Dave’s 3-Word Review:
Jason in Space.
This is why you stick with horror film franchises all the way through. Sure, there’s a lot of systematic and routine scenes rehashed time and time again, but sooner or later they have to write something completely random and off-the-wall that changes everything in order to stay interesting. With New Nightmare, they brought Freddy into the real world to attack the stars of A Nightmare on Elm Street. For Jason X, they don’t quite do that, but the change is just as radical. Basically, Jason is sent 455 years into the future and attacks astronauts in space. The change here is a simple, “screw it, let’s go science fiction”.
At a Crystal Lake research facility, Jason is held captive by the government (a shout out to Jason Goes to Hell?) but the opinions on how to deal with him differ. The question is how do we deal with someone that can never die – store him in cryogenic sleep or sell him to the highest bidder? After all, if you study him, you may figure out the secrets to regenerating cells and live forever? When he gets himself free, they are able to lock him into cryogenic sleep anyway, where he stays for 455 years. He is then transported into a space station, where he wakes up and starts killing space cowboys left and right. Did these astronauts learn anything after watching Alien? Only time can tell.
This film opens up in the near future, and Jason is alive. Now the last film, which was Jason Goes to Hell clearly sends him into the ground for good, never to return. However, Freddy vs. Jason, the film that came out after this one, was meant to be placed in between these two flicks. The end of Freddy vs. Jason has Jason emerging from the water, alive as ever. You could either see that as a connection or coincidence since Jason always finds a way to come back anyways.
So…Jason in space huh? That was definitely different, especially with Uber Jason. The science fiction part will remind you of a mix between Alien and Firefly. In that way…it’s really not original. I mean…it’s incredibly different and in a way makes sense, because all he wants to do is get back to Crystal Lake…but it’s not original. New Nightmare, on the other hand, was. The strange change in genre doesn’t really feel a whole lot like Jason Vorhees, because…how in the world do you put Jason into a “fish out of water” theme? The real answer to that is you can’t, which is a part of the reason why Jason Takes Manhattan was garbage.
I did like this better than the New York film. It definitely thrived a bit more on the new CGI aspect, and even though they overdid their believability in regards to CGI, I still liked the space gadgets and gizmos. What this film needed to do, however, was not only change things up, but come full circle. This is the final film in the franchise, and for running for so long, there needs to be an absolute to Jason’s end. Did this have an absolute? No, it hinted at a sequel. No surprise at why this one didn’t get a sequel, because Jason isn’t a science fiction film. Okay, have fun with it for one film, but you can’t leave it open for more.
Instead…what I would have done to finish the series is with the space gadgetry, send Jason back in time, to 1980, and have him kill his younger self before he “drowns but not really”. Come on…poetic justice.
Jason X was a weird addition to the Friday the 13th series, even stranger because it was the final film before the remake. It had some interesting things here and there, and utilized the CGI at the most, but it didn’t feel like Friday, therefore didn’t feel like Jason.