Awaiting the next Friday the 13th movie many keep saying that Jason has simply "gotten old", based on the relatively mediocre last movie. But is that true?
Well, first we need to clarify what made Jason popular. He certainly has the style (regenerative powers that would make Wolverine go "oh snap" and ruthlessness beyond any petty sentimentalism), but that alone didn't cut it. If you want to get to what really made Jason popular you need to focus on his victims. The creators of Jason X, in a documentary about the film did at one time mention vaguely that Jason mostly kills stereotypes. The more annoying the stereotype usually the more brutal the kill. While various directors did kill other characters as well, usually the more likeable the character the more... Merciful the kill.
Lets be honest, everyone at one point or another feels annoyed by certain stereotypes. In the 80-90s one of them for example would be the "wild bikers" that walked around wearing leather and carrying blades in their pockets while playing Mr. Badass and pissing everyone off. People hated them, and the directors of Friday the 13th Part III gave all of us the satisfaction of seeing them axed, the hard way. Same for the high school douchebugs, the complete [email protected] and the eternally nerdy virgins that can't utter a sentence without filling you with saliva. "But don't Freddy and other killers also kill stereotypes?" Yeah, but there is a major difference between Jason and them. Jason doesn't talk! You can't really tell what he's thinking because the hockey mask conseals emotions as well. As strange as that sounds it's much easier to imagine Jason as a divine/hellsent punisher for annoyance than ,lets say, Pinhead, simply because he's closer to a programmed machine than a being with its own agenda and plans.
"But then why did the last movie fail? He was still killing annoying stereotypes!" Yes he was, stereotypes annoying for the 80-90s that is. In trying to recreate the atmosphere of the originals and giving the film a retro feel, the director and the script writer failed to remember what makes Jason so loveable. Even if you were an 80-90s kid, you hardly remember how annoying you found the various stereotypes simply because so much time has passed. On the other hand, if Jason was to kill... Lets say: An internet failtroll (you know, the kind that only communicates in memes, quotes other people but doesn't have any knowledge of how humor really works), wouldn't you just get up from the couch, raise your beer to the screen and shout at the top of your lungs "Hell yeah!"? Yes, you would. What about a memeber of Femen? Personally, I would just start clapping.
"So what can they do to make the next film work?" Well, first off, they can NOT REPEAT JASON KIDNAPPING PEOPLE. Seriously, I can respect wanting to bring the retro feel, but that was just stupid. It goes against the whole nature of Jason as being a soulless killing machine. In fact repeating Jason's backstory should be done as minimally as possible, since connecting the character to a "revenge theme" takes points away. On the other hand, going with the Crystal-lake-already-haunted theme, where Jason is just an incarnation of the spirits of the lake is propably a pretty good move. It doesn't give him specific purpose, he retains his eerie otherworldly mysterious feel and it makes him less human (and in a way, less flawed). Other than that I say upgrade the stereotypes to be killed to the modern age. Directors, find the kinds of people that piss people off, and have them DEAD. Butchered, sliced, smashed, it doesn't matter. People will enter that theater to see people die, you will not win any oscars from a movie called "Friday the 13th", but you will make your audience happy and ready to pay for more tickets. No need to take risks, stick to what parts 3+ had to offer (mindless violence) and update.
So will Jason ever become "old"? No, as long as there are two people left on this planet, one of them will want the other dead, and Jason will never be old. It's up to the directors to up his game as time passes and keep the lengedary killer up and way-too-kicking.