Dave’s 3-Word Review:
Good try, Paramount.
It’s kind of crazy how adamant Paramount Pictures was about releasing these Friday the 13th films year after year. It’s pretty obvious that the filmmakers themselves have been seriously done with them for some time, and were just doing what the producers’ want at this point, which is never good. I mean come on, the whole, “he’s dead, but he always come back” routine is just old. It’s so old in that the way they revive Jason is starting to be just recycled version of the previous installments. There is no exception with the eighth film, Friday the 13th: Jason Takes Manhattan.
By the end of Jason Lives, Jason was once again sent to the bottom of Crystal Lake, this time by our telekinetic main character’s ghost father, because that made perfect sense. Well it turns out that a boat comes by and its anchor accidentally awakens Jason from his murky slumber, and he comes to the boat to unleash his sweet, sweet revenge. I guess another boat comes around and Jason clambers up onto that one for a one-way cruise to New York! Will the passengers of the boat make it to their destination or will Jason chop THEM into little bits too?
I feel like I should get this off of my chest in regards to the whole Friday the 13th thing. Jason does not leave Crystal Lake, that’s his whole…thing! He’s pretty much the twisted bodyguard of the lake, if you trespass…you’re doomed…end of story. I understand the need to change things up, and I like the overall idea of changing scenery, but in the end it just doesn’t make sense. Why? Well for one, they don’t even give it an explanation…it doesn’t take much to explain changes for these horror flicks…and yet it’s completely ignored, almost as if it’s a “screw it” plot.
They don’t even get to New York until an hour into the film, and Jason doesn’t even start killing in the big city until the hour ten mark, which really doesn’t give him enough time to explore the city and kill around well-known landmarks. I’m not saying New York was a smart choice in regards to Jason’s M.O., but while you have it, by all means…use it. Other than showing brief and external shots of the Statue of Liberty or the World Trade Center…show more while Jason kills…most of it pretty much took place in dark alleys…well those could be found anywhere…LA, Chicago, Gotham City? Heck, I was waiting for the Dark Knight himself to pop out to fight ol’ hockey face. Use what you have to your advantage. It’s stupid that he’s there, though.
You know how the last two installments in the series had some kind of supernatural aspect included? Well this one did too, but it was not smart…at all. You will be confused as soon as you realize that there are two versions of Jason. There is the Jason we all love and adore, and ghost boy Jason who drowned in the lake years ago….yeah. I don’t know if they did that in order to keep the supernatural aspect intact, but if it was supernatural that they wanted, use a regular ghost at most – not the ghost of the guy that’s already attacking the ship, it just doesn’t make any sense at all. At most it just pisses us off.
Also, Jason’s appearance looks so much worse than the previous film. The last time, his clothes were ripped, exposing his bones, like his spinal cord and parts of his ribs. Underneath his mask held a grisly sight of both skin and skull. It was possibly the scariest he has ever looked. Suddenly, he must have healed underwater, because he had more skin again. Even so, the mask/makeup done looked really horrible in general.
Overall, Friday the 13th: Jason Takes Manhattan is where I would suggest to call it quits. I must go on. I find it a moral duty to continue, but seriously, this isn’t worth it.