So bad, you may actually like it

Jason X

My title at the beginning of this post pretty much says it all. Released in 2002, this dead-end sequel only sees our poor franchise character go from one bad setting to another (I’m referring to “Jason Goes to Manhattan”). While a movie about Jason going to the future may seem original and interesting, the actual finished product is anything but far from fascinating.

*SPOILERS*

Looking at the decision to put Jason in space and turn him into a robot-like serial killer was a bad move to begin with. The concept of that would involve killing the uniqueness of Jason. He belongs in Camp Crystal Lake where teenagers go to die. He connects with his setting and when I watched him being “revived” with technology in the middle of space, it just didn’t feel right. His character only gets more staler with what is supposed to be an “upgrade” for Jason.

Back to the story, Jason goes to space, starts killing some students and they even decide to throw an android into all of this. That is where I have another point to make. The aspect of putting more distinctive characters in the movie kind of takes away the attention that was supposed to be put on Jason. If the film starts becoming more about the science fiction aspect, then the horror element begins to drain itself out.

I hope I’m not the only one who thinks this. Don’t get me wrong, there ARE other films that can make this work like “Alien,” but with the serial killer from a closed summer camp, that just doesn’t sound right at all. In the end that only brings me to the weirdest point about how I ultimately feel about the movie.

It’s soooo bad that I actually thought it could be considered good for that very reason. I’m not sure how to explain it, but I’ll try. It’s like shooting for the stars and you only end falling on your head after jumping a few feet. You end up laughing maybe because of how hard they tried to make an upgrade for Jason, but instead he only ends up getting demoted even further down the list of slasher serial killers. The sequels only end up getting progressively worse and make you think twice about the film’s tagline, “Evil gets an upgrade.” Irony. I guess if you enjoyed this film you’d have to be a real hardcore science fiction fan or a real fan of Jason.

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“What’s your favorite scary movie?”

Scream (1996)

As per a request by one of my great followers, this next film is notable for being quite a doozy at the time it was released. First I’d like to recap on a little bit of history when it comes to slasher films. From the 70s to the 80s onward, slasher films were pretty much at a peak only to eventually face a decline with dead-end sequels as the formulas for this genre became cliched, the main antagonists (usually the focal character in this genre) became wooden, critics bashed away any films that tried to raise the bar, and originality pretty much seemed to run out for the slasher genre in general. I’ve seen many slashers and I can almost unfortunately agree that some of these points were true… until 1996.

The release of “Scream” and its revitalization of the slasher genre was fresh and original. Who better to have made this film than the man who was already notable for slasher franchises? The great Mr. Wes Craven. With a load of references to slasher films that came before its time, “Scream” actually becomes ironic in its own essence with the way the characters talk about surviving and their own present situation. The soundtrack was great too, something I don’t think most films or this one specifically gets much credit for. When I first saw the film I was too young and bold to focus on the deeper analysis, but looking at it now, I clearly see why this film was considered iconic for bringing back slasher films to mainstream, at least for a while longer. Whether or not this genre has since declined is still up to debate with the whole reboot era, but that’s another story…

*SPOILERS* (Though you probably should’ve already seen this movie if you were born before the year 2000)

This film overall on a personal level is still my favorite slasher film to date… out of all the other ones I’ve seen so far. From its surprisingly humorous in-jokes to how aware the characters seem to be of their own real-life situation, “Scream” perfectly blends irony with blood and violence, kind of like the way “Pulp Fiction” did. From Drew Barrymore’s surprisingly opening death to the main heroine, Sidney stating “Not in my movie,” “Scream” NEVER had me feel a moment of tediousness, an effect that most slasher films tend to have on me from time to time in certain moments. It’s an endless ride of pure, fresh entertainment. The only thing that makes me feel kind of outcasted about this film, is that it wasn’t necessarily scary, at least to me; something that most people tend to disagree with me about sometimes. Oh well… still a great film.