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Reviews

10 must see ‘Anthology Horrors’

Anthology cinema can be described as a linking of shorter separate films via an overall framework. These types of films work in a way that keeps audience’s attention focused and drawn into the appeal of quick multiple stories.

With horror somewhat originating from short folk tales and fables being told by multiple individuals to create one giant mysterious story it is no surprise that the genre commonly works in partnership with an anthology structural composition. In speaking with how anthology horror works on a varietal standpoint rather than a solo platform it can be said that the miscellaneous splintered nature can at times become muddled and non-concurrent. So, to divulge into this stellar sub-genre, here is our list of ten must-see anthology horrors

1. Dead of Night (1945)

Directors: Alberto Cavalcanti, Basil Dearden, Charles Crichton and Robert Hamer

It has been said that this absolute horror classic is possibly the first anthology horror film. With the Golden Age of Hollywood looming in the background many alternative films were made in counteraction. These films opted for gruesome ghouls and haunting villains, with Dead of Night being one of the classic films from the 1940s. The film follows Walter Craig (Mervyn Johns) as he finds himself in a cryptic house in the English countryside where the guests seem all too familiar to him, despite never having met them.

Dead of Night dips into the originator of horror: dreams. As the film drifts from nightmare to nightmare we witness a series of horrible stories ranging from car accidents to haunted mirrors, but the most iconic and familiar story is the tale directed by Alberto Cavalcanti. The Ventriloquist’s Dummy is the prototype of terrifying dolls and dummy’s that filmmakers would be influenced by for years to come. Nothing lingers longer than that unnerving image of Hugo the dummy (Michael Redgrave) staring straight down the camera lens towards the viewer.

2. Creepshow (1982)

Director: George A. Romero.

In continuing with the cardinals of horror anthologies, we have the legendary George A. Romero attempt at anthologies with Creepshow. What makes this film such a paradigm of the genre is its rich knowledge and treatment of horror; every film is laden with frightening iconography and chilling villains. These aspects are mainly thanks to Romero’s evident homage to classic horror comics from EC of the 1950s including ‘The Vault of horror’ and ‘Tales from the Crypt’.

However, Romero was not alone in creating a horror to remember as the renowned Stephen King was heavily involved in the production as well as being the screenplay writer. Alongside King and Romero was also the godfather of special effects, Tom Savini. Savini was responsible for the extraordinarily comic book-like effects throughout the film. Creepshow speaks for itself, but one segment to definitely keep an eye out for is The Crate.

3. V/H/S (2012)

Directors: Adam Wingard, David Bruckner, Ti West, Glenn McQuaid, Joe Swanberg, and the filmmaking collective Radio Silence.

V/H/S is one of the newer additions on this list, with the film storming onto the scene in 2012 with a generally positive consensus. Alongside this the film has become one of three, with V/H/S/2 (2013) and V/H/S Viral (2014) soon following. The narrative is loosely tied by an overarching story of a group of criminals who break into a house to find a mysterious VHS tape, however upon entering they find a dead man in front of a static TV as well as hundreds of anonymous tapes. The terror truly begins when they start to make their way through the videos with each segment being one of the tapes being played. V/H/S cleverly uses the found footage technique to present each of the 5 segments.

As with all anthologies some segments take the limelight and carry the film, this is the case especially with both Amateur Night (David Bruckner) and The Sick Thing That Happened to Emily When She Was Younger (Joe Swanberg). Amateur Night is the first segment and one of the most memorable. It seems that this success continued as the short was made into a feature film in 2016 called Siren (Gregg Bishop). Although Swanberg’s short has not expanded outside of V/H/S, it is possibly the most terrifying and unique segment out of the series; it was filmed as a desktop horror via a webcam setup that positions the viewer closely with the events.


If the idea of desktop horror interests you, check out our previous article all about this latest sub-genre.

4. Three… Extremes (2004)

Directors: Chan-wook Park, Fruit Chan, Takashi Miike.

