Amping Up The Scare Factor For Jason And Friday the 13th

What has happened to Friday the 13th and even more so, Jason Voorhees? When I was a kid, everyone was scared of Jason. I mean, even my Dad would get a little freaked out at seeing Jason running after Trish in The Final Chapter. Now, Jason is an action figure, an anti-hero and for some people a weird sort of role model. I love all of the Friday the 13th movies. I am a fan for life. But even I grew weary of what Jason had become. And, the fans that visit our site express as much of the same.

Now, I go back to the reboot last year and I was hoping to see something different that would get Jason back to what we all want, scary and feared. My initial thought when I saw the movie in the theater last year was being completely freaked out by Jason wearing the sack. I don’t know if it is really coincidental, but it sure seemed that the scariest scenes were in the beginning of the movie when Jason’s head was completely covered. Could it possibly be that we are so used to seeing Jason in his hockey mask that it simply is not scary to see Jason that way at all any more?

I think yes. Seeing Jason with the hockey mask is almost like seeing his real face now. It used to be scary to see the hock and then get the big unmasking scene. Not anymore. The hockey mask is slightly redesigned, tweaked and repainted, but it is in essence the same. You get use to something for so long, it quite simply isn’t scary anymore. The same with Jason’s actual face. Even if you get the unmasking scene, you feel like you’ve seen Jason unmasked before. Makeup artists are always wanting to go back to the original Savini look of Jason to pay some sort of homage.

I think the producers and studio folk for the reboot should have left Jason wearing the sack for the majority, if not the entirety of the film. I know that Shannon and Swift wanted Jason to don the sack for the majority of the movie, but were overruled. And why is that, for promotional reasons. The hock sells. I get that, but if changing up the look of Jason for a new generation helps scare the audiences then word of mouth brings people into the theater in subsequent weeks and studios worrying about marketing a look will not have to be as important.

I know that Jason’s look alone will not make a movie scary in it’s entirety. The writing and directing have to be there as well, but I believe your central character has to be believable as scary to sell the rest of the film. Derek Mears did a terrific job making Jason awesome again. Now, think about how much better the character could be if a little mystery surrounding Jason was added back into the fold again!

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jasonsfury

27 Responses to “ Amping Up The Scare Factor For Jason And Friday the 13th ”

  1. I watched the remake again last night, and I wholeheartedly agree. The twisted redneck in a hockey mask is not as scary as he once was. I know I’m in a vast majority, but I thought the new Halloween 2 was not only the first watchable movie Rob Zombie ever made, but the first good Halloween in more than a decade, and it’s because he had the guts to take off the mask. Obviously Jason will be wearing something when he’s out for the kill, but I thought it was silly to see him sharpening his machete. Jason has been given a personality over the years. Now that hes back to being a living person again, let’s see some of the “real Jason.”

  2. JF, I’ve been saying that exact same thing for years. Here’s to hoping for the sequel.

  3. very true halloween 2 was crazy i think it was a lot better then the new friday the 13th…the was he killed people in this movie me me cringe it was hardcore your not getting up shit hahah!! i felt the the new jason reboot was PG13 kills and rated R sex and thats what fucked it up 2 and thats why im not cool with the writers, I would like to have seen rob zombie make this next jason only if he never made a halloween …just because seein how he made mike myers sceary again was great and Im the biggest jason fan there is but rob zombies myers would deff give the new jason a run for his money and it hurts me to say that.. so the people who do the next friday the 13th need to watch halloween 2 even tho the movie it self was not the best it was how crazy he killed people and the rage he had was over the top. That made even me go WOW hes fucking sick n crazy !! THE ONLY WOW FACTOR IN THE NEW JASON MOVIE was when he RAN again so that’s what I think and im not into rob zombie ,HE JUST makes horror movies the way they kinda need to be all fucked up and lots of hardcore, gore and crazy kills very dark ..!!jason can be scary again with a new good director ….!!!
    kills

  4. yeah, but what makes halloween so interesting, is that michael myers looks normal, just like everyone else. except for being 6’7″. but he is not deformed and hideous. there have been far too many movies over the last 10-15 years that have had their killers being deformed or what-not. just a quick example would be Wrong Turn, like christ, is everyone in the backwoods deformed and crazy? don’t answer that, lol.

