***Offical "JASON X" Review Thread

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Will K, Apr 25, 2002.

  1. Will K

    Will K Screenwriter

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    Screened at Phillips Place Cinema, Charlotte, NC, April 22, 2002.

    Spoiler-Free

    The Friday The 13th series has never been popular with critics or movie lovers who claim to have loftier tastes than the rest of us, yet it has survived a whopping ten entries since 1980. Granted, the films aren't high art but there's something about them that endears the demented child inside of me.

    Jason X is the newest, and most radically different installment in its 22-year history. Those expecting a blood-splashed romp in the woods are the only ones likely to be disappointed. Instead of trees, leaves, and campgrounds, this one is mainly confined to the cold, blue, steely trappings of space.

    Two previous sequels in the series have utilized the word "final" in their titles to put Jason at rest. Proving to be most resilient psycho-killer in film history(not to mention lucrative), perhaps the producers have given up trying. After all, our heroine Rowan(Lexa Doig) speaks of countless failed execution attempts. I suppose no one in the movie world has thought of chopping off his head and tossing it into a woodchipper.

    Picking up in the distant future with no obvious connection to the past few installments, Jason X begins with the big guy chained and bound at the Crystal Lake Research Facility, where, naturally enough, he is being studied by greedy military types. Having been nearly ten years since the last entry, screenwriter Todd Farmer wastes little time getting Jason back in action. After making short work of his captors, Jason sets his sights on Rowan, who traps him in a cryogenic chamber just before he punctures the door, causing them both to be frozen for the next 400-odd years.

    As far as the victim line-up is concerned, X pretty much stays true to the F13 formula, the majority of them being young students who've brought the frozen bodies of Rowan and Jason from the ruins of Earth during a training expedition. Even in a chilly-looking environment, they sure don't go out of their way to cover much more skin than your average camp counselor. Like victims before them, they soon face Mr. Voorhees' wrath following a quick thaw, including a "crowd-pleasing" kill involving liquid nitrogen.

    Jason X is easily the slickest, most polished-looking film in the series. Shot on a budget of $14 million(quite low by today's standards), director James Isaac puts every dime on the screen and effectively makes it look like a $60 million movie. It's not Star Wars, but it doesn't have or want to be. Unlike other horror sequels(Hellraiser: Bloodline, for example) that have gone to space, there's not a cheap moment to be found and I think this a key element to win over moviegoers who wary of the idea.

    As great as this movie looks, it still had to begin with a good script. Todd Farmer's screenplay blends horror, sci-fi, and humor without collapsing into parody. His characters, though most of them die horribly, are smarter and more three-dimensional than their predecessors. The casting of young actors who can actually act is icing on the cake. The intimidating Kane Hodder is also back for his menacing fourth turn as Jason.

    I have only a minor complaint. Being the gorehound that I am, I would preferred a little more grue, perhaps Savini-style. Jason X doesn't really match the splatter quo of some of the original movies, but I'm not going to complain. I'm just happy to have my favorite maniac back on the screen.

    I'm not saying Jason X is a great movie. To fully enjoy, it does require one to check their brain at the door. But for those of us who enjoy this madman's mayhem, it's a terrific, action-filled stalk-a-thon made by filmmakers with the same passion. It's the perfect bloody popcorn summer movie, pure and simple.

    Screw E.T.. Jason X makes me feel like a kid again.
     
