Friday the 13th, part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan

The Story: Jason boards a cruise ship full of Crystal Lake High graduates & eventually ends up in New York City.
The Film Itself: While I think it’s a little unfair for fans to call this the worst installment, I also think it’s insanity that some critics have said this is the best. The opening is very weak. A guy tells his girlfriend the story of Jason, just in case you the audience don’t know, along with a Jason hockey mask to scare her with (anyone who doesn’t figure this is how Jason gets ahold of another hockey mask has problems) & they just so happen to resurrect Jason too… these situations in horror movies are always cringe worthy. That incident took place on a boat, & Jason must have liked his time there because the next morning he climbs onto another one. This time it’s a cruise ship full of teens headed to New York City. Oddly, the kills in this movie are pretty bloodless (and good thing because what FX we do see is horrible) but Jason seems pretty sadistic here, taking time while killing a number of people. So not only is there no splatter to enjoy, but unless you’re a serial killer yourself, you’re made to feel at least a little bit uncomfortable. As the mayhem unfolds on the ship the movie becomes good for a little while. The Titanic-like chaos is more interesting to watch in the middle of a Friday movie than the usual teen stuff, but every time you are ready to enjoy this movie it insists on doing something stupid. Jason can apparently teleport now. What the hell is that all about? And the characters are a knockoff of those in part 7. We have the bitchy blonde again, the spineless man in charge, and psychic stuff is popping up for no reason with the lead. She’s having visions of Jason as a child that add up to nothing but a confusing ending. Once in Manhattan things get worse. Anyone who’s spent more than 20 minutes in New York City can tell you that it isn’t a maze of back alleys & toxic waste filled sewer systems. There are a couple of fun moments with Jason on the streets of NY but very little is made out of the location & it’s just more of Jason chasing the survivors around, same as it would have been in Crystal Lake. The survivor & her boyfriend do little to fight back & seem bored the entire movie. Jason’s unmasking at the end is the WORST of the entire series. The FX job is laughable. My favorite aspect of this film is that it keeps the action going for most of the movie, rather than saving it all until the end like the rest do, but otherwise it is a very weak entry unless, like the critics, you don’t normally like these movies anyway.
Special Features: Nada. Good transfer, new artwork. – chriss.

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