After slogging through five rather painful Friday the 13th movies over the last couple of months, I finally made it to Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives, a surprisingly redeeming horror movie that still suffers from the general problems of the franchise but at least tries harder than most.
Jason Lives helps wipe the bad taste from Jason V away by completely ignoring the film's presence. In this one, a grown-up Tommy Jarvis isn't a troubled teen but a man who actually is concerned about others and wants to ensure that Jason is dead once and for all. Of course, good intentions often lead to bad consequences, as his attempts to destroy Jason's body actually results in resurrecting him. That's what you get for trying to kill an immortal murderer during a lightning storm, Tommy.
The movie goes on to feature lots of bloody deaths and, shockingly, just a little bit of smarts among some of the characters. Sure, the fact that the daughter of the sheriff immediately falls in love for the jailed Tommy Jarvis and, with her emotions running wild, causes her to do stupid things like pull a gun on a deputy to break him out of jail and such is pretty absurd, but at least Tommy has a plan.
Jason Lives is a little faster-paced than most of the other Friday the 13th movies that I've seen, and all around looks and feels like writer/director Tom McLoughlin knew what he was doing. The movie is by no means good - but in a franchise that relies on mediocrity, Jason Lives is a diamond in the rough.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.
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