday. At least for me. After this there would also be Jason X, Freddy vs. Jason, and the Friday the 13th reboot. I have seen all of those before, however, and Horrortoberfest rules say I can’t watch something I’ve already seen. All of those are very stand-alone and don’t require having watched any previous films, so I don’t feel too bad they don’t make it into Franchiseween. Also, this is a perfect movie to go out on because it is absolutely bonkers and does some, let’s say, interesting things to the Jason mythos.
The movie starts like a fairly normal Friday film with a lady going to a cabin at Crystal Lake and getting naked before Jason chases her through the woods. But what’s this? It was all a set-up! That’s no horny teen! That a special agent that has led Jason into a trap where he is shot by a lot of people before being blown into pieces. In this universe, Jason is a well known murder man and this sting operation to kill him has been 20 years in the making. Then the movie goes off the fucking rails as the coroner doing the Jason autopsy gets mind controlled by Jason’s still beating heart so that he takes a big ol’ bite out of it which, in turn, causes the soul of Jason to possess this guys body. For most of the rest of this film, Jason is doing a body swap thing because if we learned anything from A New Beginning it’s that audiences love it when you have somebody that isn’t Jason killing people.
If the idea that Jason is somehow able to transfer his soul wasn’t enough, the movie has a lot more lore to dump. Included here is the idea that Jason actually had a sister we never heard of, Diana, and she has a daughter, Jessica, who has a little baby, Stephanie. Fair enough. Also, there is a serial killer catcher cowboy named Duke that somehow knows the only way to really kill Jason is that a Voorhees has to stab his heart. Oh and the bodies Jason jumps to decay but he can be reborn if he manages to possess another Voorhees. Also the movie includes the literal Necronomicon from Army of Darkness and it’s implied Pamela Voorhees may have used it to resurrect Jason? And the weapon that Jessica needs to use to kill Jason looks like the Kandarian dagger from Evil Dead 2. Jesus, this movie has a lot of nonsense in it.
I know a lot of people hate on this movie because of the truly bizarre choices made in the script. I don’t hate it but it definitely doesn’t feel anything like a Friday movie. In fact, if you scrub the Jason aspects from the movie, this would be a pretty interesting horror film about a supernatural killer. Unfortunately, that isn’t the case and this movie can’t even be consistent with its own rules. The actors that get possessed by Jason don’t even really try to mimic the Jason mannerism and at one point a possessed guy even talks and manages to pretend to not be possessed. Say what you will of Jason, subterfuge and elocution have never exactly been strong points of his. Just another point where this feels like it shouldn’t have been a Jason film.
I feel like it needs mentioning that while the initial possession happens because a guy at some Jason heart, the others occur when Jason french kisses someone and shoves a weird slug into them. It really reminds me of the Cronenberg classic Shivers but feels wildly out of place in this franchise. Oh and at one point that slug thing gets loose and turns into a tiny slug, baby, demon… thing. This movie is very weird. However, I kind of enjoyed it. It sucks at being a Friday the 13th film but it was at least interesting and fun to watch without the pacing problems of the early films.
Score: 3 out of 5