Jason X
Grade: C-
Year: 2002
Director: James Isaac
Writer: Todd Farmer
Genre: Horror
Rated: R

Even with the high budget and special effects, fans of “Friday the 13th,” those who have seen all nine of them, will still know that they are watching number 10; only with a fancier title, “Jason X.”

The idea is the same. Unknown (horrible) actors run for their lives desperately trying to avoid Jason’s bloody machete. The infamous stalking sound effect that Friday the 13th patented was revamped to modern times and is heard a few times throughout. Once again, it is quite possible that only the original fans of the series will recognize it. Those that know the legend behind Friday the 13th and only those will truly be able to appreciate how far this series has come.

The year is 2440; a space crew is returning home after recovering two frozen bodies from Earth that they believe can be brought back to life, even though they were frozen nearly 400 years ago. Our planet has become a wasteland, only good for research. Humans now live on “Earth 2” the exact location of 2 is never revealed. All we do know, is that the crew is far from it and has a long ride ahead of them with Jason being on the passenger list.

Besides the added glitter, the plot is the same as it has been the last nine times. The body count manages to stay as high as always, which is the reason why the series became so notorious in the first place. Unlike the predecessors, a high budget has allowed the filmmakers to be more creative with each death scene. When all you had before was a cleaver to the body, Jason Vorhees now treats the audience to a completely new set of ways to kill off the mindless teens. One scientist has her head broken into thousands of pieces after being cryogenically frozen; another gets sucked out of a tiny hole in the spaceship.

Horror fans will enjoy watching Jason brutalize everyone on board, but will not be scared. The comic dialogue doesn’t make way for a scary movie. When a soldier finds one of her comrades with a massive screwdriver through his body, you can easily guess what she replies when the captain asks, “How is ----?” That’s right, she says, “---- is screwed.” There are also plenty of other stupid lines and un-clever phrases that will make you roll your eyes, but you just have to get used to that along with the pathetic acting.

Did I fail to mention the weak plot? How about the characters? Order up the usual-a stupid bunch of uneducated teens and a greedy scientist willing to keep Jason alive to make profit, and you have the "Jason X" cast. I don't have to tell you that most of them will die and a least a few will live. But I can unfortunately tell you that you'll know who will survive from the very beginning as you always can in weak developed movies.

A true disappointment, out of the ten Friday the 13 movies, Jason X (although the most impressive) was the least scary or frightening. Not that the other Friday the 13th movies are scary, but they were creepy than this one. The director totally abandoned any effort to make this somewhat suspenseful, and solely concentrated on the action. While you can’t expect much suspense from Jason, we could have at least seen him stalk his prey, rather than the prey walk up to him, which is basically the way it happened throughout the movie.

There are a few cool scenes, in fact some of the scenery is rather nice looking. At the beginning, you get to see to remains of Earth. It has been reduced to a windy desert that is uninhabitable for any life. Another treat for the fans happens later on the movie. While on board, the crew uses virtual reality to bring back Camp Crystal Lake; the site of Jason’s death when he was a child back in the 1960’s. Again, the fans will appreciate seeing the origins of Friday the 13th on the big screen again, and there are even a few campers that were created for Jason to play with.

I did expect a lot worse than what I saw. But the elements are there for the fans, and the death scenes are there for the gore hounds. Jason X, although an overall bad movie, managed to pass the bar set by the previous installments, even though that bar was never really set that high in the first place.

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