There were key movies in my life that helped to make me who I am today. Movies that I have loved from the moment the opening credit rolled and still love now. This blog series is about those, My guilty pleasures, my favorites, my escapes. Some were very popular, others not so much. Some of these will have some real life take-aways, others are just for fun.
So with the advent of Jason Returns, Jason Vorhees is officially back from the dead. Now condemned to live chained underneath Crystal Lake how will he come back for more? Well, lets talk about The New Blood to find out?
Today’s Key Movie:
Taking the franchise in an new direction seems to be the key phrase with these sequels and The New Blood does just that. When Tina Shepard returns to Crystal Lake to deal with her guilt for her fathers death, the psychic young woman accidentally awakens Jason Vorhees who has been under Crystal Lake for several years. Soon Jason goes on another killing spree and it is up to Tina to use her powers in order to defeat Jason by returning him from where he came from.
Why this movie?
After the incredible film that was Jason Lives, I made sure that I saw The New Blood the week it arrived in theaters. Promising to be more than just another gore fest, this one had the makings of what would amount to Firestarter Vs Jason. Being a fan of the paranormal and the Friday the 13th Franchise at that point, how could I resist such a thing? So, with my cousin and a few friends, we went to see what I remembered becoming one of my favorites in the franchise.
After a recap of everything that has come along so far, the film finally gets started with a flashback to Crystal Lake where a young girl (who looks like the Poltergeist girl) inadvertently kills her abusive father with her psychic powers. Now, what they were doing staying at a camp where people are constantly killed, I don’t know, but they were there and that happened. Things then jump ahead when she returns to the camp as a teen to undergo therapy and, of course, that turns out great when she mistakenly uses her powers to awaken Jason from the lake.
Now, when I first saw this, I didn’t really notice the rather strange, out of left field plot. I mean, I guess if killers can return from the dead then telekinetic psychics could exist who could inadvertently awaken the dead. Sure, why not. The thing is, most of the film focuses on Tina and her trying to fit in with the nearby teens/20 somethings who are there for a surprise party. Before long, Jason arrives and begins wreaking havok even though Tina’s doctor doesn’t believe he’s real and that is when things start getting interesting.
Leaving the theater, I was elated and wanted more from Tina and her telekinetic powers. I longed for a rematch between Jason and Tina as, to me, she was a total bad ass. Beyond that, I remember everything about this movie being amazing, from the special effects to the crazy plot involving a psychic girl….but has it aged well and…is it really any good?
You like it, but is it really a ‘good’ movie?
It takes a while for this one to really get going but, once it does, it is actually pretty good. This is a movie that doesn’t really take itself seriously but also doesn’t go for the amount of comedic moments the last film had. It plays it straight causing the viewers to genuinely accept that in the world of Crystal Lake the undead and physics can in fact do battle with one another. That alone is worth the price of admission.
Mostly using the backdrop of Jason and his killing sprees as a springboard, the creators of this entry try to create a cool additional mythos blending horror and science fantasy in a way that never fully works no matter how much it tries to. Jason is mostly an agent of chaos in this with Tina attempting to save the world, or at least Crystal Lake, with her special abilities. If anything, this is the first real super hero horror film that sadly never really melds into a complete narrative.
But this is a Jason film, so plot is inconsequential, so…how does it stack up? Honestly, I have to say this one is in a realm of it’s own. As a Jason film it is rather lackluster although his kills are just as good if not better than any before. I mean, seeing him smash a person against a tree using their sleeping back is pretty epic. Gruesome but epic nonetheless. Plus, this Jason is essentially a skeletal waterlogged corpse running around killing people so the makeup and special effects are absolutely some of the best. The problem is, it feels like it was two films merged into one with neither really living up to their full potential. Jason feels muted as he seems to be merely a side story until the end while Tina is interesting but never gets fully fleshed out as a character.
While the story never really melds, I have to say the cast do a tremendous job with what they are given to work with. They all feel genuine in their desires whether it’s lust, revenge or otherwise. Sadly they are never really allowed to develop past easy canon fodder for Jason or as vehicles for Tina but boy do they try. Kane Hodder makes his first appearance as Jason Vorhees and honestly, he owns the role, the dude is a presence and really makes Jason his own.
Overall, this is a solid mindless film that requires a certain suspension of disbelief. Its not like the others didn’t require that but this is one you have to actually work on to enjoy. That is not to say it’s not a fun film or not worth watching if you are a fan of the franchise or of the slasher genre but it’s also far from the best in the series. In the end, Jason literally winds up where he started, at the bottom of a lake chained to his legacy and never getting past this brief flirtation with something new.
OK, where do I get this movie?
This is another that is pretty easy to find but, like some of the others, just go for the boxed set. It would be way more of a bargain that way. Next week, we finally see Jason leave the lake and set out to the big city…until then…
Late To The Game 2/25/2021
If you would like to read more reviews please check out the rest of the Key Movies Of My Life that comes out every Thursday.
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