  2. Scott Weinberg

    Scott Weinberg Lead Actor

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    GREAT review, Will!
    Here's mine. [​IMG]
    Jason X 3/5 stars
    How much you enjoy the more "disposable" forms of entertainment (horror comic books, video games, "Jason" movies) generally depends on how high your expectations are. These pieces of "brain candy" are usually considered somewhat 'lowbrow' affairs, so the key here is not to base your opinions on anything higher than a visceral level. Is Jason X a cleverly-plotted, masterfully-directed and emotionally challenging film? Absolutely not. Does it deliver the gory goods for the loyal fans with a minimum of inadvertant stupidity? Surprisingly, yes. (That's the key in a movie like this: if the 'stupidity' is intentional, much can be forgiven.)
    "Jason in space". OK, it's a stupid idea. As someone who's spent a lot of his childhood with uber-slasher Jason Voorhes, I was a bit skeptical about the idea of my favorite stalker being transplanted into an outer-space setting. But with the leaps in logic, sense, and simple good taste we've come to expect from this unending horror series, I suppose the deep-space setting* is not that big a leap. We are, after all, talking about a villain who's been killed a dozen times, hitched a boat-ride to New York City, and even got turned into some slimy alien creature. So if you're going to argue the "logic" of Jason in space, you may be better off skipping Jason X entirely.
    The plot reads like a C-grade Alien retread, and that's mainly because it is a C-grade Alien retread. After some slick opening credits, we have a bloody prologue in which a platoon of soldiers is messily dispatched by our favorite boogeyman. After a brief chase, Jason and one of his potential victims are trapped in a bio-chamber and placed in suspended animation.
    We flash forward to the distant future, where a massive surveying ship is visiting the decrepit old Earth. A few explorers discover the cryogenically frozen 'corpse' and his quarry. The two newcomers promptly thaw out about the massive spaceship, and the chase is on. Jason has a grand old time slashing his way through youthful scientists, gung-ho soldiers, and officious supervisors. There are a few minor surprises for the fans along the way, the gore is delivered in enjoyably sloppy fashion, and there's an extended Battle Royale between Jason and an alluring female cyborg.
    I never said it was Hamlet.
    Simply put, Jason X should please fans of low-rent colorful horror movies. Perahps only someone familiar with the non-stop avalanche of obscure straight-to-video "horror flicks" may be able to appreciate the charms of Jason X, but I had a pretty good time with this one. The Friday the 13th formula is adhered to closely enough, while the infusion of various sci-fi elements succeed in most cases. (I got a kick out of Jason being accidentally responsible for destroying a massive space station, thereby upping his lifetime "body count" by an astronomical degree.) It would be a lengthy (and unnecessary) project to list all the movies that Jason X borrows from, yet it still manages to be a bloody good time with a handful of good jolts and a healthy sense of humor. (The humor is self-referential without going overboard, aside from a great sequence near the end involving two cyber-campers borne of Jason's subconscious. Trust me, it's funny.)
    To my fellow Friday the 13th fans: This one ranks right in the middle; not as good as The Final Chapter or Jason Lives - but much more fan-friendly than true dreck like A New Beginning or Jason Takes Manhattan.
    * The 'horror sequel in outer space' is of course nothing new, as both Leprechaun and Hellraiser have had their own interstellar entries. To that, I'll simply offer Jason X some faint praise indeed: it's a better film than both Hellraiser: Bloodline AND Leprechaun: In Space...for whatever that's worth.
    Lest you think it insane that someone could actually recommend a "Jason X", keep two things in mind: 1. Most people reading a Jason X review are horror fans (like myself) who are not expecting great cinema from a silly slasher sequel, and 2. Jason X is infintely more fun to sit through than horror flicks like The Haunting, 13 Ghosts, Urban Legend or those worthless 'Last Summer' movies. Welcome back, Big J!
     
  3. Jason Whyte

    Jason Whyte Screenwriter

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    This thread is now the Official Review Thread for "Jason X". Please post all HTF member reviews in this thread.
    Any other comments, links to other reviews, or discussion items will be deleted from this thread without warning!
    The Official Discussion Thread can be found at this link.
    Jason
     
  4. Alex Spindler

    Alex Spindler Producer

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    Here is a brief review of Jason X. Not that anyone would ever require an incentive to see this movie. For the most part, you know exactly what you're getting if you get a Friday the 13th movie past part 2. It's only about the over the top and elaborate death scenes, a little dark humor, and a smattering of nudity. This movie is no different. At all.
    To put it plainly, this movie is straight to video quality. It does nothing that a Roger Corman movie wouldn't do without a bit more money. But in reality, most of the Friday the 13th movies have had this kind of quality. Just don't go in expecting anything more.
    If you go in with the right frame of mind, you might have a little fun. Some of the death scenes are creative (especially the early ones), and there is some fun to be had with the holodeck (you'll see what I mean). There is also some fun from Lisa Ryder as an andriod who gets to have the most fun of anyone.
    If this went straight to video, I might rate this as a two and a half or even a three star among its peers, but as a theatrical release I can only give it a [​IMG] [​IMG] or a [​IMG] [​IMG] (depending on your frame of mind).
     
