Monday, December 3, 2007

Friday the 13th Part 3

This film opens by helpfully reshowing us the campfire recap of the first film from the second film, just to help us all out in case we can’t follow such a difficult plot. I thank them for that, because I find I just can’t get enough explanations of what is going on in a slasher movie. Really, how else are we going to figure out that the guy in the mask wielding the machete is the villain?

Anyway, this film follows the bad luck of the town next to Crystal Lake, as it starts the same evening the second film ended, with Jason on the loose and raring to kill some more people, just as a new group of teens arrives to vacation at an old cabin while cheerfully ignoring all the news reports about the deranged killer roaming the area. Unlike the first two films, there was a serious effort made to make this film stand out, as (to the best of my knowledge) it is to date the only slasher film made in 3-D. Of course, the DVD doesn’t come with the 3-D technology, so we just get a normal film, but with the occasional randomness like the opening credits jumping forward, Jason firing a harpoon at the cameraman, etc. It’s that little added effort to please that pushes this one a little above the first two films.

One thing that’s interesting about the first few movies, despite my previously stating that I didn’t think they were as good as later ones (my favorites, specifically, were the “Tommy Trilogy”, or parts 4-6), is that we’re still dealing with a fully mortal killer. Sure, Jason can take a goddamn machete to the shoulder and get back up, but he gets hurt pretty badly, and can at least be knocked out by the axe to the face he takes here. Also of note, the violence has been ratcheted up considerably from the first two films (though this may be a result of relaxed censorship from the MPAA – the Friday series was notorious for having to heavily cut its violent content, and to date there has yet to be an uncensored DVD set to watch), which helps a lot with a genre like this. ‘Course, that doesn’t quite take it into “good” territory, as it has a slooooow beginning, a retarded ending that’s almost a parody of the ending from the first film, and an incredibly awful nerd character that you just wish could die in his first scene. Still, Jason does get his trademark hockey mask from the guy, so I guess he’s not all bad.

Rating: * ½

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