You cannot tell what will be remembered. Sure, you can hedge your bets for a bit, but the audience will latch on to something, almost insignificant, like a particular line delivery, or a certain look, and that will help preserve a fleeting moment into immortality. With the iconography of the Eighties being codified, a killer trying a new look to distinguish themselves helped propel the franchise into the cultural touchstone it remains, 40 years to the day. In Friday the 13th, part III.
Jason is back, now with a new outfit, and an upgraded mask, replacing that potato sack. A collection of sex-crazed, pot-smoking teens is looking to escape for the weekend at the Crystal Lake adjacent property of Higgins Haven. Christine Higgins herself has had a run-in with Jason a couple of years back, and her trauma is servery impacting her getaway trip. Although she soon may learn that her worries are more than justified, as Jason tracks them to the other side of the lake. Can Jason finish off yet another cabal of teens? Or can Christine vanquish the physical manifestation of her fears?
Like most horror films designed for cheap (but, effective) thrills, Part 3 is designed to be seen in 3.D. Possibly to cash in on the film being the third in the franchise, or the improving technology, or both. As such, things lunge at the camera persistently, and if you get the chance to see the film in 3.D. it would be advisable to do so. However, you’ll probably have a fine enough experience, even if the footage gives every scene a particular ghostly quality. The kills are comparable to the series before, some innovations lay into the 3.D. gimmick pretty well though.
We got a new Crazy Ralph, complete with a distinctive eyeball and similar prophetic but cryptic omens. In fact, before the incidents at Higgins Haven, the audience gets to see some oddball townsfolk victims that still live in the area. However, since the teens (sans the final girl, Christine) are more vice-indulging delinquents, it feels like more of a change from the councillors of the first film and more akin to the typical slasher victim. Of course, we get a revamped Jason, the new hockey mask was an improvisation slash accident, that will turn into Jason’s most memorable feature. Those elements of uncertainty that clouded the first two films are now gone, as the quintessential Friday the 13th experience has been codified from here on out.
With the funky new intro and title credits, it is clear the period of improvisation is over. The Eighties, as you remember them, are here in full fashion. Now the future looks to benefit from the standardised slashings that the franchise became renowned for. Although some grittiness is still present, as the film is on the cusp of the experimental boon of the early 80s, further films will remain on familiar grounds, much like Jason on the campgrounds itself. Without stating the obvious, Friday the 13th Part III pushes the franchise into a whole new dimension.
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