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IN SHORT: Short and sweet, but what the hell can you really say about it? [Rated R for strong horror violence, language, and some sexuality. ]
JASON X, reviewed by Trent Haaga, star of more TromaFilms than you could shake a small stick at.
In industry parlance, it's called "suspension of disbelief." If you watched the last four installments of the Friday the 13th series, then you've got enough suspension of disbelief" for Jason X. If you blindly accepted the fact that Jason Voorhees (Kane Hodder), ubiquitous serial killer of the series, was resurrected by a bolt of lightening (Part 6, Jason Lives), fought and was defeated by a telekinetic teenager (Part 7, The New Blood), reverted back to child form after a bath of toxic sewage (Part 8, Jason Takes Manhattan), or became a slug-like creature capable of possessing any form (Part 9, Jason Goes to Hell), then a cryogenically frozen Jason in space is no real stretch of the imagination.
Hell, if you followed the link to read this review, then I'm gonna go ahead and assume that you're a fan of the series and are at least entertaining the notion of seeing Jason X. In that case, I'll just tell you right now that this is the best installment since Part 6. Like many Jason fans, I was slowly becoming disillusioned with the series. It was becoming more and more ridiculous and refusing to acknowledge how "far out" it was becoming. Sure, Part 9 was somewhat tongue in cheek, but it was almost apologetic for being so -- "We know we're flogging a dead horse here, but hey! At least we're being funny, right?" With Jason X, the "series that never should have gone on this long" finally gets a fair, if utterly ludicrous, shake.
You've probably seen the commercials: Jason is frozen and is resurrected aboard a spaceship four hundred years in the future. Thanks to some advancement in nanotechnology, Jason gets a facelift and proceeds to kill a whole ton of people. That's the long and short of it. But along the way you get a very large body count, a handful of creative deaths (look out for the liquid nitrogen bath -- a great gag that had the audience cheering), some really excellent humor, a few "in-joke" nods for series fans, and a small cameo by Canadian genius director David Cronenberg.
It's great to know that despite major advances in space travel, nanotechnology, robotics, virtual reality, weaponry, and medicine, humans will still wear skimpy clothing, have premarital sex, split up when being stalked, and go alone to inspect a noise in a dark hallway four hundred years from now.
Seriously, though, Jason X knows exactly what it is and despite some fancy packaging (credit has to go to the filmmakers for the lush look of the film -- definitely the sharpest-looking F13 film ever -- on a relatively low budget), is still a classic slasher flick. If you're a fan of this particular sub-genre, then you were gonna go see it anyway. You won't be disappointed. For the casual horror fan, you could do a lot worse (for instance, Jason X is WAY more entertaining and fun than Thirteen Ghosts). If you aren't a fan of the stalk and slash, you probably haven't read this far anyway.
On average, a first run movie ticket will run you Ten Bucks. Being a horror flick fan and a F13 encyclopedia of sorts, I'd pay
to see Jason X. That's what a matinee costs in Los Angeles, and Jason Xis the perfect matinee film (clocking in at a brief 90 minutes, you can see the film and still get a lot done on a Saturday afternoon).
- Trent Haaga
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