Friday the 13th Part V: A New Beginning
Part I. Part II. Part III. Part IV. In trying to keep these posts short, there are lots of things I couldn't talk about. The emotionally distant characters and lack of suspense are only two reasons why I don't think the Friday the 13th movies are scary. The concept of a killer like Jason is not something I find particularly chilling[ref] For the record, I do remember being kept awake at night by a TV show about Spontaneous Human Combustion (complete with grisly pictures) and a documentary about a brutal commander of a Japanese POW camp during WWII (that aired during the closing ceremonies of the Nagano Olympics, no less.)[/ref]. He isn't a great villain, either- as the series progresses, and the victims become more broadly drawn and less likable, he turns into an anti-hero. Villains can be scary, but anti-heroes aren't.
Are these issues present in other horror movie franchises? I don't like to comment on things I haven't seen, but I'd guess they are, especially if the Friday movies are as influential as I've been lead to believe.
Despite all these problems, the franchise does have its devoted aficionados. People can get defensive when others criticize things that they like[ref] "You did NOT just say that about Ingmar Bergman!!!"[/ref], so rest assured, the aim here is not to make fun of these movies[ref] Okay, just a little bit... [/ref].
My goal, as always, is to make better movies in the future. Scaring the bejeezus out of people is a perfectly worthy goal for a filmmaker, and I want to know how to do it more effectively. To do that, we have to learn how movies affect people: what works, and what doesn't. Surely this is a better use of our time and energy than looking at what made $25 million last weekend, and then concocting something exactly like it.
So as I bring this project to a close, I'll leave the story open for a sequel. Have you seen the Friday the 13th movies? Did you like them? Were you scared?
I ask because we all react to movies differently. I'm just one guy, and after all, I could be wrong...