Three… Extremes does not shy away from disturbing content, with each segment giving equal treatment to both startling visuals and harrowing narratives. The film does not have little or any entire framework where connections between the three sequences are made, instead the shorts are dedicated to celebrating filmmakers from East Asia, with Miike being from Japan, Chan-Wook being from South Korea, and Chan being from China. What this allows is an amalgamation of different cultures coming together in creating a superbly effective horror.

Three…Extremes is entirely memorable, with Chan’s segment being highly significant and even progressing into a feature film with the same cast and story. Dumplings is in fact the most unsettling of the three. However, to allow for the ultimate payoff, it is best to avoid any prior knowledge. But just know that once you realise what is going on, it is too late to ever forget the lingering realisation that Chan so disturbingly achieves,

5. Ghost Stories (2017)

Directors: Andy Nyman, Jeremy Dyson

Dyson and Nyman are no strangers to British horror as Ghost Stories originated from their incredibly successful stage play, alongside this Dyson is the co-creator and writer of the hilarious yet eerie British television series, The League of Gentlemen. Their collaboration makes for an utterly terrifying watch as they explore the inner workings of psychological trauma through a series of dream-like sequences.

The performances by Martin Freeman, Paul Whitehouse, and Alex Lawther, and of course Nyman himself bring the production to life, with their gripping portrayals of individuals on the edge. The stellar acting brings a level of realistic frantic chaos to the table. As with Three… Extremes the less that is said the better, but one detail that can be assured is the tense atmospheric tone will haunt the viewer long after viewing.

6. Tales from the Crypt (1972)

Director: Freddie Francis

Similar to how Creepshow was based upon horror comics, Tales from the Crypt took inspirations from a variety of EC Comics. The film has become a cult classic, with its reputation experiencing continuous growth, and it is apparent as to why. The devilishly macabre tones combined with the remorseless execution allows for an unsettling envelope of dread to be cast over the film.

Alongside this is the impressive cast line-up including Joan Collins and horror legend Peter Cushing. Instead of Francis relying upon these big names to give the film a long-lasting reputation, the stories were adapted to allow for more than just one-dimensional characters, leading to short, yet detailed studies. Tales from the Crypt achieves a perfectly horrid tension that only brews richer with each segment. As these union of shorts combine at the end, a truly dreadful fate for the characters is finally revealed by the Crypt Keeper himself.

7. Cat’s Eye (1985)

Cat’s Eye is Stephen King’s second entry onto this list, with him being the writer of this underrated 1980s classic. The tales are loosely tied together, with an ominous travelling cat being the glue for the three stories. Each segment almost plays out quite realistic with less flamboyant fables than King’s earlier efforts.

Due to this we experience harsher horror where the premise is rather real and effective in gauging a reaction from the audience. But what shines through the most in Cat’s Eye is the morbidly lit humour that peaks in and out, with King heavily playing on the humorous anecdotes that worked so flawlessly in Creepshow.

8- The ABC’s of Death (2012)

Directors: Nacho Vigalondo, Adrian Garcia Bogliano, Ernesto Diaz Espinoza, Marcel Sarmiento, Angela Bettis, Noboru Iguchi, Andrew Traucki, Thomas Malling, Jorge Michel Grau, Yûdai Yamaguchi, Anders Morgenthaler, Timo Tjahjanto, Ti West, Banjong Pisanthanakun, Hélène Cattet and Bruno Forzani, Simon Rumley, Adam Wingard and Simon Barrett, Srđan Spasojević, Jake West, Lee Hardcastle, Ben Wheatley, Kaare Andrews, Jon Schnepp, Xavier Gens, Jason Eisener, and Yoshihiro Nishimura.

The ABC’s of Death is possibly one of the most unique films on this list as it boasts a total of 28 directors for 26 segments. The premise is simple, each letter of the alphabet is given its own short story, with director Ben Wheatley being assigned the letter U for Unearthed and so and so forth. What this creative concoction results in is a complete barrage of the grisliest tales where a medley of topics and techniques are explored including, Claymation, POV footage, vampires, zombie clowns, body horror and humanoid animals.

The film was released with wide acclaim due to the sheer creativity and atypical composition. This reputation has only continued to grow with two films following the first, both aptly titled ABC’s of Death 2 and ABC’s of Death 2.5. With a variety as wide as The ABC’s of Death there is bound to be something for everyone.