    But Jason was scarier in the reboot with the bag head. i just rewatched part 2 again the other night, and it still carries its general creepiness, but so does 3 and 4. and growing up, there wasn’t one person that i knew that didn’t have the shit scared outta them when watching a friday movie.

    but these days, everyone is so decentralized and used to movies and ripoffs, that its just not scary anymore. if you want scary, watch your evening news!

    also, what i find ruined the whole franchise was when they started with zombie jason. sure part 6 is fun, and one of my fav’s because its fun and different, the rest after it just plain sucked. i have stated it before in other posts, that when jason was human 2-3-4, he was scarier, and still is. and when the whole zombie stuff started happening, i was just like shoot him in the head or sever the brain, that should put him down, unless its return of the living dead, lol.

    but the zombie movies were far too unrealistic, jason was like teleporting all over crystal lake and new york city, a place he has not been at before, but he can easily find the group of people in the city, maybe he should be a cop working in the missing persons division.

    i thought mears was a really good jason and all, but i my major complaint with these types of serial slasher movies these days is that the killer, if not supernatural, is always like a super being, having super strength, being 7′ tall, able to take a lead pipe across the head and not even faze him, like come on already.

    whats scary is when the killer is your typical everyday man, like in real life examples, bundy, ridgeway, rader, gacy. the only serial killer in real life that i could think of the was something that could compare in size to all these movie serial killers is kemper who was 6’9″ and 350lbs. now thats scary. wow, how did i run off in this rant? lol, good discussion

  5. Sorry I did not proof read I fucked up some stuff up there but you all should know what I mean. you all are fans and we all want the to be good , hey jasonfury you should send some of this fan stuff to Damian Shannon & Mark Swift at platinum Dunes SO THEY CAN SEE THE REAL FANS AND WHAT WE WANT !!!!!! WERE THE REAL FANS !!!!

  6. Although I agree that Jason with the bag over his face is scarier than him wearing the hockey-mask(still disturbing though!), a lot of making Jason scary needs to come from the director. The perfect example of course being Halloween(1978). I think Friday The 13th(2009) was scary again, not because of the way Jason looked but because of the esthetic of the movie, the way Jason’s shots were set up and the way Jason moved.

    But it works both ways of course, you can have a scary character but weak directing and get a scary movie(Child’s Play). Or have a weak scary character and great directing and get a scary movie. I think we can all agree we need both for the next Friday The 13th movie.

  7. I think the scariness of Jason is in his presence and it goes back to the actors that have played him. I still think Graham, Brooker, White and now Mears are the best at playing Jason & making him scary. I think Derek Mears did a great job in the reboot in making Jason a scary figure and I think his did it with the sack and with the Hockey Mask.

    The reboot was the best Jason movie since Jason Lives in 86 and it is in my top 5 of all time favorite Jason films.

  8. its true he is scarier with the sack all i want is a good and scary f13th but that died in the 80s

  9. I would like to hear more examples for what people think would make Jason scary again. And I don’t mean things like “good directing” (although I agree with that 100%), I mean specifics. What should a good director do to make Jason scarier? jasonfury, you are so right about Jason being much creepier with the new sackhead look than he was once he strapped his iconic hockey mask on. I think that’s one of the reasons they didn’t reveal his face in the new movie. They’re saving it for the next movie to give new fans something to cringe over. As for us old fans though, I have a hard time believing his disfigured face will be anything we haven’t seen before and aren’t used to by this point. However, I do think more brutal kills will help get us cringing again. I agree with shotz10 that the new Friday gave us R-rated sex and mostly PG-13 kills, save for a few. So bring on the gore, and keep the suspense high. That’s all I can think of for now. If they decide to go through with the Jason-in-the-snow idea, that should allow for a lot of great new scenarios and endless possibilities.

  10. bytor, i completely agree with everything.

    We have become extremely desensitized to all horror. I personally can not watch ninety percent of modern horror films. They are cheap, lazy, repetitive, and unoriginal. I appreciate paying homage to classic films, but they is so much eighties-horror-envy happening that it makes watching such an ordeal. I wrote an entire essay about why the new Friday the 13th was decent, but at the same time, overwhelmingly terrible. In fact, it was only decent because the past seven films were so terrible (yes, 1-4 are far-and-away the strongest).

    Perhaps my biggest problem is that they had a chance to build up the history and failed miserably. Which means, they can’t just go back and redo the hockey mask acquisition, for example. The first fifteen minutes were the most complete, and frightening. The reason? The believability of Jason, his killing methods, and the sack.

    As for making it scarier. Yea, the mask is too much of an icon. I would say use the sack as much as possible, but damn, thanks to the remake, there is no going back. And jesus, I agree with earlier posts, why the hell are these horror antagonists indestructible? They shouldn’t be 6’8, 300lbs. That is why parts 2 & 3 were good. He ran after victims like a desperate, average-sized killer. There are limitless reasons why those films were respectable. And that is the channel in which the series should have gone. Unfortunately, they lost complete control of what makes a good horror film. Next thing you know, he is teleporting everywhere and folding people in half. God. What a waste.

