Twitter Plot Summary: Could this finally be the end of Jason Voorhees? No, but they had a good go at finishing it once and for all.
Five Point Summary:
1. FBI make Jason go BOOM!
2. Finger snapping. Eek.
3. Poor Steven Culp. He deserved better.
4. There are a lot of bodies around here.
5. Dragged down to hell. Is this… the end? Don’t be daft.
A change in studio and a slight dip in budget actually did Jason Voorhees some good, believe it or not. For a start, efforts are actually made to explain why Jason keeps coming back from the dead and proves that he’s on the watch list of an FBI task force – this is made quite clear because they blow him up in the first five minutes. From here, his soul returns and starts possessing random folks in a desperate bid to kill his only surviving relatives, as it turns out they are the only ones who can kill him once and for all. There’s a convenient plot device right there, given that this has never been mentioned before. To make life easier, there’s only three of the Voorhees family left – a mother, daughter and grandchild. Why this requirement for killing him has not been mentioned until now remains yet another mystery of the Friday The 13th franchise that won’t be adequately resolved, but if the residents of Crystal Lake had been told about this a few films ago then perhaps less people would have inadvertently bit the dust.
The special effects vary between The Thing levels of excellence and the traditional Friday The 13th style of cheap and iffy, but they get the job done. As does the concept of Jason zombifying the occasional victim and taking over their body in order to continue his killing streak, leading to you not always being certain as to who he is currently inhabiting. With this one exception it does of course follow exactly the same pattern as before, although surprisingly it does manage to freshen up the concept a little. Ironic given that the bodies Jason possesses are essentially dead. You know, because of the smell.
As a direct consequence of this, for better or for worse there’s greater focus placed on developing the characters of the local residents, so they’re not just walking stereotypes waiting to be killed by an errant machete strike, having their skulls crushed or something equally as gruesome. It’s the slightly ineffectual and passive Steven (LeMay) who comes into his own in this respect, after having a couple of fingers broken (in a scene that doesn’t make much sense at all) he gradually morphs from the guy in the background to someone entirely capable of taking Jason down – with some help of course, that prophecy about surviving relatives won’t resolve itself.
The efforts to do something completely different to the usual teen killing rampage template are moderately interesting, but it ultimately amounts to nothing. A brief tease in the final scene would take another 20 years to come to fruition in the form of Freddy VS Jason in 2003, and has no impact on this film nor the follow-up that would bring the original run of the series to a close in 2001. Still, it’s a nice little addition for fans of this and that other notable horror franchise, and marks perhaps the most exciting thing to happen in the series since the original film’s killer was revealed, or that funky theme song was used in Part 3.