The 320th review!
With the amazing news that the stupid lawsuit is over, we may finally get to see another Friday the 13th movie. It has been 12 years Since the OK 2009 remake, which marks the longest gap between Jason movies and it really sucks. But hopefully Victor Miller and Sean Cunningham can come to an agreement on revenue and we can finally get Jason back on the big screen. Until then, there are plenty of fan films to check out like...
Jason Rising (2021)
The movie opens with a sheriff, sporting a very impressive mustache, and two deputies burying a crate in a condemned area. You get some narration giving you the history of Camp Crystal Lake through Friday the 13th part four. While they're locking the crate serving as a makeshift coffin, you find out Jason is inside. He wakes up and punches a hole to grab Sheriff Mustache. The lawman eventually escapes and orders his deputies to put the dirt back on him. The hole barely covers the crate and it makes no sense that he wouldn't be able to get out, but whatever, let's move on.
Fast forward to the present and three women have escaped custody and are on the lam. While running from two US Marshals, a man named Jed and another named Bear, who are teaming up with Sheriff Pete Daltry and Deputy Eve Glover, they run afoul of Jason and everyone has a bad time.
There's a lot I liked about this, a whole bunch actually, so let me get out of the way what I DIDN'T like first so I can spend more time on the rosier aspects. Here's what I didn't like; at times Pamela Voorhees is the killer. Normally I'd be OK with that, but they don't explain anything about why she came back or how she did it. She just crawls out of her grave and yanks Jason out of his. Now starting off, the idea itself is silly and to make it worse, it's executed horribly. When we saw her last, she had her head chopped off and Jason put it in his shack. So when we see her she is literally running around headless.... What?
I'm seriously asking here, they wrote the thing, shot it, edited and presumably watched it again and no one commented how goofy it looked? I understand it's a fan film, so silliness is to be expected, but for the most part, this movie plays it straight and the actors don't ham it up at all once things get serious. There would be moments where I'm really into the movie when all of a sudden Headless Pamela Voorhees would waltz on screen and I'd wonder, What are you doing movie? And when she's not running around, you hear her talking all the time and doing a real annoying laugh in Jason's head.
Speaking of headscratchers; Jason is chasing down the three escaped women doing his usual spooky stuff when out of nowhere he has a pillowcase on his head (a callback to part two), but then he very dramatically rips it off to show his hockey mask. Like, I get it, the one girl was wearing one earlier to scare her fellow fugitives, but Jason didn't know that. Why would he wear a mask over his mask just to take it off the moment she sees him? It's really weird.
OK, let's go over what I did like. It looks great. The production values are top notch for this type of thing. There are pretty scenery shots, drone cameras, plenty of fog and some of the kills look really good. The gunfire though... not so much, but they get around that by having Jason disarm everyone immediately when he sees them. He cuts, slices and chainsaws a lot of gun hands.
Another thing I really liked was the character Bear. He's a big dude who carries a big gun and he's the tracker of the expedition. It's really cool late in the movie he's following Jason's tracks and looking out into the darkness. Bear tells Jed that he knows something has been following him for 10 minutes, but he can't find him. It played a lot like the first Predator, including his untimely death. I was really intrigued and pumped because they've never had a capable hunter tracking Jason before and I thought it would be a cool dynamic. I was excited to see where this would go, but Headless Pamela Voorhees awkwardly strutted onscreen and I groaned.
I liked those things, but there were some things I loved. It acknowledged Jason's past and Jason looks like Jason. But the fun part is the return of Alice Hardy played by Adrienne King. She was the protagonist from part one and gets murdered in part two but they kind of handwave that away by offhandedly showing she survived. It's funny, the first time you see Alice, they don't show her face but she's drinking Crystal Lake Wine by Adrienne King. I see you there movie Adrienne! As a selt published author, I'm all about shameless self promotion. (Camping with the Dead, available now!) When you finally see Alice for real, she lops off Pamela's head again and finishes off Jason with an icepick, the same weapon he killed her with in part two.
But my favorite thing was a voicemail at the end of the movie from Dr. Ginny Field, the protagonist from part II with Amy Steel reprising her role. That made me smile, I really liked Ginny and she's my favorite "Final Girl" in the series. It was nice revisiting the character because Steel left acting to become a psychologist real life.
I liked this movie a lot. It showed a lot of love to the series and it's pretty entertaining. It's less than an hour long so it doesn't drag and it's impressively made for a fan film. Amy Steel has expressed interest in coming back to the series and I'd love for that to happen someday. If she does, we may FINALLY get an answer to the question that has been hanging over this series since the 80's... what the hell happened to Paul?!
8 Dr. Chainsaws!
Jason Rising: A Friday the 13th Fan Film | Full Film | (2021) HD
A fan tribute to Friday the 13th, JASON RISING follows Wessex County Police Officer Pete Daltry (Kyle Vahan) and his Deputy Eve Glover (Anna Campbell), along with U.S. Marshals Jed (Jason Reynolds) and Bear (Jerry Bell Jr.), hot on the trail of three escapees (Lisa Sorenson, Jennie Vaughn, Elizabeth Garrett) from the Wessex County Corrections Farm. Soon after realizing their chase has led them onto the cursed grounds of Camp Crystal Lake, Daltry quickly discovers that they are the ones being hunted by the undead mass murderers Jason Voorhees (Dan Kyle) and his deranged mother Pamela (Alyxandria McCormack).
Directed by James Sweet
Co-created by Robert Blanche
Screenplay By James Sweet Vincente DiSanti
Additional Story by Maurice J Cardwell
Based on Friday the 13th By Sean S. Cunningham Victor Miller
Starring Kyle Vahan Anna Campbell Jerry Bell Jr. Jason Reynolds Lisa Sorenson Kyle Vahan Anna Campbell Jerry Bell Jr. Jason Reynolds Lisa Sorenson James Sweet Vincente DiSanti
Featuring Dan Kyle as Jason Voorhees and "Old Man" Daltry Alyxandria McCormack as Pamela Voorhees and Kristina Haddad as the evil voice of Pamela and Dispatch Sue