Some time after his battle with Tina in the last movie, Jason lies dead at the bottom of Crystal Lake when he's resurrected by the anchor of a small boat clipping an underwater power cable, causing a massive surge of electricity to course through his body. After climbing aboard the boat and murdering the two teenage passengers, Jason apparently pilots it to a bay where an enormous cruise ship is about to set sail for New York City. The passengers are the senior class of Lakeview High and the trip is part of their upcoming graduation. Of course, Jason climbs aboard and the body count soon begins on the way to the Big Apple.
The main reason most people hate this movie is because, despite the title, a good chunk of it takes place on the ship, with only the last forty-five or so minutes being set in New York. The original plan for this film was for a large portion of it to take place in New York but the budget, despite being big for a Friday the 13th, wouldn't allow it. While I do understand that it is a bit disappointing that you don't get as much of Jason in the city as you probably wanted, I think the section on the ship is just fine. In fact, one of the reasons why I like the movie is simply for the change of location: we've had seven movies featuring either Mrs. Voorhees, Jason, or Roy killing people either at Crystal Lake or somewhere nearby, so this is a breath of fresh air to me. And other than the venue change, it's still Jason doing what he does best and what we love him for, so what's not to like? That leads me to another complaint that I often here about this one, which is that there's barely any gore. Once again, I can't argue with that notion. Part VII is more than likely the one with the least amount of blood but this one was neutered pretty heavily by the MPAA as well, making it on par with the previous one. But, while I do agree that a slasher movie typically doesn't work well without gore, I've always found this movie to be entertaining enough to where the lack of blood just never bothered me. And as for the characters being perceived as not being all that likable? Honestly, I like some of these characters more than those in the previous film. Finally, there's the ending, where Jason is doused in a flood of toxic waste in the sewers of Manhattan and he somehow gets reverted back to his child form. Now, that I can't defend. I agree that that is unbelievably stupid and makes no sense and even though I've heard the director attempt to explain it, I still don't get it. (It's so bad that the next movie seems to just ignore it.) So, I understand everybody's hatred with that aspect but, otherwise, I don't have many problems with this film. I guess it's just personal taste.
other than he seems like a tough guy you can depend on and I love how he puts McCulloch in his place at one point and how he's gun-ho about trying to save Rennie after she's kidnapped by these punks in New York. His death is also a memorable one. The other characters have nothing to them, honestly. Martin Cummins plays this geek Wayne, who's too stupid to understand that the slut he likes is just using him to do things for
her. I love when she burns him and he says to himself, "Wayne... you're an asshole." No, Wayne. You're just a moron. There's voice actor Saffron Henderson as a wannabe rock star named J.J. who gets killed right after she's introduced with her own guitar; Sharlene Martin as Tamara, the slut I mentioned earlier who uses Wayne for her own selfish purposes and goes as far as to fake making out with McCulloch to blackmail him (it takes McCulloch an awfully long time to finally throw
her off of him, don't you think?); Kelly Hu as Eva, Tamara's would-be friend who knows when she takes something too far; Gordon Currie as Miles, whose name I didn't even remember until I just looked it up because he does nothing; and Alex Diakun as a weird deck hand who knows a lot about Jason and is clearly meant to be a callback to Crazy Ralph from the first two films.
Aside from the plotholes they create, I've always felt that the hallucinations Rennie has about young Jason are really out of place and feel more like something you'd expect from A Nightmare on Elm Street than Friday the 13th. The one that especially compounds that for me is the scene in the bathroom when Rennie turns on the faucet, the running water becomes blood, and then young Jason comes out of the mirror. Plus, did you notice that throughout his appearances, young Jason starts out looking completely normal and becomes more and deformed until by the end of the film, he looks the way he did in the original movie? For that matter, during the aforementioned scene in the bathroom, he even looks freaking Japanese! What the hell? And like I said earlier, the ending scene where the toxic waste causes Jason to turn back into a little kid makes no sense. What did that even mean? Hedden has said that since he thought this was going to be the last movie, he wanted to bring Jason full circle and turn him back into a little kid. If this were indeed the last movie, I guess it wouldn't be that big of an issue but since there are more and this ending is apparently forgotten, it renders it a bizarre curiosity piece of the series.
