Friday the 13th Vengeance-A Review

If there is any one given rule among fans of the long running Friday the 13th franchise, it is that Jason never dies. Yet for over a decade fans have languished, waiting for the Crystal Lake Killer to re-emerge from the murky depths of his watery grave to once again bring havoc upon unsuspecting, over-sexed victims.  But the fate of the film series remains stuck in limbo amidst legal disputes and a sheer lack of any truly promising scripts.

But out of this void has emerged a thriving community of productions by fans. Some cross Jason over with other horror franchises, serving as defacto successors to Freddy vs Jason. Others simply follow the hockey mask, machete toting monstrosity on his never ending quest to avenge his mother.  And some try to add new and different twists the mythos of Jason. And that is where Friday the 13th Vengeance delivers in spades.

After several long years of production, this long promised feature was unveiled on (fittingly) Friday, September 13th in Blairstown, New Jersey-the true home of Jason, as many scenes from the first film where recorded there, and the bulk of filming took place at nearby Camp Nobebosco, which is still an active Boy Scout camp that offers frequent tours of filming locations and even overnight stays. The feature was the cap off of a weekend of festivities to celebrate the unique event, as under the light of the first Harvest Moon of the season fans fathered amidst various figures of Friday the 13th past (including no less than Ari Lehman, the very first Jason) to celebrate their favorite slasher film franchise and just plain have fun.

The script, as written by Mike Meade and T.C. DeWitt, follows the standard formula for Jason, yet manages to insert plenty of new and unique elements to provide a satisfactory follow up to where the franchise left off (disregarding the 2009 remake) with a plot that sees the daughter of Tommy Jarvis unite with several other descendants of Jason’s many victims to try to clear their family legacies and put an end to Jason’s reign of terror once and for all.  But this time Jason has some back up of his own, as the character of Elias Vorhees (portrayed by CJ Graham, better known for playing Jason in part VI) makes his long awaited big screen debut to back his son up and even the odds, as well as provide further insight into the true story behind Jason’s dark origin. The film also packs in a final, somber appearance by Steve Dash, best known for playing Jason in most of Part II, as an aged Sheriff with some secrets of his own.  Dash had a very personal connection to this project, as he hosted the creators in his own home in order to film his scenes amidst his own failing health, before his death earlier this year. This provide a fitting tribute to “the REAL Jason.” Also included is a delightful appearance by Diana Prince, better known to a new generation of slasher fans as Darcy the Mail Girl from Joe Bob Briggs Last Drive In from the streaming service Shudder.

Although the direction of Jeremy Brown and Dustin Montierth certainly lives up to the legacy of all prior directors responsible for bringing Jason to life, it would be a lie to say this film is not without its flaws.  The story drags in certain areas, such as seemingly meaningless subplots about a crew of convicts, and hikers off on Camp Crystal Like terror tours that provide eye-rolling fodder for Jason’s rampage.  Yet this is more than compensated for in abundant death scenes that more than life up to the bigger budget, mainstream productions of the past.  Jason Brooks gives a Kane Hodder worthy performance as Jason, living up to the character’s trademark rage and thirst for mayhem.  There are no two kills that are alike in this film, much to the delight of the rowdy audience in Blairstown who whooped it up at all the best moments.

Friday the 13th Vengeance is not readily available online and via DVD/Blu Ray.  This film is easily the best successor to step forward from the dark wilderness of Camp Crystal Lake thus far.  If you enjoy blood, breasts, and laughs then this film is definitely worth your investment. Check it out, and as always-stay out of the woods!

Posted by Daniel Ryan

I am a 36 year old man from New Jersey with a lifelong passion for horror, science fiction, true crime, and cryptozoology. I will do my utmost to be a worthwhile contributor to House of Tortured Souls.

Leave a Reply