While the Friday the 13th series has some terrible entries, none are arguably as bad as Jason X. But of all the problems, the 2002 sequel does one thing right.
Happy Friday the 13th camp counselors. Ready to board the Grendel?
Before getting into the muck of it, let’s get one thing out of the way. Echoing a highly popular opinion, Jason X sucks on so many levels (see what I did there?) — mostly just the first half. Featuring production values mirroring a Cinemax softcore porn flick, not to mention the worst Jason makeup in the series (not Uber), the tenth film in the franchise is problematic. Although, I do admit the second half of the film isn’t terrible…but I digress.
With today being our unholy holiday, I began watching the series in reverse to show love to the mostly forgotten entries. While doing so, I realized one thing the film does exceptionally well. So sit back, get a little cryogenically frozen and go Uber as I dive into Jason X’s forgotten quality.
She Been Modified
Of all the problems within the late Jim Issac’s Jason X, its protagonist is one of the best in the series. Although not as impactful as Alice, Ginny or the Jarvis family, Rowan is one hell of a lead character. Frozen alongside the hockey masked horror, Rowan is a vessel in which the audience discovers the year 2,455. While she’s figuring out her path in a world unknown, we’re doing the same.
She’s also caring, smart and extremely focused. As someone who’s attempted to rid the world of Jason Voorhees for good, Rowan wants one thing and one thing only — the incapacitation of Mr. Voorhees. Unlike most heroine’s in the series, not only does she know who and what Jason is, she has first hand experiences in how the beast works prior to the film’s events. In the end, the better your protagonist, the better the film. If only Rowan wasn’t stuck in an otherwise misguided first half.
Band Of Unfortunate Intergalactic Misfits
More from 1428 Elm
- Shudder Original Terrified: Poltergeist or Dimensional Beings?
- Godzilla Minus One makes the King of the Monsters terrifying again
- A Creature Was Stirring scares up yuletide frights
- Unwrapping the Unhappy Holidays collection on Shudder
- Holiday Horror viewing guide: 20+ movies to stream this Christmas
While Rowan is undoubtedly the shinning character, Jason X offers some of the best characters in the series. Sure, the 2002 sequel features more empty and unnecessary faces than any other entry, but there are some solid players here.
While certainly a stock stereotype, Professor Lowe‘s effective in a Bad News Crews sort of way. On top of that, Tsunaron, and his cyborg muse Kay-Em 14, are endearing and not rooting for the two is nearly impossible. Also, as the Grendel’s resident badass, Sgt. Brodski is another you’re cheering on. After a scene refusing money in favor for doing the right thing, Brodski wins the audiences over and continues his heroism to the end credits. And lastly, while she may have been just sex fodder, Janessa is sexy while being girl mouthy girl you knew in school and you want to save yourself — I know I do.
Of all it’s problems, the second half of Jason X truly works. Following a truly terrible first half, a big reason the film works when it does is the characters. After removing the one-notes, the main players are put in a pot-boiler situation and the results are shockingly good. I know you’re probably not believing me, but give it another look. You may realize in the last 16 years, evil did indeed get an upgrade.