Although it’s largely reviled among “Friday the 13th” fans, I have a fond appreciation for this eighth sequel. Most fans are incensed at the noticeable lack of Jason action here, but frankly I think it’s an interesting twist to the formula: This time, Jason’s evil travels from person to person not unlike a curse or a virus, and the result is a “Friday the 13th” movie that doesn’t seem to exist in the same universe (which is highlighted by the franchise’s move from Paramount Pictures to New Line Cinema with this entry). Nevertheless, this is pretty solid stuff– the acting is pretty good (which is above-average for a pre-“Scream” ’90s slasher), the direction is effectively ominous, the tone is oppressive and the kills are remarkably gruesome. It’s clear the makeup effect team had fun coming up with ways to mangle and dismember the human body, and director Adam Marcus knows not to linger too long on the carnage, all of which leads to several kill scenes that are as memorable as they are inventive.
Rating: ★★★ (out of 5)