Friday the 13th Part III kicks off much like Part 2, with clips from the previous film to catch you up on all of Jason’s adventures. The film then digs into the current story: a group of college kids are heading up to Crystal Lake to spend the weekend at their friend Chris’ family cabin, Higgins Haven. True to form, the film strives for diversity, this time featuring a Seth Rogen-esque dorky jokester, a Hispanic, two stoners, a pregnant person and a motorcycle gang. The audience soon learns that Chris has run into Jason before and is extremely nervous about revisiting Crystal Lake. As the film progresses, not much happens with the characters as far as a storyline or plot development, but Jason wreaks his usual havoc and finally dons the hockey mask we’ve been waiting for.
After my disappointment in Jason’s first legitimate appearance in Part 2, I was extremely happy with this film. I loved every crazy death and celebrated the arrival of Jason Voorhees. This film has a lot going for it, and to be honest, there wasn’t much I didn’t like. Higgins Haven has a barn on its grounds, which already increases the film’s fear factor. Barns are inherently creepy and Jason used it well. It led to all sorts of pitchfork-related deaths and even a hanging. The film kept it classic and Jason’s murders followed illicit behavior such as doing drugs, having sex, skinny dipping, drinking, etc. Nothing makes me happier than watching Jason cast judgment on others. The blood and gore was fantastic and not excessive and there were several times throughout the film that I jumped out of my seat. My favorite part of the film, hands down, was when Jason emerged from the barn wearing a hockey mask he acquired from a recent victim. I’m not sure what it is, but Jason Voorhees isn’t Jason Voorhees without the mask.
While I loved this one, there were some things that bugged me. First, the film was shot in 3D, and while I didn’t watch it in 3D, it was annoying regardless. This film tried incredibly hard to use 3D, including shots of kids using yo-yos and juggling, which was simply irritating to watch. It didn’t add anything to the film and for me, it took away some of the fear. My next issue with the film was the motorcycle gang. A random addition to the cast that didn’t add anything to the storyline, this gang wound up adding bodies to the final count, but didn’t do much else. They seemed part of another film and I found myself feeling disconnected from the real story when I had to watch their antics.
Annoying 3D graphics and motorcycle gang aside, this is a fantastic film. It’s jumpy and gross and takes you along on a great adventure. This film will make you love Jason and make you eager to see his next endeavor. There’s even a splash of paranoia in this film, which added a nice depth to the film that isn’t typically present in campy 80s films. A definite boost for the serial killers of horror, Friday the 13th Part III is certainly doing its part. Go skinny dipping and save horror.
If you liked Friday the 13th Part III, you might also like Friday the 13th Part 4, Friday the 13th Part 5 and Friday the 13th Part 6.