9. Black Sabbath (1963)

Director: Mario Bava

Mario Bava had held his acclaimed reputation as an infamous master of horror, with films such as Blood and Black Lace (1964) and A Bay of Blood (1971) heavily defining his long career. However, a film that has slipped under the radar as time has passed is Black Sabbath. Each of the three segments are all heavily focused on creating a stingingly dark, yet visually pleasing look.

Of course, the film features an array of atmospheres as the characters positions alter within the story. The segment to keep an eye out for the most is the second instalment, The Wurdulak. This section famously features Boris Karloff, who played Universal Pictures original Frankenstein.

10. The Mortuary Collection (2019)

To finish this list is the most recent feature, with it being released only last year. However, within its short time of being released it has soared in popularity with its premiere at the 2019 Fantastic Fest receiving rave reviews. The Mortuary Collection’s overarching framework is substantially present throughout, with each segment tying into the riveting ending.

The film works by interweaving a mix of classic and lesser known urban legends to tell its story. But what truly allows the film to stand out is its vintage overtone that runs throughout, with the main story being acted out in a burgundy and mahogany toned mortuary that emulates a classic haunted vibe straight out of the manors held famous in classic horrors.

This weeks article comes via Grace from Film Overload, you can check out more of her work here.

Categories
News

This week in horror – News round up 21.11.20

This weeks horror news round up comes from Grace at Film Overload!

Scream 5 update: filming has officially wrapped and titled revealed…

In 1996 an entire genre was revived with Wes Craven’s Scream. So it’s no surprise that the series is being expanded with a fifth film being added to the series. With the exciting news being released earlier this year fans have been on the edge of their seat waiting for some new information. And it seems we can finally get some details, with the original Scream writer Kevin Williamson revealing via Twitter that filming has wrapped up with an expected release date of January 2022.

Alongside this he teased us with the official name of the long awaited fifth film- Scream. Although simple and the exact same as the film that started it all, it nails the satirical simplicity that Craven perfected all those years ago.

Another Stephen King adaptation is in the works with ‘The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon’ being given the go ahead

Stephen King’s iconic status as a horror legend is impossible to escape, with over eighty of his books and novellas being adapted for cinema. It seems that King has done it again as his 1999 book ‘The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon’ is set to come to life, with production beginning sometime next year.

The good news only continues as Lynne Ramsay is set to direct. This name may sound familiar as she is no stranger to novel adaptations, her filmography boasts the incredibly successful adaptations of We Need To Talk About Kevin (2011) and You Were Never Really Here (2017). With this in mind we can be assured that King’s work is in safe hands.

The box office is taken by storm with Christopher Landon’s ‘Freaky’

From the outset ‘Freaky’ soared in popularity, with the trailer receiving worldwide attention and millions of views on YouTube. It was only a matter of time till these roaring figures burst through when the film was released earlier this month. Freaky takes on the challenge of humorous entertainment alongside the gory slasher, with many describing the film as Freaky Friday meets Friday the 13th.

It was a brave decision to run this film through a theatrical release after all of the necessary restrictions that 2020 bought, but it seems to have worked freakishly well for Landon. However, it is entirely understandable as to why the film drew in such crowds as Landon’s craft for quick witted comedy whilst amplifying the scares emerged through his previous titles including the phenomenally successful Happy Death Day (2017).

Jordan Peele will return in 2022 with a new horror following both ‘Get Out’ (2017) ‘Us’ (2019) success

It has been revealed that Jordan Peele’s film production company Monkeypaw Productions will release his third horror in 2022. In 2017 Peele took both critics and audiences by surprise with the beloved Get Out, the film even made cinematic history with it receiving four Academy Award nomination, with Peele earning Best Original Screenplay.

His success only continued with the smash hit Us. Little information has been released about his future project, but if his history gives us anything to work from we are ensured a craftly executed film laden with deep social commentary on the current socio-political climate.

This weeks article comes via Grace from Film Overload, you can check out more of her work here.

