Jason X Review
Written by: Chad Langen
This is possibly one of the longest running horror series that ever existed. Friday the 13th has definitely had its ups and downs. What started off as a seemingly excellent series with a fantastic beginning and two solid sequels, eventually the series began to go in circles where we would begin seeing the same kind of events we saw in a previous installment. Also, the titles throughout the series couldn’t have been more confusing. Lets see… there was the Final Friday, Jason Goes To Hell, and I can’t think of the rest off the of the top of my head, but they’re confusing I tell you! But what Friday the 13th never lets us down on is the body count. Even if Jason hacks half the teens up with a machete, we still love to see the guy at work. Then there’s Jason X. I wouldn’t have ever thought in my right mind that I would get around to seeing this flick, but hey, when you’re single anything is possible. So I found myself scamming the shelves of my local video store when I came across this puppy. Surprisingly, I couldn’t think of anything negative that I’d heard about the film thus I decided to rent it. I wasn’t in a huge hurry to watch this, but somewhere I found the time to do so and I was extremely shocked to find that I actually enjoyed it. Although there’s loads of childish dialogue and cheesy acting, I found that Jason X never tries to be something it’s not. Aside from this, Jason X has some extremely cool kills and just the right amount of gore that you would come to expect from a Friday the 13th film.
The setting is what will scare most people away. The film takes place in space, and if you know your horror, when a film’s setting is shifted to space that surely means the series is in trouble. Not in Jason X’s case. Space was shockingly good for the film. A spaceship is an excellent structure for a sadistic madman to do a little slicing and dicing and this proves true for Jason. I mean, even being a serial killer Mr. Voorhees knows when his machete is getting dull. Besides, who would want to use a blunt over-sized knife when they can just as easy stick someone’s head in liquid nitrogen?
Plot-wise, well it’s pretty lame, but that’s okay. Has there ever been a Friday the 13th film that’s fully made sense? Maybe the first and possibly the second, but even that’s quite a stretch. So the film takes place in space as I’ve already clarified. Apparently Earth has been abandoned do to some serious waste problems. A team of student scientists have returned to the dead planet for research. They come across a freezer where they find two frozen subjects, one, a beautiful young woman, the other, an over-sized Jason Voorhees. Being the airheads they are, they decide to take them back to their ship for examination. Incase you don’t know, the time period is set as I recall in 2027 but I may be wrong. So yes, technology has advanced quite a bit thus the students are able to restore the woman’s body. Once restored, the woman warns them of Jason Voorhees and the harm that he could do to them if he escapes. The students more or less laughs at her, but when Jason does end up escaping, all hell breaks lose as the dead quickly begin to outnumber the living. By the way, I may as well warn you now, you will get to know Uber Jason, a genetically altered Jason Voorhees who has somehow achieved the skills of Bruce Lee. I’m not sure it was intended to be funny, but I found this plot twist laughable. Jason X, however, does have a vastly high body count. As I recall, I believe after Freddy vs Jason the film holds the second highest body count for a horror film. Also, as I said before, the kills are very creative but I won’t spoil the treat for those of you who haven’t seen this.
Could the actors have been any more absurd? I mean, I swear they picked the cast right off the streets. I know what you must be thinking. How could anyone expect talent from the cast in a Friday the 13th film? Truthfully you can’t, yet to complain about this type of custom would be saying that Friday the 13th has no place in the horror genre and this would definitely be an omission. So why watch a film with dreadful acting? Well, like myself I’m sure many horror fans have come to realize that when the acting is bad that just means more victims you want to see killed and Jason X is a perfect example.
Direction, well… it’s only average. There are a few cool shots of space, but other than this there’s nothing breathtaking or anything. Also, there were times when I actually thought the film was being improvised. By this, I’m referring to several scenes toward the end of the film where the cast was running about like chickens with their heads cut off. None of the lines they were saying made cense, but we have only the script to blame for that. Speaking of the script, many of the scientific statements were not factual. Half the lines in the film sounded as if they were snagged from an episode of Jimmy Neutron.
Also, let’s talk about the spaceship for a minute. This is the most non-like life object I’ve ever seen in a film. The walls looked like they were made of aluminum foil and the so called systems looked like an exact replica of the Teletubbies ship (yes I’ve seen an episode or two). There was a time in the film where Jason bust through the wall and it looked like he was tearing through a sheet of foil. Oh well, with this low of a budget, what more could we expect?
So give or take Jason X is overall a highly entertaining film. There’s a lot of laughable scenes in the film that I don’t think were meant to be comedic, but this just makes your experience twice as fun. Jason X is by far one of the better Friday the 13th films in the series. The door was left wide open for a sequel and you can bet I’ll be checking that one out in theaters. I would definitely recommend this film to a horror fan that’s up for a huge body count and just an entertaining film in general. Also, the DVD is loaded with extras that’ll keep you occupied for hours.