  11. great post jasonsfury. i agree. although i do feel that the look with the hock in this movie was much better than the previous couple entries & i’m happy they did it so well.

    i completely disagree with the few posts following praising zombie’s halloween 2 though. zombie took away the mystique of the myers character, and without that, i don’t feel you’re left with an interesting movie. and all the additional stuff he added to try to compensate for it (the dreams, the psychic bond between bro & sis, etc.) didn’t seem to flow for me. it felt rushed and incomplete. f13th gave you a better look into jason’s world without making it feel detached from the series.

    i consider f13th the best horror reboot/reimagining of the past 10 years. i can find things to complain about, but all in all, it delivered & it’s a movie i don’t get sick of after 1 or 2 viewings.

  12. Interesting subject. There were 2 movies where I was scared of Jason. The Final Chapter, and The New Blood. He was so angry and quick in part 4. The way He killed people in that film was way more violent and bloody, as opossed to part 3. Thats all due to Tom Savini. And in part 7, the way He looked all damaged. Clothes all ripped up, His spine and ribs sticking out, hockey mask all cracked. And because Kane Hodder played Him, Jason seemed way taller than in part 6. And when Tina breaks His mask and We see His face, the first time I saw it in the theatre I almost crapped myself. John Buechler did an awesome job with the makeup. Other than that, I do believe all us Jason fans have become too familiar with Jasons work and hockey mask. As for the sackhead Jason, I was never really scared of part 2. Dont get Me wrong, I like the look..it does make Him look more hillbilly like. But for Me Im so desensitized to slasher films nowadays, because I grew up on Ft13th, Dawn of the dead, texas chainsaw massacre etc. I wasnt a disney kid, I looked more forward to the release of the next Jason movie on VHS, then the next kiddie flick. Youre all probably going to laugh at this, but the only kinda movies that scare the shit outta me lately was Paranormal Activity, and The Blair Witch Project. I know both films werent real, but the way they were both shot its creepy to Me. About a month ago I rented Paranormal Activity, and I was like scared shitless all night.

  13. I agree with JB Demented, Paranormal Activity scared the hell out of me. I think it all comes down to one simple factor: we are more scared of what we don’t see.

    That’s one of the reasons the early Fridays were so much better. You never got a good solid look at the killer until the last half hour.

  14. WELL THERE NOT GOING TO MAKE THE NEXT FRIDAY THE 13T WITH JASON IN IT ONLY FOR THE LAST 30 MIN’S ..!! so just give us the kill bill version of Friday the 13th that most of us want,,aka Friday the13th 2 bloodbath…!!!! hell yaaa!! Dare I say this SCRIPT is better then the first one hhhhhhhhhhhhhhhahahahahahahah!!! It better be..

  15. Personally, I would like to see them delve into Jason’s backstory some more in the next entry. I know not everyone will agree with that, but since it is the 13th Jason film, I think it would be appropriate do a sort of recap/retelling of the early incidents at Crystal Lake that made Jason who he is. I liked the little taste we got at the beginning of the last one, and the next movie would be a good chance to provide newer fans with some more of the backstory we know so well. I have faith that the writers could also find a way to use the opportunity to give us something new as well. And please, for god’s sake, don’t give us some unnecessary and stupid backstory details like the entire plot to JGTH!

    Not only am I a fan of Jason, but I’m also a fan of the Tommy Jarvis character. I always wished that they would find a way to make Tommy a part of Jason’s origin somehow, and now that the series has been rebooted, it’s the perfect opportunity, if that’s what they wish to do and what the fans want. My idea was that maybe Tommy’s dad could have been one of the kids that bullied Jason at camp and possibly lead to his drowning. I had this great idea a while back for a nice addition (at least I think so) that the bullies could have set up a prank to scare Jason. So, as they are making fun of him for not knowing how to swim, and for bein’ so dern ugly, and pushing him around on the dock, Tommy’s dad (as a kid of course) secretly straps on a hockey mask. Then he turns around quickly and jumps in Jason’s face, scaring him so badly that he stumbles backwards and falls into the water and drowns. Therefore, years later when Jason finds that hockey mask, he remembers how badly it scared him as a kid, and so he puts it on not just to cover his ugly mug, but also to strike fear into his victims before he kills them. So sort of a Batman thing. Then, back in the present, when Tommy shows up, Jason recognizes the resemblance and that’s what really starts fueling Jason’s hatred for Tommy. I think this idea would give more meaning to the hockey mask, other than it just being something convenient ol’ Voorhees found in some hick’s attic, and would also add some depth to the feud between Jason and Tommy Jarvis. And if they go with the Jason in the snow idea that everyone seems to want, the movie could start off with the backstory, and the moment Jason drowns, the lake could slowly freeze over to show the passing of time and move to the present day.