Categories
Events

Horror in the Happiest place

Harrogate, the pretty spa town nestled between York and Leeds in North Yorkshire isn’t the first place that comes to mind when thinking about horror, or horror film festivals for that matter. Whilst the town may be better known for tea, flowers and the happy folk that live here it’s not all about quintessentially English pastimes. A quote from Charles Dickens illustrates Harrogate best.

‘Harrogate is the queerest place with the strangest people in it, leading the oddest lives of dancing, newspaper reading and dining.’

Charles Dickens

It’s his observation of Harrogate’s extraordinary explains why the town is the perfect place to host a horror film festival like Dead Northern.

Perhaps it’s the spring water but the town was full of oddities o long before Charles Dickens made these observations. Back in the 1600’s Mother Shipton was predicting the future. The 1700’s Blind Jack was building roads and in the 1800’s Samson Fox was lighting the town from his hidden laboratory.

When Agatha Christie disappeared from her home back in 1926 she was found at the Crown hotel, the same Crown Hotel that Dead Northern held our 2020 Horror Film Festival (one of the few live horror film festivals on the planet in 2020)

Strange folk and oddities aside, Harrogate towns history is one of eating, drinking and entertainment. For hundreds of years, the town has been attracting tourists from all over the world. Visitors came to indulge in spa water, fresh air, beautiful hotels, fine dining and cosy pubs. Moving into modern times the convention centre has been hosting concerts, events and exhibitions since the early 1980’s. Harrogate also hosts a plethora of smaller, unique venues, surrounded by fantastic places to eat, drink and sleep, and make ideal venues for Dead Northern to host our unique brand of popup events, both large and small.

Harrogate and the surrounding area also have a long history of film. With TV soaps such as Emmerdale filmed just outside of the Town. The music video for the Sex Pistols hit Madame Butterfly was filmed in the Turkish Baths. All the way to Hollywood blockbusters such a Hunters Prayer and Paddington 2. Even the critically acclaimed horror movie Ghost Stories had scenes filmed in the town.

The combination for an affinity of the strange, well-established facilities and rich history of film & entertainment is why Harrogate is the perfect location for Dead Northern to host our horror film festival and other pop up events. Remember Dead Northern is about more than the films, our USP is putting the festival in the film festival, And we’ve already hosted a banquette in a Church, had Valentine’s day in a Brewery and held a Film Festival in a haunted hotel. Going forward we don’t just plan on hosting unique events, like the odd townsfolk before us we plan on leaving our own strange mark on the town.

At the end of the day, if Harrogate can host the Eurovision song contest then a Horror Film festival should feel right at home!

Categories
Video Games

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (Video Game)

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre was one of the first horror genre video games and one of the first video games to be based on a movie license. Released on the Atari 2600 back in 1983 it was developed by VSS, Inc, Published by Wizard Video Games, with lead design by Ed Salvo (who also worked on the Halloween video game in the same year).


The Texas Chainsaw Massacre Video Game puts the player in control of the movie’s antagonist Leatherface, then sets them on a murderous rampage across Texas. As video games go the objective is pretty much a standard affair, kill everything, in this case, teenage Texans.


Now we’re not sure if this is canon but in the video game, Leatherface and his trusty chainsaw are conjoined into some sort of hellish cyborg which is fuelled by the blood of teenagers, should the chainsaw run out of fuel they both die. This does add a bit of logic to why he’s such a murderous bastard but still doesn’t explain the creepy mask. If I needed the blood of teenagers to stay alive I’d probably try and lure them in rather than scare them off by wearing some nightmare fuel outfit. Perhaps use a mockup of an off-license with a bench outside, then get them when the tallest one asks “Oi mate, can you get us some cigs?” FYI it takes the blood of 5 Texan teenagers to refuel a chainsaw, B&Q don’t stock it (I did ask) and I’d hazard a guess neither do hardware stores in the USA hence the murder spree. 


