March 11, 2010

Jason X (2001)

After the release of the 9th Friday the 13th film (now being produced under New Line Cinema), seven years would pass without a new Jason film while "Freddy Vs. Jason" lingered in limbo. One thing led to another and eventually Jason X was born.

According to original Friday the 13th director Sean Cunningham, the project was green lit to keep Jason fresh in the minds of the movie-going audience until Freddy Vs. Jason hit screens. So in other words, Jason X was merely a marketing tool, nothing more. This move made it clear to many fans that he was not concerned with sustaining a loyalty with the fan base. This becomes quite obvious after seeing the film.

Now, the flaws with this film are quite obvious. Ever since The Final Friday (part 4), it seemed as if Cunningham and those he hired were intentionally insulting the fans in an attempt to destroy and kill off the good name of Friday the 13th. At least The Final Friday was set at Jason's original hunting grounds, but now space? Not only should they have learned for a second time that doing something different with this series doesn't work, but they also didn't take into consideration that throwing an iconic character into space doesn't work either.

We've seen the unpleasant results of placing the Leprechaun and Pinhead into space, but now Jason? James Isaac, director of Jason X, claims to have wanted to do something so different with the Jason legacy, but when we take a general look at the horror genre, the space theme is not that uncommon.

In regards to when the film would take place, setting the film in the future was clever, in that it gave much leeway for changes to occur to the character. In this respect, setting the film in the future acted as a kind of loophole for many problems, such as the new mask and flesh. It also set the film outside the continuous timeframe of the pervious films. This eliminates the same struggle fans had with The Final Friday. With The Final Friday, where we knew it was set in the same time frame due to the minimal change in technology, setting, etc.
But with Jason X, we know its outside the time frame because it tells us so and we can see it for ourselves from the environment, therefore, we don't struggle with the question of where it belongs in the series. In Jason X, although the Paramount spirit of Jason had been resurrected to hack up teens in good eighties fashion, the feel and setting of the film distracted fans from the long-gone Jason mentality that returned to the series.

Jason had a new look, new arsenal, new turf, and new century. It was fast paced, flashy, and hardly aggressive, unlike the original films without all the mystical aspects to bog down the pace as with the previous film. Although the film did work logically to some extent, the fans didn't want it. I didn't want it. But I saw it in theaters opening weekend anyway...when I should have seen Spiderman.

To most fans, a futuristic Jason in space is like having anchovies on your ice cream. Could you have ice cream with anchovies? Of course you could, but would you want it? Probably not. Anchovies don't belong on ice cream and Jason didn't belong in space. Placing him in space would soon make Jason X the major embarrassment of the series.

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