Let’s just jump into it! Here are some interesting ideas for future installments in the Friday the 13th franchise. Obviously, I could have come up with 13 ideas, but I’m not a gimmicky bastard. I repeat: Here are 7 ideas, not 13. You’ll read them and you’ll like them, damn it.
1. Give Jason’s Mom More Screentime!
The original Friday the 13th film’s character of Mrs. Pamela Voorhees (Betsy Palmer) certainly made an impact. In fact, in that film, she was actually the big splash, with Jason largely being a mere ripple, or at most a dream. Still, an argument can be made that, perhaps, Jason has stolen the show a bit too much.
Sure, we have caught brief glimpses of Jason’s mom here and there, with her being played and voiced by different people in brief scenes (Marilyn Poucher, Paula Shaw, Nana Visitor, Kathleen Garrett, etc.), but Pamela Voorhees could probably return. Hey, if they put Jason in space, why not find creative ways to bring back his mom?
2. Expand on the Concepts In ‘Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday’ (1993)
Not everyone likes this movie, and it’s not too difficult to understand why. It definitely has some baffling moments and the Jason myth is expanded in some weird-ass ways. Still, this movie does have its fans, and there was a lot of “retconning” going on with this installment, leaving plenty of gaps between ideas in previous films and this one. Of course, Jason returned from Hell to fight Freddy Krueger, but even that could obviously be retconned.
The point is, this might be a bad idea, but some really adventurous writer might try to do a special follow-up to this story. In fact, this film has an odd moment with the Necronomicon, which I always assumed was somehow linked to Jason’s powers. Were Mr. and/or Mrs. Voorhees involved in “Evil Dead”-style spells, somehow invoking a special curse involving Jason? A film exploring this concept would probably be terrible, but there’s still something bold about someone willing to explore this greater Voorhees universe.
3. Humanizing Jason (and Piss Off Certain Fans?)
Yes, Jason has already been humanized at various points in the Friday the 13th franchise. In fact, in Part 2 he almost seems like an ordinary guy, and possibly even some deranged redneck. Also, in the 2009 reboot, Jason sort of went back to those roots, even setting up boobytraps and such. However, I like the idea of being bold, even if it might piss off the fans. I’m talking about an almost genre-defying, intelligent, deliberative Jason, who might even be capable of talking and stuff!
I know, I know, this will instantly piss off many fans. However, it’s not as crazy as you might think. In the first film, you know what is strongly implied several times? Jason could talk! Yes, I am not imagining things. Pamela Voorhees repeatedly flashes back to a young Jason calling out for help. Now, maybe she was being crazy and just fantasizing about Jason’s ability to speak, but I don’t know. She might have been crazy, but it seems like she wouldn’t randomly attribute speaking ability to her mute son. Also, if you think I’m full of shit, go ahead and remind yourself about this moment with this clip:
So, interestingly, when people tell you the filmmakers flopped in Jason Goes to Hell” for making Jason speak, you can actually correct them and say, “Well, actually, Jason had spoken before that” (you don’t have to say, in a stewing rage, “Jason actually cried for help, you ignorant sonofabitch!”) On that note, it would be interesting to witness the moment Jason vowed to make sure no one would survive Camp Crystal Lake ever again. While a talkative Jason might not represent the Jason most people know, smarty-pants fans like myself can have the added bonus of saying “Well, actually…”
4. Final Girls Team Up with Tommy Jarvis to Take on Jason
This one seems like a no-brainer, especially when more fans would be on board with it than some of the crappier ideas I’ve presented here. In the final encounter between Jason and these various survivors, who would doubt that Jason would have a serious fight on his hands? Hell, you could even through in a few new survivors, if you wish to keep things fresh. The potential seems inherent. Tommy Jarvis (Corey Feldman/John Shepherd/Thom Mathews) has sort of been the John Connor of the Friday the 13th franchise. At the very least, imagine if he teamed up with the series’ Carrie character, Tina Shepard (Lar Park Lincoln)!
5. A More Water-Based Jason
This idea isn’t entirely new. Obviously, Jason has spent plenty of time in the water. We’ve seen him jump out of the water, pull people under the water, emerge from the lake while clasping Fred Krueger’s (Robert Englund) severed head, and oddly get melted into a non-deformed little boy in swim trunks (Timothy Burr Mirkovich) by toxic waste. However, I think a daring writer could get even more creative with it. I mean obnoxiously and stupidly so.
What if Jason becomes more of a water elemental/ghost-like entity? Bad idea city, right? Maybe so, but it’s really no worse (and possibly better) than sending Jason Voorhees into goddamn outer space! The point is, the story element is already there, with Jason already around the lake hoping to drive the surviving campers out. Imagine if he wasn’t even trying to swim across to them, but basically was the water. It’s not so different from “Jason attacks from the water.” It also makes him more spectral. It may be a bad idea in most hands, but it seems like something that could work…but probably wouldn’t.
6. Jason Takes Manhattan…But More This Time?
I like Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan, but people often complain about it being “Jason on a boat” more than Jason in Manhattan. Obviously, the excuse for the limited time in Manhattan was a limited budget. While we do get some memorable NYC moments, it was not enough to pacify everyone. What if that were to change, and Jason was retconned back into Manhattan? Maybe they could have him be captured, much like they do in “Jason X,” and transported to a special research lab in Manhattan?
Hell, the remake could even have nods to the original. Maybe you could have Rennie (Jensen Daggett) return, just so Jason can take her under the water and try to drown her again. After all, such a premise could never get old, right? Maybe she got knocked on the head, received amnesia, and decides to go swimming to revitalize her memory…and then WHAMMO!, Jason’s got her by the leg and that old romantic just won’t let go! Then she breaks free and decides to go to Manhattan to see a broadway show and Jason, that old rapscallion, happened to score some tickets and is ready to join her there, too. (Obviously, I am making light of tragic situations, but you get the idea.)
7. The Psychological Angle
Remember Part 5, which doesn’t even have a real Jason in it? Of course, you do! By that point, it seemed some people were fine with leaving the actual Jason hacked up, at the bottom of the lake, or wherever. In fact, some people thought even the second Friday the 13th film was a bit out there. A drowned kid returning for revenge? How? Well, part of the reason parts 1, 2, and 5 sort of work is obvious: They all have a psychological angle to them, so people are less likely to sweat the small stuff like “Does this story and timeline really make sense?”
By applying just a bit of a psychological twist, one can make just about any idea seem somewhat deeper, even if only superficially. Hell, even Part 7 has some of that going on. The point is, some skilled craftsmen could perhaps get to work on a deeper, more psychologically rooted depiction of Jason Voorhees. Maybe it’s good to avoid stereotypical Freudian stuff, but who knows? Maybe that cigar isn’t just a cigar. There are plenty of bizarre, twisted twists and turns to be made here.
Also, with how polished and refined some people are trying to be nowadays, the climate is perhaps just right to (even lazily) deliver freakish shocks and remind people what deeply disturbing stuff is actually buried beneath that hockey mask. Was Jason abused as a child and made too psychologically dependent on his mother? There’s a little bit of room to explore there, in the dark corners of the Voorheesian revenge motif. Of course, you can always have Jason fight someone other than Freddy, like Mike Myers (and I don’t mean Austin Powers — though, after seeing Jason in space, having him actually fight Austin Powers wouldn’t be much of a stretch. After all, in “Jason X” he did literally take on a fembot).
What are your thoughts on this list? Would they help or ruin the Friday the 13th franchise? Wouldn’t you see these movies either way? Admit it: You probably would, you hapless fool! Jason has you by the non-literal balls and you don’t even want him to let go, do you?