Given that the game was released in 1983 and even then the Atari 2600 was hardly a graphical powerhouse, the visual representation of the sparse Texan landscape is pretty accurate, it’s flat, littered with trees and fences with the odd cow skull laying around. The same can’t be said for the chainsaw-wielding Leatherface sprite which looks like a pumpkin wielding an industrial size rampant rabbit, the sound is similar too (so I hear). The rest of the sprites are serviceable given the era and technological limitations. For a video game based on such a violent movie, there’s a distinct lack of blood and given the controversy of the game at the time is a strange omission. 


Another take from the video game, and again I’m not sure this is canon but Leatherface can be stopped by wheelchairs, fences, tumbleweed and the cow skulls you’ll find littering the Texan terrain. So if you do find yourself being pursued by the mask wielding maniac try any of the above for better chance of escape. That said, given that this information may not be canon don’t blame us if you end up as the cheek on an elaborate Halloween costume.


Here’s the real kicker. My first search result to buy the game was for just the manual and that was $65.00! Other sites are showing that you can get a physical copy for somewhere between $114.00 and $420.00. Unless you’re a huge fan of the franchise and a completionist when it comes to merch I’d recommend watching a few minutes of the game on Youtube, then watching it again on x2 speed to get the whole experience. If you really do need to get a Leatherface kick from a video game you can find the character as DLC in Mortal Kombat X and Dead by Daylight.


The arbitrary Dead Northern score for The Texas Chainsaw Massacre the game, One Lone Star.

Categories
News

POWERTOOL CHEERLEADERS VS THE BOYBAND OF THE SCREECHING DEAD

So we’ve been having a little chat with Charlie Bond and she had some very exciting news to share with Dead Northern!
So without further ado…

JINX MEDIA LTD in association with DEADLOCKED FILMS and SUN ROCKET FILMS are delighted to announce their latest feature!

On the eve of a televised talent show, an enthusiastic but dysfunctional cheerleading troop is on the brink of falling apart. But when a cursed necklace turns their rival act into a screeching gang of zombies, the girls must learn to use their wits, friendship and assorted powertools before the TV finale takes a turn for the apocalyptic…

POWERTOOL CHEERLEADERS VS THE BOYBAND OF THE SCREECHING DEAD is a full-tilt horror/comedy/musical featuring toe-tapping songs and geysers of gore. Expect laughs, loud guitars, terrifying monsters and great songs like ‘I’m Just a Guy Dying on the Floor’. The film is being produced by CHARLIE BOND, who also stars as head cheerleader Emily.

“It’s fun, fantastically self-aware and constantly ripping apart classic tropes to create a troupe of fearless, brilliant women. I had to get involved to make this happen and, as a female producer, this fun, feminist wildcard of a movie is a dream to work with”
– Charlie Bond

The film is written and directed by PAT HIGGINS (previously responsible for cult favourites like THE DEVIL’S MUSIC and KILLERKILLER, and the original creator of STRIPPERS VS WEREWOLVES).

“The world needs fun. The world needs movies with good gore and good jokes and characters you like spending time with. The world needs films that are genuinely warm-hearted even when they’re spraying blood up the walls. The world needs cheering up. The world needs Powertool Cheerleaders vs the Boyband of the Screeching Dead”
– Pat Higgins

The film also stars JAMES HAMER-MORTON, DANI THOMPSON, CY HENTY, MEGAN ROSE
BUXTON, CARRIE THOMPSON, LIZ SOUTER and FAITH ELIZABETH.

The Kickstarter campaign at jinx.uk is offering exclusive perks including premiere tickets, downloads and even
the chance to get the Powertool Cheerleaders to cheer out your name from the set!

facebook.com/powertoolcheerleaders

@cheerleadersv on Twitter

Categories
Curiosity Corner

Jason Voorhees – cold blooded villain or tragic victim?

Sean S. Cunningham’s 1980 hit Friday the 13th is undeniably a staple within the slasher sub-genre, with its chartered success spawning an entire franchise consisting of twelve films. The film has rightly cemented its place within horror history as a genre defining tale that combines the ideal amount of gory entertainment, teenage antics and grisly kills to satisfy audience members. Still, it’s the machete wielding immortal force that makes Friday the 13th so iconic – the one and only Jason Voorhees.