  16. Maybe I’m on the wrong track here, but I don’t think Jason is the problem; I think it’s the heroes he stalks. The movies being listed as the scariest Fridays also had the most evenly sympathetic casts. If I can identify with the lady stumbling through the damp forest, I’m more likely to worry about her, or think, “That could be me.” Also, if there is more than one likeable, well-developed character, it’s more difficult to pick out the survivor, which also ups the suspense factor. JTM’s scene of Rennie walking through the abandoned sinking boat with a serial killer on her heels would have been scary as hell… if we hadn’t all pegged her as the Final Girl from her first appearance and known she was in absolutely no danger. So, that’s what I think the next Friday needs: likeable characters in real danger.

    That said, I also agree the remake’s sackhead was the creepiest-looking Jason in a long time.

  17. I agree with you. The characters are a very big ingredient in the scares. So is the directing of a scene. If you can get those elements in place the movie is already on it’s way to being a tense and scary movie. ;)

  18. I want him to kill in new ways shit that might make us cringe ,,!! 3 person view ,,running up from behind then BAMM right in the head there dead !! lol…..!

  19. For me, it’s a combination of a few of the things that some of the other posters have already mentioned.

    1) Jason is shown way too much in the later films. If you see him walking around and know where he’s at most of the time, he’s not going to be nearly as scary, as if he comes out of nowhere when you least expect it and only see him for split second here and there. Also, the more the audience sees Jason, the more accustomed and familiar they are going to be with him, which takes away the “fear of the unknown aspect.” The original Friday the 13th was “scary” for audiences when it first hit the big screen, because nothing was known about the killer, until the big reveal scene with Alice and Mrs. Voorhees.

    2) They need to ditch the overblown stereotypes. A vast majority of the characters throughout the ENTIRE history of the franchise have been based on exaggerated stereotypes to the point that the audience essentially ends up cheering on Jason to kill them. This is how Jason became an anti-hero, and he has been an anti-hero every since the very early sequels, despite the fact that films like TFC had a couple of characters that the audience was actually sympathetic toward. I was watching The Descent about a week ago and noticed that at no point in that movie was a I rooting for the cave monsters, because most of the characters in the film were just “normal” people who weren’t so overblown that they annoyed me after 2 minutes. The Friday franchise has been horrible for the most part in establishing characters that are anything but Jason-fodder.

    3) Other factors such as cinematography, FX, and musical score also come into play when it comes to making the film and its antagonist scary. However, I think if the first two points aren’t met, then these aren’t going to make a difference.

  20. Oh, and I think creating a “backstory” for Jason serves only to make him less scary. The less mysterious a character is, the less scary the character will be to the audience. It seems that the trend these days is for writers to try to explain why the villains in horror movies are the way they are. To me, all this does is make them less scary. I don’t want to be sympathetic toward a character who is supposed to be scary.

    The villains in recent films that I’ve found to be creepy or scary are the ones that we know little about and have little or no understanding of their motives, such as the killers in The Strangers.

  21. what is funney to me I watched Rob Zombies Halloween 2 last night,on blu ray with me girl now she knows how much I love friday the 13th and she was freaked out like 8 times during this movie she jumped like 10 times ,and was like holy shit 6 times..now she saw the 2009 remake of friday the 13th with me in the movies and ob blu ray 2 weeks ago,,and did not budge both times she saw the movie she was not the least bit spooked,no jump factor what so ever n my girl gets spooked kinda easy if Friday the 13th cant make my girl do and thing like that it sucks even Halloween2 MADE ME JUMP 2 TIMES N GO SHIT MIKE IS ON A RAMPAGE and I realy don’t like Mr Zombie that much but he gives movies a big set of BALLS. The people over there in the friday camp need to do something cause ill say it again MICHAEL Myers would give Jason a run 4 his money IN EVERY WAY KILLS,GORE ,IF THIS JASON POPPED IN TO GOOD OLD Haddonfield he would get his ass kicked all over the place by this MICHAEL Myers and it pisses my off ,,TYLER MANE IS NO JOKE I WISH WE GOT HIM FIRST BUT I DO LIKE Derek Mears. HE did a great job in the reboot. ITS NOT HIS FAULT ..and to all who have not seen H2 GO SEE IT it might not be the best but its got BIG BALLS ITS RATED R for the right SHIT THERE IS NO PG 13 KILLS THERE IS NOT THAT MUCH sex it gets to the point and they need to do that with the next FRIDAY THE 13TH movie or just give it to some one who knows what the fuck there doing THANKS AGAIN I LOVE THIS SITE IM A REAL BIG FAN I JUST HATE when something is not done up to par….!!so bring on the big BALLS make this Friday the 13th a real rated R movie to scear and thrill us all I don’t think its that hard AND IM SURE WE WILL ALL weight a bit longer if its gunna be worth it ..oh ya can you send this message to the boys over at PLATINUM DUNES ALA Andrew Form & Brad Fuller and most of the other stuff all the fans on here posted too thanks SHOTZ10!!!!!

