Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday (1993) Review: Meta & Metaphysical
“Jason goes to hell, and he’s NOT coming back!”
Synopsis: Serial killer Jason Voorhees’ supernatural origins are revealed when the FBI believes him dead.
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Jason Goes to Hell is the Friday the 13th take on Terminator. After eight movies, we suddenly learn that Jason as we think of him isn’t actually Jason – he’s some malevolent force that body hops and COULD BE ANYONE (dumdumdummm). While this leads to some cool scenes, the central premise fails almost before it begins, as Jason (Kane Hodder) never changes his MO. It doesn’t really matter whose body is doing the stalking and killing around Crystal Lake – if you’re getting picked off one by one in the woods anyway, the body never really comes into play.
Fortunately, the other half of the plot is enough to keep the movie going: we also learn that Jason can’t sustain any body but that of a blood relative, which puts his three living relatives directly in harm’s way. Naturally, they’re also the only three who can kill him, so things get complicated fast.
Considering the backstory, this movie is surprisingly light on the family drama. Instead, most of the action is brutal and often creative kills, sprinkled with shock-takes of Jason’s reflection in mirrors. (It’s not that shocking, guys.) But the kills being interesting for once definitely helped hold my interest, as did the character progression of plucky ex Steven (John D. LeMay).
Cheesy as it is, Jason Goes to Hell is among my favorite Friday the 13ths. Even when the premise is silly (as it often is), the acting is pretty solid and sometimes good (Richard Gant as the coroner in particular is excellent). Sure, there are cheesy special effects and random attempts to tie in other franchises, but there’s also interesting kills and a lot of the gratuitous violence and nudity some of the other flicks skip over. All in all, it’s pretty fun, and surprisingly solid for how late in the series it is.
Of course, those who think the early movies are scary and more their speed will find their mileage varies – even with the gore and acting, Jason Goes to Hell does get ridiculous more than once. But if you can look past that, it’ll be worth a watch. And if that sounds awful to you and you just wanna make it through the series intact… well, there’s our drinking game.
Calamity Brains’ Rating: B
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