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Jason X (April 27/02)

It's been nearly a decade since Jason Voorhees, that unstoppable killing machine, graced the silver screen. Now, he's back - albeit in an entirely different milieu.

As the film opens, several years have passed since the events in Jason Goes to Hell - the installment that supposedly saw Voorhees die once and for all (the tagline read "The Final Friday" and everything). Nevertheless, Jason is alive and well, though he has been captured and is being housed in a warehouse of some sort. After massacring several armed soldiers and David Cronenberg, Jason is tricked into hopping into a cryogenic freezing chamber by the plucky Rowan (played by Lexa Doig) - but Jason's got a trick or two of his own up his tattered sleeve, and thrusts his trusty machete through what should have been impenetrable steel and wounds Rowan. The two wind up frozen for over 400 years, until a team of student explorers stumble upon the frozen bodies while doing research. It doesn't take a genius to figure out that these folks are going to foolishly thaw out Jason, and that Jason is going to immediately begin offing everyone in sight (even when Jason is first discovered, still quite frozen, he manages to hurt someone!).

Jason X delivers exactly what it promises: Murder and mayhem a-plenty with little plot and even less character development. The actors cast are just about as bad as it gets, with none of them even approaching a good performance. But really, nobody expects decent acting from a Jason flick. People just want killin' and lots of it, and that's certainly delivered. And in case you were worried that a half dozen students and a teacher aren't enough bait for Jason, midway through the film a squadron of tough marines are called upon to dispatch everyone's favorite hockey-mask wearing psycho. And, in a sequence clearly "inspired" by Aliens, Jason manages to pick off every soldier one by one.

The film also manages to be surprisingly funny, with a number of cheesy but effective one-liners and even a trip back to Camp Crystal Lake (in virtual form, of course). Look, if you actually go see Jason X, you'll pretty much get what you're expecting. This is the sort of film with a very limited audience - those expecting another Scream-type horror film will surely be disappointed. But for what it is and what it sets out to do, it works.

out of

© David Nusair