To run a brief background, Jason Voorhees is the primary antagonist in the film series, with a machete being his weapon of choice. To accompany his machete is his hockey mask which he’s rarely seen without. His taste for bloodshed all began with his troubling experience at Camp Crystal Lake in the summer of 1957 where he supposedly drowned due to the negligent camp counsellors. His rage however is not as straightforward as it seems. His own personal vengeance only directly advances in Friday the 13th Part 2 (Steve Miner, 1981).

Throughout the series Jason is very much pliable in the sense that his actions, locations and abilities change. However there is one element that remains consistent across the films, this being Jason’s tragic cycle that he has to endure. This was most poignantly made visible from the horror legend Stephen King who made a statement regarding a scenario he had created surrounding a previous novel idea he never made. He compared Jason’s existence to a ‘hellish existential fate’ and that Jason’s perspective is never explained or understood.

With this being said, it’s important to examine Jason’s catharsis throughout the series to grasp why he is a victimised villain.

Jason Voorhees is a tortured soul that possesses an inherent thirst for normality, but due to the lack thereof he has become incandescent with rage. His trouble began whilst he was only a boy, with his severe mental disabilities and physical deformities making him an easy target for cruelty growing up. His brief stay at Camp Crystal Lake only worsened his everlasting marginalisation from societal normality. He was bullied and teased at the camp, with his death being brushed aside as not an overt loss.

Jason’s only companion was his mother who worked at the camp; he would spend most of his time with her, leading to his peers mistreating him. This neglectful nature followed Jason to his death. As aforementioned the counsellors cared more for each other than his well-being. Even after his death, his corpse was never found. Which prominently led to Pamela vowing to kill anyone who steps foot on Camp Crystal Lake as she believes everyone is out to attack her son.

Jason suffered from a short-lived tumultuous childhood, but the true treacherous fragment of his being comes from his afterlife. The theology of his immortal status is rather discombobulated across the films, the first film hints that the lack of his corpse is more of an urban legend, toying with the notion ‘is he dead or alive?’; in Friday the 13th Part 2 it’s established that Jason has been alive since his supposed drowning and has been living as a vagrant in the woods.

This perfectly brings about Jason’s real introduction to the series, which would soon introduce him as a household name. In Part 2 he vows to avenge his mother’s death, leading him to follow her footsteps. In fact, he treasures his mother so much that he stores her decapitated head in a fridge. Whilst the second film establishes Jason’s urge to kill, his trademarks do not necessarily appear until Friday the 13th Part 3 (Steve Miner, 1982). Here we are introduced to his trademark hockey mask, which cements his place as an iconic villain. Additionally, the audience is shown a whisper of insight into his burrowing nature to kill. After he kills his mother’s murderer, Alice (Adrienne King [the series original final girl]) he has technically performed his prior intentions.

From then on his remorseless kills originate seemingly from a place of nothing. Jason’s fury was soothed after he murdered Alice, but he knows no better than to carry on his rampage. It could be said that Jason isn’t even aware of the consequences of his actions.

Although Jason is a structurally massive killing machine with brute strength, he hasn’t matured mentally. Slasher films heavily associate sex with violence, yet whilst Jason victims are simply exploring adulthood he views it as immoral, since his own supposed death was caused due to camp counsellors occupying each other rather than watching after him. This sense of Jason unknowingly causing harm continues throughout the entirety of the franchise, with his lack of motivation or reason to kill. However what really makes the audience team with Jason is his unsanctioned resuscitation.

In Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter (Joseph Zito, 1984) Jason is supposed to be dead, with him even being taken to a morgue, but as usual this is not entirely true. We are then taken back to Crystal Lake as Jason makes his way back home in an attempt to beckon back to his resting place. Instead of peace, he is met with rowdy teenagers and noisy families in his area interrupting his will to slumber into a dreary space of emptiness. Henceforth, his killing spree continues as a means to end the disruption.

However in what is a startling scene, we are met with the horror aficionado Tommy (Corey Feldman) who paints his face white and shaves his head to imitate a young Jason in order to force a sense of sympathy from him. His impression comes across as a form of mockery, further angering Jason. Arguably Jason simply sees Tommy as another one of his childhood bullies who would tease him for his appearance. Jason is supposedly killed at the end of The Final Chapter, but we would later learn that this is not his final appearance.