  5. rhett

    rhett Supporting Actor

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    Well, I just got back from Jason X and...
    I liked it! Although I was initially against the idea of taking the masked maniac in space, Jim Isaac managed to actually make a pretty entertaining movie.
    Firstly, the score is back to its roots. Manfredini, after slipping a little bit with the score of JGTH has thankfully turned in a well done score that complements the film nicely. Hodder does a decent job with Jason as well, but I will elaborate on that later.
    As far as the death count goes, Jason X proudly holds the crown for most kills in the series, although the gore has been toned down somewhat. There's about an equal mix of off-screen and on-screen kills, and the ones that are on-screen are well done. There are some classic kills here boys, ranking up with the top kills of the series if you ask me.
    The film, unlike some Friday entries, is paced rather well. Jason is pretty much in action right from the end of the opening credits to the beginning of the end credits. This benefits by making the movie entertaining, but at the same time it hampers the film by offering NO character development. Okay, I'm a realist, the other Friday films are pretty weak when it comes to developing their characters, but at least they tried. But there is little time to care about the characters on anything of a personal level anyway, because the pace is so quick there is no time to think about them.
    The film is very tongue and cheek, but don't worry, that certainly helps the film. After 10 films, the series has to start looking at itself with somewhat of a smirk, because really, we know all the cliches. There are some funny one liners and situational commentary from the cast, and it gives the film a good mix of gore and fun.
    A flaw with the film, partially because of its tongue and cheek execution and its quick pace, is that Jason just isn't scary. There is really no time for setting up mood or false scares, because Jason is pretty much on the move the whole film and there is rarely a time when the viewer does not know where he is.
    All you T&A lovers be aware too, that there is basically none in the film. Kind of a shame, but oh well. Cleavage lovers on the other hand, you are in for quite a treat. [​IMG]
    Basically, with its wit and entertainment value, the film can be classified to Friday the 13th buffs as "Jason Lives in Space". The film won't win any awards, but at least it knows where it's coming from and has a good time with it's premise.
    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] / [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
    My favorite part far and away was the "Camp Crystal Lake simulation scene". A great throwback to the original films, and the double sleeping bag kill had the entire theater roaring in laughter.
     
  6. Beau

    Beau Supporting Actor

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    As a BIG Friday the 13th fan myself, I LOVED it! It was a bit different from the rest of the series, but it still has got the same feel(Jason killing people), but the only thing different is it's in space. The effects look great, it seems it was made for more than 13.5M. It also had a ton of funny lines. It's just a fun movie, and I recommend it to any horror or sci-fi fan. It's a 10!
     
  7. rhett

    rhett Supporting Actor

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  8. David Ely

    David Ely Supporting Actor

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    I saw this last night, and I must say that I haven't laughed so hard in a long time.

    The wierd thing is that my friends and I were the only people in a pretty full theater that were laughing. The rest were all complaining how crappy a movie it was when it was over. How could anyone have gone to see this movie expecting anything other than what it was? The trailers for this movie showed exactly what we should be expecting.

    My favorite line from the movie was

    This sucks on so many levels


    My friends and I were laughing at that line the whole way home!
     
  9. Tony_Faville

    Tony_Faville Supporting Actor

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    My wife and I went to see it today...the noon showing, 7 people in the entire theater and we all enjoyed it....

    Apparently we all got what we were expecting....a cheesy, typically bad Jason Voorhees flick.

    The DVD should be fun...
     

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