Director: Jim Isaac
Writer: Todd Farmer
Starring: Kane Hodder, Lexa Doig, Lisa Ryder, Chuck Campbell, Melyssa Ade, Peter Mensah, Melody Johnson, and David Cronenberg
With Freddy vs. Jason stuck in development hell and several years since Jason Goes to Hell being released, producer Sean s. Cunningham wanted to bring back interest to the Friday the 13th franchise, and Jason X was conceived to do exactly this. The idea was to take Jason into space as it was somewhere new for Jason to stalk some victims.
Even though the premise is completely stupid at first thought, it actually really works. Jason’s back, after being dragged to hell since the last film. In fact, this one takes place after Freddy vs. Jason, so it does feel like you’re missing a bit of the story in the opening scene. Since there’s no way to kill Jason (Kane Hodder), the plan is to cryogenically freeze him. That goes wrong slightly, and Rowan LaFontaine (Lexa Doig) ends up frozen along with him. Over four centuries later, when the Earth is no longer habitable an expedition finds the pair frozen and take them back to their ship, where Jason wakes up and starts to kill the ship’s crew. Essentially, it’s a slasher on a spaceship.
Jason slowly makes his way through the crew on the ship, while the professor wants to keep him alive in order to sell him as Jason has quite a reputation after around two hundred kills. This attitude leads to more people who die because of selfishness. It takes some tropes of sci-fi and blends them in with the slasher genre. There’s a holodeck that the heroes use to trick Jason, he finds his equal in a robot and even turns into a cyborg at one point. On top of that there’s the stuff you’d expect from a Friday the 13th film, some humour, many deaths and pointless nudity. The whole thing comes together and it’s really fun to switch your brain off and watch.
The actual ship looks like something out of a mid-2000s TV series like Stargate: Atlantis or Firefly. It doesn’t look great, but it does the job. There are some dodgy CGI effects, especially the ant things that repair people when they’re healed. On the other hand, the gore looks great, with some of the best kills of the series. At one point Jason freezes someone’s face in liquid nitrogen and then smashes it on the table, and it’s pure slasher awesomeness.
Jason X is all out fun. It doesn’t take itself seriously at all and while it’s still the same film as what’s come before, it’s a hell of a lot better than most of the other entries. It doesn’t quite hold a candle to Part VI or Jason Goes to Hell, but it’s more than just formulaic trash like most of the series.
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