  22. I beleive it is because they show to much of Jason in the later movies…in the original four there were point of view shots of the killer stalking…the early and scariest films had Jason creeping around stalking and watching, hiding out in the barn, not showing to much of him till the killing starts..with Jason popping up out of nowhere…part 4 was full of these gags…when Samantha was in the raft in part 4 and Jason bust up through the water with the Music and the ch ch ha ha and the impaling that is still a scary scene…that was the formula of the early films…you know Jason is there, you just dont know when he is going to strike, like when they show scenes of just the black woods when a victim feels like their being watched as oppossed to the scene in the 2009 film with Jason just standing there watching the willa Ford character in the water and on the dock. It is an old Movie formula going back to Jaws…dont show to much of the Monster untill the end!

  23. Agreed! Jason shouldn’t really be shown until the final reel. Too much of him turns him into the cartoon character he has become. It happened back in the early days of horror with Dracula, Frankenstien, The Wolfman. They were all scary back in the day but then they becaome characatures of themselves and started doing films with Abbot and Costello and shit like that. Now the same thing is happening with today’s horror villains. As much and I enjoyed the film, Freddy VS Jason was exactly that. A parody of what these two icon used to be. Bring them back to their roots, follow the formula and you’ll make them scary again. Bring Jason back to the shadows. Combine that with mood and atmosphere and you’ve got a good, scary villain again. Not the anti-hero everyone has come to know.

  24. Whenever you change the character or story in a major way, you risk alienating the fans. This is why the safest and most logical thing to do is make new movies that start Jason as an anti-hero that hold fast to the formula. It sustains the property and generates revenue. Artistic tangents may risk damaging the property, and thus are kept minimal. (Jason Goes to Hell.) Increasing the screen-time of the star will generate a culture of nostalgia, anti-hero worship, and the feel of getting to see a living legend. (Freddy VS Jason, Friday the 13Th 2009) That is why these movies will continue to be made in this style. It works.

  25. please explain to me how taking off the iconic myers mask and replacing it with a tyler mane that is rob zombies image. That is just horrible and no halloween music and a terrible fucking plot with his mom. Michael myers in the comics, that is the michael that needs to be in the movies, he is sadistic and scary. Sorry I\’m a huge jason fan and when I hear praise for H2 I just throw up in my mouth, I agree the bag is so awesome. I just think you can\’t take the mask off, the majority of people don\’t like change. I will say the alterantive mask to the hockey one was amazing, the alternative to the shatner mask was terrible. What is menacing about a 7 foot guy in hobo clothes and looks like the singer of motorhead/rob zombie.

  26. I’ve always been a fan of Friday the 13th classic movies (from 1 to 4, basically). In those films Jason was an evil presence… we never saw him until there was a last survivor girl and then, in those final chases sequences, we saw him clearly.

    That Jason’s “invisibility” is presented too in the underrated Part 5 (A New Beggining)….

    … but then, from Part 6 (Jason Lives) to the last F13 reboot, Jason is more like a “rock star” (I mean, someone we see almost every minute of the film)… and that makes him NO scary at all.

    One of the worst things that has happened to Jason is the machete-thing. That (stupid and not so iconic to me) machete enhances his lately “GIJOE’s-toy’s-action figure’s” look and feel. With that machete he almost look like some kind of pirate with a hock mask…. uuuhhh, what a pity for the once scary as hell Jason we knew in those classic films…

    Want to make him scary again?, GO BACK TO THE BASICS, GO BACK TO THE JASON WE SAW IN PARTS 3 AND 4, HIS AMAZING AND CREEPY LOOK WITH HIS BUTTONED DARK SHIRT (and forget that stupid jacket he is wearing a few films ago!). Ask the film makers to really study the classic films (1 to 4), their scripts, their making… and never show what must be hidden….

    Why not asking Mr. Steve Miner to direct the next Friday movie??, things would go better for Jason…

  27. … and of course, give Jason an axe instead of that stupid and boring machete!!

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