Friday the 13th Part III

Friday the 13th Part III ★★★½

Having long considered this one of the series low points but aware of its good reputation, I decided to rewatch it this Friday the 13th with as open a mind as I could muster. While I still consider it the weakest of the first four, I can appreciate its good bits enough to add another star to my rating.

For me, Part 3 has two main problems. The first one is pacing: aside from a nice sequence near the start with the couple who own the general store, the first cool kill doesn't happen until an hour in, and the whole middle part with the "biker gang" is underwhelming and tonally weird. Miner doesn't use the down-time in the first hour particularly well to build either tension or character, despite the excellent job he did with both in Part 2.

The film's second big problem has a name, and its name is Shelly. I know this character has his fans, but I can't stand his simpering sad-sack "poor me" routine, to say nothing of his lowkey misogyny. It's no coincidence in my mind that the point he gets bumped off is also the point the film starts getting kinda good.

All in all, this is still an obvious fallow season between its two stellar predecessors (the best bits of both of which it limply apes) and the balls-out savagery of Part 4, but I no longer pronounce it flat-out bad. Shelly can still kiss my ass though.

Cf. Just Before Dawn

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