Generally, I enjoy the Friday the 13th series a lot. It’s campy and silly and fun.
Of course, some of the movies just suck.
Spoilers for this movie. Also, for Part I and Part II. Sorry.
Jason kills more teenagers. To differentiate this from all the other times he’s killed teenagers, he does it in 3D.
1. We didn’t watch it in 3D.
We tried watching it in 3D. Sadly, the glasses bothered my sister, and I already had a bit of a sinus headache, so we gave up on that pretty quickly. Still, 2D was kind of hysterical. I kept laughing at just how obvious the coming-at-you shots were. Like, let’s just focus on this guy randomly dropping a yo-yo twelve times for no apparent reason. That’s normal.
2. There are a lot of ways to catch your audience up on what happened in the last installment of your series, but easily the laziest device I’ve ever seen is throwing up a straight ten minute clip with no framing device of any kind. Friday the 13th, Part II turned their exposition into an (exceptionally terrible) dream sequence, but Friday the 13th, Part III‘s just like, “Fuck it. I don’t feel like writing. Just watch this ten minutes and you’ll pick it up fine.”
3. The best part about this entire movie? The opening credits:
If the movie had been half as cheesy as these credits, I would have enjoyed myself a lot more.
4. Instead, Friday the 13th Part III is just . . . kind of boring. There are a couple of ludicrous moments to laugh at, but they are unfortunately few and far between. And since the movie isn’t scary or witty or even remotely original — more on that later — it’s just kind of a tedious installment.
5. Although I do have to introduce a new tag now. I don’t know if anyone bothers looking at the tags, since I don’t come up with ones that will get me more readers, like a sane person — I do it the way a fanfiction writer does, i.e. making up shit that I think is funny. But anyway.
Early on in the movie, we’re forced to watch this completely arbitrary couple for about ten minutes, and at one point, the wife sees a dark figure standing behind the drying (and ominously billowing) sheets. “Harold?” she calls out, to which my sister says, “That’s not Harold. It’s never Harold.” And I, at the same time, say, “That’s not Snowflake,” because I watched Ace Ventura Pet Detective a lot as a kid.
So from here on in, if you ever see a review tagged, “That’s not Snowflake,” I’m referencing this trope . . . when someone calls out to a bad guy, mistaking him/her/it for someone who is already dead . . . or just about to be.
6. Harold, by the way, is a terrible person who kind of deserves to die. All right, maybe he doesn’t deserve to die, but he does open up food in his little convenience store, eats some of it, and then puts it back on the shelf for people to buy. So, you know. I’m not feeling a lot of sympathy for him
7. Although more than I feel for Rick.
Rick spends almost the entire time movie whining that his girlfriend (Chris, our heroine) doesn’t want to put out. At one point, he almost leaves because he doesn’t see any point spending time with her at the cabin if she isn’t going to have sex with him. Clearly, Rick is a winner. And I can’t stress enough just how badly he dresses. You probably can’t tell because the picture’s pretty small, but he’s wearing a pastel blue grandpa sweater over a red flannel shirt.
It deserves to be burned, preferably with Rick still inside of it.
8. Although it should be said that Chris is pretty annoying herself, and her traumatic backstory is just a bunch of bullshit.
Annoying survivor girls are a dime a dozen in horror movies like this, but Chris is pretty excessively irritating, even for a heroine. She has some history with Crystal Lake, see, although we don’t know exactly what it is at first, other than it left her too traumatized to sleep with her badly-dressed asshat of a boyfriend. Eventually, she confesses to Rick that two years ago, she was chased around the woods by some grotesquely deformed man. (Jason, obviously, but she doesn’t know that — none of the kids seem to know about the murders that happened in the 1st or 2nd movie.) Before he could kill her, though, she . . . just woke up. In her bed. And her parents never discussed it again.
Really? Really? You know what would have worked better than that backstory? Any backstory. Or no backstory at all, really. There was no need to give Jason and Chris some kind of past history, certainly not when you were going to resolve it by fucking magic.
9. Even the nerdy sidekicks — who are usually the best part of any horror movie — are annoying in this film.
This movie has no redeemable characters. At all. It’s horrible.
10. Really, there aren’t a lot of redeeming qualities about this movie at all. The only reason to watch it is to see Jason finally pick up his hockey mask . . . and that’s incredibly underwhelming. (Possibly because the filmmakers didn’t expect Jason to be known for the hockey mask, but still. Severely underwhelmed here.)
. . . actually, come to think of it, Rick’s death is pretty hilarious. Jason uses his bare hands to squeeze Rick’s head so hard that his eyes burst.
Unfortunately, you have to suffer through eighty minutes of Rick being alive first to get there. You’re probably better off not watching this.
11. And what’s weird is I actually enjoy Friday the 13th Part II, which was also directed by Steve Miner . . . you’d think I’d like this one as well, or at least not be quite so bored by it. But this movie feels more like a really bad rip-off of the original instead of a sequel, especially with that ending.
Chris, like Alice in the first film, kills the bad guy and finds herself sleeping in a canoe. She wakes up in the morning, only to have Mrs. Vorhees pop up out of the water, like Jason did in the first film, and attack her. Parallels? Or shitty logic?
As I mentioned before, Chris doesn’t know anything about Jason’s origin story. She certainly doesn’t know anything about Mrs. Vorhees. So . . . how could she have been hallucinating someone she didn’t know existed? And if it wasn’t a hallucination . . . shit, is she being saved by magic AGAIN? Seriously, this is ridiculous.
12. Finally, I feel like I should point this out, in case any aspiring filmmakers just happen to read this blog: I don’t need to see people shitting on the toilet. Ever. I will accept it if it’s somehow relevant to the plot — although, really, the only movie I can think of offhand where that would apply is Dreamcatcher — but the scene in this movie with Harold? No. No need for that scene. None at all.
There are a lot of gross things I look forward to seeing in film, but people sitting on the crapper is not one of them.
Magic is REAL . . . but only for survivor girls.
4 thoughts on ““Give Me Something to Scream About.””
Part 2 was probably the highlight of the entire series, honestly. It ran through every slasher convention you could think of, but it *owned* them and wasn’t lazy about it. Part 3 was absolutely paint-by-numbers in the worst possible way.
Still not as bad at Jason Goes to Hell, though. Also Jason Takes Manhattan for being the biggest bait and switch ever.
I have not seen Jason Takes Manhattan yet. Unfortunately, I have seen just enough of Jason Goes to Hell to be wildly unenthused about the prospect of watching it in its entirety someday. (I’d like to see all of them, just so I can say I’ve seen the whole series.)
Have you decided to just give up on the list of horror movies you set for yourself at the beginning of the year? If memory serves correctly, you’ve only watched about 4 or 5 out of 24.
Basically. I’ll probably watch a few more by the end of the year (I’ll have something up next week for sure), but yeah, this year was an abysmal failure. I blame it on all the Batman reviews. And the Clarion Westtrip, and all the time I spent reading and preparing for the Clarion West trip. (More than you’d think.)
I think I’ve actually watched seven or eight of the movie– I have my list somewhere — but it’s still pretty pathetic. And there will be punishment coming my way 😦