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Friday 13th part 6: Jason Lives

by on Aug.10, 2010, under Daily Review

A scortching re-entry here, just when you think the franchise was dead in the water, or lake for that matter, Tom McLoughin swoops in with a great script and a whole new breath of life. This is just what was needed.

Tommy (Thom Mathews) is still obsessed with Jason, so escaping from the mental institute with a fellow inmate, they head for Jason’s grave, and dig up the big fella. Unlucky for them, a bolt of lightning springs Jason back to life and so it begins all over again. There’s a love interest with the local cops daughter, Megan (Jennifer Cooke) and the wide eyed Tommy which adds a great sense of teamwork.

The film works on different levels than it’s previous history. It’s got a Return of the Living Dead thing about it, maybe as Thom Mathews played Freddy, and also a bit or a ReAnimator thing too. It’s probably the black comedy, comic style. This is real American comic book stuff. Great still cinematography and a lovely warm film stock, which just oozes comfort. Jason is calmer too. He walks about leisurely watching things and people before he acts, all very Frankenstein’s monster and also reminiscent of Universal’s Mummy. C.J. Graham plays Jason here and is probably the best so far, real presence and dominance which has really been missing in the other films. Jennifer Cooke is enigmatic and colourful which again makes a huge difference as in previous films, the leading actress’ have all been a bit flat. She’s great here as she was in V. Damn shame this was her final movie to date. Then there’s Mathews, this is the master stroke. He’s a great actor with real expression and comic charm which works really well here and so much better than that last clown playing Tommy in part 5.

The gore is not really an issue here and even though there is a large bodycount, it doesn’t amount to OTT gore which again is a contrast. It’s good to see this direction in the series, taking on a more character based approach.

One point I should make, not only about this film but the rest in the series so far is Jason’s trade mark of crashing though window frames. This happens several times in this film alone, in fact, I presume this is repeated as a kind of homage to all those splintered frames crushed by the mighty Jason.

This is probably my favourite of the series so far, it’s easily the most enjoyable. How surprised am I this far into the series? Great stuff.

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