Friday, 29 November 2013

29 - What I Want From A Friday Sequel!

For my final Friday the 13th Friday, a little on the future of the franchise. With the announcement of the next movie being due for Friday March 13th 2015, there’s a lot of chatter at the moment about the next movie being found footage, but I can’t see how or why someone would film Jason killing a bunch of people without getting a machete through the head.

Do we want a sequel to the last movie, or the original series? Well, as I said way back at the start of the month, there’s nothing on screen that explicitly confirms that it’s a remake:

There’s nothing to say that the flashback at the start isn’t supposed to be the events of the first movie, slightly altered through years of retellings as a campfire tale. Jason’s altered appearance? The last time we saw Jason before this was in the dreamworld at the end of FvJ, who know how he came back from that and what effect it had on him. Even down to the sack mask – his hockey mask had gone missing, he went with an alternative until he found it again.

It would actually be relatively easy to have a film that functions as a sequel to both. Unless you refer directly to specific events and just establish the basics, it’s pretty straightforward. Take the broad strokes approach – it’s worked for James Bond.

What are the essentials for a Friday the 13th movie? Here’s the key elements:

Jason Voorhees is a big deformed killer in a hockey mask. He hangs out in the woods by Camp Crystal Lake, an old summer camp by a big lake and kills teenagers – mainly with a big machete. 

That’s it. Fill all that in, don’t actively contradict any of the last 12 movies and you’re set.

Then make sure that the victims are likeable. The odd jerk is fine, but when Jason hacks them up or impales them or burns them or defenestrates them, you should be unhappy. You need a collection of potential final girls and boys, and you shouldn’t be able to guess who it will be until they get there. Think of the original poster for The Texas Chain Saw Massacre – “Who will survive – and what will be left of them?”

A little thing, but don’t repeat any past kills. If you have a guy in a wheelchair, don’t hack him in the face and throw the chair down a staircase. If you want to kill someone in a sleeping bag, don’t smash it against a tree or string it up over a fire.

Should it be in the snow, as fans keep demanding? Only if they can do something with it. You need to have the lake frozen over, you need blood splatter on snow, you need visuals and deaths that evolve naturally from the winter setting and wouldn’t fit directly in any other film.

So, what do I want from the next Friday the 13th film? Jason at Crystal Lake killing teens in inventive ways. That’ll do.

Oh, and a couple of tiny but essential things: Ki-Ki-Ki and also Ma-Ma-Ma.

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