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A Nightmare from Friday to Halloween - Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives (1986)

The three most prominent American horror franchises (Halloween, Friday the 13th, and A Nightmare on Elm Street) have influenced American cinema even beyond the horror genre. As of 2021, there are exactly 31 movies across all three franchises, and I am going to attempt to watch all of them, for this Halloween, one per day.

No one is more surprised than I am that I...liked Friday the 13th: Jason Lives. It only took six entries for this franchise to become self-aware and actually comment on its ridiculousness. Literally, during Jason’s second kill, a teen couple comments on how stupid it is to confront a guy in a mask in the middle of the night. Later in the movie, two young boys comment wryly on how screwed they are and ask what they wanted to be if they had gotten to grow up instead of being murdered by Jason. It seems I wasn’t alone when I thought A New Beginning was the nadir of the series. Here we see some humor that isn’t punching down on minorities and other underprivileged people. Also, it does away with trying to justify ways to bring Jason back in a way that made sense, by just making him a supernatural force, which is what the series’ lore should have been in the first place. This movie isn’t a sudden masterpiece though. Characters still make stupid decisions that inevitably get them killed, and most of the characters are still quite forgettable. It’s also interesting that they are insistent on keeping Tommy around as Jason’s Van Helsing, even though his connection to Jason is seeming to get more and more tenuous as this franchise continues. Overall, I would very much like if this franchise could keep going in this direction because it was a damn slog to get here.

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