Wow do I feel stupid, really stupid. I also feel wrong, very wrong. Why do I feel these things? I just finished JASON X and I’ve been saying this whole series of FRIDAY THE 13TH reviews that JASON X is my favorite (well, maybe not saying it, but definitely implying it), and now that I’ve watched it again I have to say that I was woefully incorrect. JASON X might have been my favorite at one time back when it came out in theaters (I remember seeing it in theaters), but it most certainly (giving myself the benefit of the doubt) did not age well since it opened in 2001.
JASON X opens in present day Crystal Lake at the Crystal Lake Research Center (yup…apparently that exists) where Jason is being held by the government and is facing cryogenic stasis so he can’t hurt anyone again. Long story short (which involved famed director David Cronenberg), it all goes sideways and a female scientist gets frozen along with Jason.
Flash forward to the year 2455 where a group of students on a field trip to Earth (which is totally screwed up and unable to sustain life, which is why they all live on Earth 2) come across the two frozen bodies. They use nanomachine technology to bring the girl back to life, and Jason magically thaws out and resurrects himself. Now it’s up to a ship of teens to outsmart Jason…in space. Oh, and at some point he turns into Uber-Jason…which is still as cool as I remember it being back in 2001.
So remember that period between the late 1990s and the early 2000s where everyone was using CGI for EVERYTHING because it was cheaper and faster than practical FX. JASON X was not immune to its times and had so much damn CGI I thought it was a George Lucas movie (that guy is a dick). Everything is CGI in JASON X, including the vast majority of the blood, and most certainly all the kills. I don’t know about you but when I see movie that uses CGI for everything I get really bored really quick. In fact, when the film started and the music queued up it sounded like one of those awful Full Moon Releasing films (the guys behind the PUPPET MASTER series), and immediately I was wondering how this film got a run in theaters, because it felt a lot like a direct-to-DVD kind of release.
Also the film takes place entirely on a space ship, but looking at the corridors and some of the rooms, I’m tempted to say that this movie was filmed on a large ship, its rooms and corridors re-decorated with a lot of shiny walls to make it seem futuristic. And while we’re on that subject, why do futuristic movies change the aesthetics of things and just slap a ‘FUTURE’ tag on it. For example, the weapons. Clearly they are using pistols and shotguns, but the design of them is large and clunky, cuz, ya know…reasons. This sort of thing drives me nuts, but at least they weren’t firing lasers, so there’s that.
There is a lot of humor in this film, from straight up jokes, to funny moments “It’s okay, he just wanted his machete back!”, to the ridiculous nature of its premise of Jason in space. While I do appreciate these things…a lot, it isn’t enough to carry a whole movie. JASON X has good intentions, but somewhere got screwed up in the execution of those intentions.
But if you take only one thing away from this review, let it be that I screwed up, and I don’t want people to think JASON X was my favorite of the series. It’s not terrible, but it isn’t very good, either. I’d still say watch it, if for nothing else than the VR room scene towards the end. It’s quick but it’s hilarious.