Sean down a street in Times Square and he kicks a radio that these punks are listening to out of his way. The punks, of course, prepare to beat the crap out of Jason but when he turns around and lifts his mask up, showing them his face, they decide that this isn't someone they want to mess with and run away. I love that moment because it shows that Jason is intelligent enough to know that he's hideous and uses that to his advantage. Jason also breathes very heavily in this film, sounding almost like Darth Vader, which he had never done before. Some would argue that something that's undead wouldn't breathe at all but it doesn't bother me because, at this point, are you really going to be looking for logic?
point? In addition, I do like the way the hockey mask he wears in this film looks. However, like many, the one problem that I do have with his design here is the face, which is revealed after Rennie throws toxic waste on him and he tears his mask off in pain. His face looks absolutely stupid. It looks like a pumpkin, especially when it's first revealed, and is major comedown from the incredible design in the previous film. When he grabs onto Rennie as she and Sean are trying to climb out through the manhole, it doesn't look as bad as did when it was revealed, but it's still dumb looking. I also hate the ridiculous roar that he makes when he rips the mask off and I wasn't a fan of his young voice coming out of his mouth as well. I didn't get why he randomly puked water, either. That was just silly.
One odd thing that Jason does do in this movie is teleport. There are plenty of moments when somebody is running away from him and he'll suddenly appear ahead of them. I know it's happened before in the series but it's really overdone here. The weirdest moment comes when Jason traps Eva in the dance room on the ship and no matter where she turns, Jason is there. It's edited in such a way that it really does look like Jason is teleporting all over the room. There's also a moment in Manhattan where Jason chases McCulloch through an alleyway and he takes shelter in a building, only to suddenly be thrown out an upstairs window, followed by Jason appearing at the window and looking down at him. I will admit that does baffles me and is weird, but it still doesn't ruin the movie for me.
As I said, the kills in this movie are hardly gory at all but that's never really bothered me. The first victims are Jim and Suzi, the two teens aboard the small boat whose anchor hits the power cable and brings Jason back to life. Jim gets a harpoon gun shoved right in his stomach and when Jason pulls it out, it looks like his intestines are on the tip. As for Suzi, she deserves to die because she's so stupid. She just runs and hides in some hatch on the boat instead of swimming for shore. She doesn't even try to fight back as Jason slowly sticks a harpoon down into the hatch and stabs her in the chest. Jason's first victim aboard the cruise ship is J.J.: he bashes her head in with her own guitar. One boxer who is relaxing in a sauna gets one of the hot rocks shoved into his torso. Ow! Tamara is killed after she gets out of the shower: Jason smashes the mirror and stabs with her a big shard of glass. He kills the chief engineer with a harpoon to the side and slits the captain's throat with a machete (no blood oozes out whatsoever). After that disorienting scene in the dance room, Jason violently strangles Eva. Wayne (after he accidentally shoots somebody because he loses his glasses) gets thrown into a control panel, which starts a fire that ultimately dooms the ship. Miles gets thrown onto the deck post. Jason seemingly kills Julius by throwing him overboard but it's later revealed that he survived. He kills that deck hand off-screen and the guy later appears with an axe in his back. Jason's first victims in New York are two gang-bangers who kidnap Rennie: he puts a hypodermic needle all the way through one and bashes another one's head into a pipe. Julius' death is my favorite. After Julius punches Jason until his hands bleed, Jason punches his head off and later puts it in a cop car! He kills said cop but you don't really see it and Colleen is killed when the cop car they're in crashes. Jason kills McCulloch by dumping him in a barrel full of raw sewage. He sends a restaurant waiter (Ken Kirzinger, who would later play Jason himself in Freddy vs. Jason) into a mirror: don't know if that counts as a kill or not but I figured I'd mention it anyway. His last kill is this sanitation worker in the sewer; he smashes a wrench into his head.
This film is unique in that it's the one where no new music is composed by Harry Manfredini and none of his old cues are used either. Here, it's all Fred Mollin and, I have to say, I like his music here. It definitely doesn't sound like any other Friday the 13th score and that's what's I like: it's its own thing. My favorite cue is the exciting cue when Miles is trapped by Jason on deck and he's forced to climb up onto the mast, as well as the music that plays when Jason steps out onto Times Square for the first time. The stuff for the horror and chase scenes are nicely exciting and Mollin also takes the famous "ki, ki, ma, ma," and uses it in varying ways, even having some guy whisper "Jason" in an eerie way at some points. Honestly, I just can't help but like the way the music sounds here. There's also the song Darkest Side of the Night that plays over the beginning and ending credits, which I don't love but don't hate either. It's an okay song. Speaking of which, I have to say that the opening credits for this one are very standard. This is the only film where the title just comes up in the usual way they typically come up, which is so weak considering what came before and what would come afterward but, oh well.