The best thing about the Never Hike… series is the way it takes its time getting to actual kills. It has confidence and is in no hurry.
Those looking for the first 8 films reviewed, click here.
Jason Goes To Hell: The Final Friday – 1993
Director Adam Marcus
Screenplay Jay Huguely, Dean Lorey
Starring John D. LeMay, Kari Keegan, Steven Williams, Allison Smith, Erin Gray, Steven Culp, Rusty Schwimmer, Leslie Jordan, Billy “Green” Bush, Kane Hodder
Synopsis/Review Time to reinvent the franchise…just in time to kill it? Jason is caught and killed by a government sting. His heart, somehow still beating, is dined upon by one of the coroners. Thus begins the quest for a hidden sister (Gray) who now has a daughter and granddaughter. Someone in the Voorhees line is required to bring Jason completely back to life. I wonder if that will happen in the final few minutes? There is no tension anywhere to be found. Having regular people carrying some sort of Jason bug is not at all scary. There are no buildups, outside of the first, fraudulent event. The acting is a touch better, but late addition bounty hunter Creighton Duke, while confusing, at least gives us Steven Williams jawing it up for the crowd.
Best kill Going to go with the fat loudmouth lady who gets her bottom jaw caved in.
Worst moment Some sort of bug creature (look at the poster) is behind all of this. Wish they would have mentioned that…anywhere…in the last eight films.
Defining moment Freddy’s glove makes a surprise appearance, thanks to New Line films acquiring the rights to the franchise.
Jason X – 2001
Director Jim Isaac
Screenplay Todd Farmer
Starring Kane Hodder, Lexa Doig, Lisa Ryder, Chuck Campbell, Melyssa Ade, Peter Mensah
Synopsis/Review Jason and Rowan (Doig) are frozen and left for 240 years. And you’ll never guess…people in the future are hot, stupid and mostly Canadian actors. The film becomes something from the Alien Universe storyline as there are people wanting to profit from Jason and Rowan as Ripley. Don’t forget the android, either. There are so many corpses to add to the list, including a pilot who crashes the ship into a space station. This is truly a lost film; they had to push it out to the future so as not to mess with the next film that was currently in development. As bad as it is, this film actually tries to hold one’s interest occasionally.
Best kill I am going with the hot chick that gets her face frozen and then smashed.
Worst moment Seal Team Sux wandering around a wharehouse dressed up to look like a spaceship, getting offed, each more lamely than the next.
Defining moment Cyborg Jason. Too late in the game to be interesting.
Freddy vs. Jason – 2003
Director Ronny Yu
Screenplay Damian Shannon, Mark Swift
Starring Monica Keena, Kelly Rowland, Jason Ritter, Chris Marquette, Lochlyn Munro, Robert Englund, Ken Kirzinger
Synopsis/Review Freddy’s been forgotten for too long. So he decides to fool Jason into coming back from the dead to wreak havoc on the kids of Elm Street. It makes as much sense as anything else in this series. The addition of Rowland and Ritter, along with Englund doing that Freddy charm helps elevate this above the normal tripe. There is tension. There is build up. There is a battle royal between two heavyweights. It is the only thing that most people who love both franchises had left to wait for in their lives.
Best kill The guy getting folded up in bed is one of the best kills of the series. That said, it’s really nice to see Jason unleashed in that party in the cornfield.
Worst moment The climactic fight is as strange as it is unsatisfying. I wish there were a way to lock them away somewhere so they could fight it out for an eternity.
Defining moment The wink by Freddy as they emerge from the lake tells it all. We just got hoodwinked. But we enjoyed it.
Never Hike Alone – 2017 / Never Hike In The Snow – 2020
Written and Directed by Vincente DiSanti
Starring Drew Leighty, Vincente DiSanti, Katie Schwartz, Robert DuBois, Thom Mathews, Vincent Guastaferro, Bryan Forrest, Courtlan Gordon, Anna Campbell, Vincente DiSanti, Lennon Hobson, Knightly Giaimo
Synopsis/Review The best of the Jason films happens to be a fan film. It’s good because its creator understands how to use it’s lead antagonist. A long, deliberate buildup for the first part of this film gives the impression that we’re watching something completely different. Safe, boring, action hiking, fitness asshole telling the world how great he feels. We actually have a believable protagonist who is enthralled with something other than getting naked with a co-ed. We get hints of the sound of a wolf dying at night, but our guy is too busy trying to find the lake. The moment he discovers who he is really up against, it’s not too late. He’s actually got the skill and head to flee. Even at a run time of just one hour, this feels like twice the film most of the Friday the 13th series had offered thus far.
The second part is really a prequel and kind of an add on. There is a surprise to the first part whose effect is lessened by the inclusion of the second part, but it works either way.
Best kill The best thing about the Never Hike… series is the way it takes its time getting to actual kills. It has confidence and is in no hurry.
Worst moment The prequel is crammed together, not as scary, but still good camera work.
Defining moment “Camp Crystal Lake. My brother used to tell me stories about this place.”