Between 1980 and 1989, Jason Voorhees (or his mom, technically kicking things off in ’80) got real good at slashing unsuspecting campers and counselors up. The Friday the 13th franchise churned out a film almost every year, making eight movies in those nine years. Jason, through various incarnations and mutations, killed 85 people if we combine Part 2, Part III, The Final Chapter, Jason Lives, The New Blood and Jason Takes Manhattan. You know, the movies where Jason is actually the killer? Now, however, as of today, it’s been a whopping 11 years, the longest gap between films in the franchise’s history, since an F13 movie hit the big screen.
I mean, I bet you could believe it. The last time we saw Jason in action was in 2009, when the underwhelming and/or under-appreciated Friday the 13th reboot from Platinum Dunes briefly graced us with its presence. That film, when it came out, while a financial success, grossing $93 million against a $19 million budget, was treated tepidly by critics. It obviously wasn’t good enough to reinvigorate the franchise, otherwise I wouldn’t be writing this right now, would I? And while ideas were thrown around about how to continue from the reboot, nothing ever came to fruition.
If you’re a fan of the franchise, this has to be disappointing news. Between the lack of strong critical reception to the remake and the ongoing legal battle that has otherwise consumed the series in both film and video game form, there just hasn’t been a whole lotta good news for fans of the Voorhees clan. While the court case between original director Sean Cunningham and original writer Victor Miller is indeed actually entering the court phase soon (actually, literally today), a verdict could still be months if not years away.
What a bummer. Let us just take this time to reminisce about all the memories we may have with the series. I remember fondly renting Jason Lives many a time, always kinda giggling at how Jason was revived by lightning thanks to Tommy Jarvis. I actually missed some of the middle entries, but I’ve always been more of a Halloween guy, anyways. I actually wouldn’t mind a Friday the 13th/Halloween crossover. They already tried something like it once and what’s the worst that could happen? Fans, at this point, will take literally anything they can get.