The combination of mocking and disallowance for him to die is what Stephen King brought to light. His existence is hellish and rather existential, through others actions he can never fully rest in peace as he is constantly unearthed. Even when he is not the antagonist the series finds a way to drag him into the mess; in what is the most dissociated film in the franchise, with a new setting and killer is Friday the 13th: A New Beginning (Danny Steinmann, 1985). In the film Tommy is sent to Pinehurst Halfway House to recover from his childhood trauma, whilst he is there a series of mysterious killings occur. Instead of the hockey mask machete-wielding killer being Jason it is in fact a disgruntled father who is out for revenge for his son’s untimely death.

After ‘A New Beginning’ came Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives (Tom McLoughlin, 1986) which sees Jason being accidentally resurrected from his grave. When Tommy returns to Jason’s grave years later he is overcome with anger and stabs Jason with a metal fence post. However as the post hits Jason a bolt of lightning strikes and revives a now immortal Jason. Similarly, another accidental reviving occurs in both Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood (John Carl Buechler, 1988) and Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan (Rob Hedden, 1989). In both films repeat occurrences happen where Jason is involuntarily awoken and then goes on a rampage with a sense of angered dread, due to the repetitive nature of his life cycle. It seems that the universe disallows Jason to remain dead. The characters wince that Jason is after them, but it is their actions that unwittingly cause the vicious pattern.

Quite ironically in the ninth film Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday (Adam Marcus, 1993) Jason lives on due to a coroner biting his heart, causing him to possess said coroner; living on in the coroner’s body. However in what is quite the twist of fate, the repetitive ending of Jason ‘being dead’ is given a new lease of life, with the ending hinting at what would be an iconic meeting between two horror legends. The final frame shows a dog digging at Jason’s buried mask before A Nightmare on Elm Street’s own Freddy Kreuger pulls the mask down into hell.

Before we are introduced to the crossover film we have Jason X (Jim Issac, 2001). This is probably the most convoluted film of the series, with its adventurous sci-fi tone somehow combining slasher with space. Jason X definitely has divided opinions, with many devoted fans feeling confused as to why there needed to be such a drastic alteration from the usual time and place and others seeing it as a cult classic that bends audience expectations. In terms of Jason himself, nothing immediately differs from his archetypal persona in space. Instead where we see a shift in motion is in the series current penultimate film Freddy vs. Jason (Ronny Yu, 2003).

Freddy vs. Jason is highly entertaining, with the two characters showcasing a brutal spectacular series of violently glorious kills across a group of unsuspecting teens. The film shows a ruthless Jason who rises from the earth when Freddy impersonates his mother, in order to manipulate him into coming back to life. Freddy has Pamela tell Jason that he never died, he was just sleeping and that he should go to Elm Street as “the children have been very bad on Elm Street”. Here it’s confirmed that Jason is acting on a means to obey and order via his mother’s wishes; he only seeks to punish as it’s what his only beloved trustee believes. It’s clear that Jason’s hellish fate derived from his attachment issues with his mother. He has remained a child mentally, with his mother having a psychologically overbearing influence for his whole existence.

It seems that Friday the 13th will never come to a conclusive end, with the final film so far – Friday the 13th (Marcus Nispel, 2009) latently repeating the pattern all over again. This film is a remake of the first and disregards all the previous entries. The ending remains eerily similar to the original, with Jason lurching out one more time in a lake at the final girl. Devastatingly enough the repeating of final frames indicate that the process has started all over again.

Jason is corruptly entangled with his obsolete moral compass focused on him and his mother’s neurotic relationship together. His unfortunate trauma has never faded and no matter what ill-conceived acts he commits it’s difficult to feel hatred towards him. Somehow we are routing for Jason the majority of time, with his victims seeming rather disposable and unworthy of true survivor status. Pamela will always have a hold on Jason and will always encourage his murderous tendencies, leading to a vicious cycle where he must live forever to kill.

This weeks article comes via Grace from Film Overload, you can check out more of her work here.