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Friday the 13th Part III

Sticking with tradition, 'Friday the 13th part 3' opens up with an unnecessary and overly drawn out recap of the previous films closing moments. I think by this point, with this film being the third chapter in the Camp Crystal Lake story, if you are tuning in to watch this film you would have more than likely seen the previous two installments. It's not that i'm against general exposition, I just think when you reach a certain point in a franchise, playing out the events of the previous films closing act in full just seems overly unnessacery and time-wasting. This film is where things really start to kick off for fans of the francise. Albeit, for me, lacking in story and overall sense of direction, this is where the 'Friday the 13th' series really embraces that mindless slasher icon movie (for better or worse) that these films are so well known for. It is also here that we finally get to see Jason inhabit his iconic, hockey mask wearing, machete welding persona he is so well known for. This is a mask that would not only be a staple that would go on to stay with the series from this point on, but a mask that would be instantly recognisable and synonymous with the character of Jason Voorhees throughout modern day pop culture. Both with and without the mask, this is my favourite iteration of the Jason character that I have seen to-date. Played here by Richard Brooker, who not only gives a menacing and intimidating performance, he also manages to display the childlike curiosity and naivety that we have come to expect from a character such as this. Given how heavily under makeup and prosthetics Brooker is, I think he displays perfectly the importance of body language when playing a character like this, almost feeling like two different versions of Jason with or without the mask. The range of Brooker's portrayal is particularly noticeable with the closing dream sequences moments of this film, more so the childlike element of his performance. Annoyingly once again with these Friday films, they feel like a film of two halves, taking on a much darker and atmospheric tone once nightfall arrives at the mid-way point of its runtime. By this stage in the franchise these films should really be paying more attention to what works for these films and what doesn't. Three films in and the writers should be aware the stronger element is always the once we reach the eerie element if nightfall and deliver more of what makes these films so great much sooner. Other than Brookers performance as Jason Voorhees, I can't really say I found any enjoyment in the latest group of teen cannon fodder. Unlike previous entries, it took me much longer than I would have liked to distinguish which of these characters was our intended final girl/boy. Once this was made clear, I had already lost interest and just wanted Jason to take them all out. I also felt the inclusion of the motor cycle gang to be very over the top and extremely hammy. I think this is in part due to the terrible actors and the on the nose stereotypes that went into writing these characters. Although unnecessary, I did find these characters made for more numbers for Jason to take out in the synonymously creative fashion we have now come to expect from these films. The practical effects here feel rather underwhelming, given we have quite a lot of creative kills scattered throughout, the overall execution looks rather cheap. The death of Rick played by Paul Kratka is the best example of this, looking overly rubber and cartoonish and edited together in such a lazy way that only focuses more on how subpar these effects are. I can only assume that this is something the production team are aware of due to the glaring nod made to legendary special effects artist Tom Savini who did the effects work for the original entry. This was a nice touch, as we see one of the teens perusing over a Savini article in a 'Fangoria' magazine. Although considered the best in the franchise, I'm struggling to understand why. That's not to say I didn't enjoy this film for the mindless camp slasher that it was, but I just don't think it is as strong as part 2. The cast were unrelatable, the practical effects weren't as good as we have seen from previous entries and the lack of engaging plot was more disappointing than anything. I have a feeling that these films are going to continue down the path of mindless slasher carnage, something I'm okay with moving forward. However, the lack of creative writing and compelling story telling in comparison to the first two parts of the series is disappointing to me.


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