Twitter Plot Summary: Jason is cryogenically frozen and awoken in 2455, where he does the same old thing in the future. You know – killing.
Five Point Summary:
1. So now Jason is a science fiction character?
2. Most of these characters are going to die, clearly.
3. Who decided wool would be the best material to wear in the future?
4. Nice holodeck.
5. Uber Jason… rilly?
Hands up anybody who saw a science fiction Friday The 13th film coming? After nine films of various quality – ranging from average to downright awful – Jason is cryogenically frozen after inexplicably returning from Hell (although the explanation for this appears to have been retconned in 2003’s Freddy VS Jason) and is unfrozen in the year 2455 to begin his killing spree on yet another batch of unsuspecting victims.
After the music in the opening credits does an inverse Commando by making the music change tone randomly from mysterious sci-fi to a lighthearted frolic before shifting back to mysterious sci-fi, it becomes immediately clear that this will not be an example of cinematic excellence. But then if you’ve seen any of the previous nine films at this point or having a passing knowledge of their existence, that should be obvious.
Lexa Doig is a government scientist from our present day who is frozen along with Jason and awoken in the future. She of course knows exactly what will happen but her concerns fall on deaf ears at first. Standard, really. She’s decent in the role and in stark contrast to the screaming women that have previously populated the series. The only other member of the cast who seems to get the most out of his character is Peter Mensah as the slightly crazy Sergeant Brodski, either him or Lisa Ryder as android KM 14 who provides yet another interesting sci-fi twist on the “victim of Jason” routine.
What does Jason X get right? Well, it looks atmospheric and the sci-fi setting does actually suit the character, strangely enough. There’s also a return to the knowing humour that made the sixth film the best of the run. It knows to poke fun at the franchise’s own history by including a holodeck style representation of Camp Crystal Lake in 1980. Jason X also provides the largest number of deaths in a single film out of the entire franchise, and has much fun with using the science fiction setting to generate some interesting and frankly gore-tastic deaths.
Amongst the many things it gets wrong are the costumes – somebody clearly thought brightly coloured wool was a viable design for the future – and the overly-sexed crew is simultaneously an homage and a spoof of the films which precede Jason X. In what is perhaps a deliberate move, Jason only wakes up in the future once folks start getting jiggy with it. The almost unbeatable sci-fi version of Jason that shows up towards the end is laughably bad despite being appropriate to the setting.
Whilst it’s still not very good, New Line did at least make an attempt to do something different with the character and refused to get trapped in the cycle that made the first eight films so generic and, let’s face it, rather bad. Even despite these efforts, the final outcome is still of a franchise that was happy to make things up as it went along and showed a flagrant disregard for continuity or logic. In that respect, Jason X is perhaps the ultimate representation of the series as a whole.