15 May 2011

Ally's Review: Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood & Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan

Hmmm... I think I overdid the fix of Jason Voorhees. It turns out that you shouldn’t do back to back weeks of Friday the 13th double bills. After watching Part 5 and 6 last week, we wanted to watch the next two and it was too much. Like a kid who wants more sweeties and then feels a bit sick afterwards...

I’ll try to put that aside and rate the films against the rest of the franchise. You can’t really rate these films as independent subjects because they are uniquely - and wonderfully - awful. By part 7 we have a new foe for Jason: Tina Shepherd. She has telekinetic powers that come out when she is stressed. So her psychiatrist decides to try to induce it by taking her to Crystal Lake. As you would. It’s a nice twist on the franchise, and mixed in with the usual elements, it gives this film a bit of originality.

Part 8 is basically Jason on a boat. It has some nice touches and a few good laughs - but it’s probably the worst sequel since part 5. It’s worth seeing for arguably the best Jason kill in the franchise (Jason as the pugilist) and it depicts Manhattan as literally the worst place on Earth. I could do without the near rape scene, and the drug sequence is ludicrous. It's like the director wanted to take the film into a gritty drama for about 10 minutes and it falters badly. Overall, it’s a decent film (relatively speaking), but it ranks quite low in the franchise for me.

For the record... if I had to rank the sequels in order it would be Part 4, Part 2, Part 6, Part 3, Part 7, Part 8 and (bringing up the rear) Part 5. I’ve not seen Jason goes to Hell, and Jason X is kind of its own beast (although I do love it). Perhaps next season we might get round to reviewing the rest of them. But for now, I think we all need a little break from Jason.

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