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Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan
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Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan (1989)

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Plot Summary:
"Rennie (Jensen Daggett) is celebrating her graduation aboard the SS Lazarus, along with her strict uncle (Peter Mark Richman), her favorite teacher (Barbara Bingham), her boyfriend, Sean (Scott Reeves), all of her classmates, and a stowaway: hockey-masked serial killer Jason Voorhees (Kane Hodder). One by one, Jason slowly murders each classmate and sinks the ship, stranding the survivors in New York. Rennie and the few survivors now must face Jason to save their lives from impending doom."


Review by
Steven Davies
Follow me:
@braindeadsteve
Review Date: 28 July 2003 My Rating: out of 5

 

Not many horror series make it all the way to part and I'm sure back in when Friday the th was first released it wasn't something the makers would of ever considered. But due to popular demand and a niche market of dedicated fans Friday the th and indeed Jason Vorhees lived on.

I'm always a little hesitant when it comes to movie titles that more or less explain the plot in a few words but in this case I gave Jason Takes Manhattan a chance. And being a fan of previous sequels in the series I was very interested in this new spin on things. I mean taking Jason from his home at Camp Crystal all the way to the Big Apple.

So as always we begin with the conveniant life inducing electricity to resurrect Jason from the depths of the lake and from then on things start to get a bit silly. As always with these movies I'm not necessarily looking for Oscar material but just at least some half decent thrills, a decent soundtrack and a fairly plausible plot...but unfortunately in the opening half of this movie all those aspects seem pretty much non-existent.

Since when the hell does Camp Crystal lake open up into the sea? From what I could gather this is exactly what must of happened. But the madness doesn't stop there. I absolutely can't stand convenient plot twists and other circumstances and this movie is filled with them. No matter how fast you run in the opposite direction Jason's patient strolling always seems to get there first. This occurs on a number of occasions and it really began to bug me.

Another dire element for Jason Takes Manhattan was the editing. In particular the scene of Kelly Hu's character being killed in the disco room. The combination of Kelly spinning round, the camera turning back and forth and the occasional appearance on Jason near one of the doors was enough to make you sea-sick! Unlike previous Friday efforts I felt the editing and soundtrack on this movie much below par.

So.....Jason Takes Manhattan.....I imagine Jason running amok through the streets of New York, crashing through office blocks, ripping through taxi cabs, just some kind of Terminator style killings in the city. But what the title fails to give away is the fact that % of the movie will take place on a boat nowhere near Manhattan, and that when Jason actually reaches the city that never sleeps he'll spend most of his time in dark back alleys and down in the sewers. I felt cheated. Most of the previous movies in the series gave that claustrophobic kind of feeling, of being trapped in this camp with a madman running about. But with this movie I feel that a change from that could of made it a lot better.

Also I just wish to add, Julius vs Jason, what a contest. And I know Jason is powerful but to literally knock someones block off? - yeah right!

OVERALL SUMMARY
Half-assed editing, cheesy 's soundtrack, convenient and inplausible twists and turns, mediocre casting and not enough New York. Yet more appearance changes for Jason and indeed the flashback younger Jason left me feeling a little uneasy and cheated. I think the movies only saving grace is that it actually did try and go for something a little different from previous efforts, yet I do think it could of been so much better.




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