Friday the 13th Part III

Friday the 13th Part III ★★½

A very formulaic, middle of the road slasher. A notable entry in the franchise due to Jason donning the hockey mask for the first time. As a whole the film feels like a lackluster remake of the original - without any of the conviction or thematic groundings.

It's difficult to ignore the 3D aspects of the film. They are in no way subtle. Characters throwing yo-yo's towards the screen, swinging baseball bats or waving joints about. These moments do absolutely nothing to enforce or establish narrative or even mood and atmosphere. All they do is bring attention to the artifice of the film. However it seems somewhat redundant to criticize this film for it's lack of lasting atmosphere and suspense, as it clearly isn't striving for these elements.

More than being memorable for introducing hockey-mask-Jason, this film also delivers a batch of entirely disposable characters, characters that are essentially fodder for Jason. So previous installments in the franchise gave us a group of characters that were pretty much 'good people', perhaps they had one or two questions of morality associated with them, but by and large they were the good guys. And then there was Jason, he mercilessly killed the good guys, thus making him the bad guy. However this film presents us with a group of 'bad guys', as well as the group of 'good guys' and then of course Jason. In having Jason dispatch the group of bad guys, there is a knock on effect at play other than catharsis at seeing a morally reprehensible character meet their comeuppance. We start to look at Jason favorably, Jason is out there taking out the bad guys for us.

What this all seems to show is that focus has shifted from observing teenagers battle for their lives, to observing Jason killing people, any and all people. It's not a massive change, but it alters the films atmosphere drastically. Of course there can still be enjoyment and interest to be found in that, but it seems more likely to stagnate in familiarity.

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