In the mid-late 90’s, many of the horror franchises which had ruled the roost and then withered into blandness a decade before reinvented themselves with whole new angles, and for the most part they worked. “New Nightmare”, “Halloween: H20” and “Bride of Chucky” all proved the best entries of their respective franchises in many years (thanks to either high concepts or a good mix of black humour) and fine films in their own right.
At the start of this century though the slasher genre is in a slump again – countless teen horror/drama films with some star from The WB have rendered it dead and useless. Can “Jason X” kickstart another resurgence – sadly no. Admittedly the creators have taken a little bit of a chance and shifted things from Camp Crystal to the far future in deep space – sadly the locale does nothing to hide a horribly tacked together story & script lacking in both scares and laughs.
Lots of attempts at humour just fall flat or seem silly to the extreme though one or two bring a smirk (look out for a surprisingly funny nipple gag), whilst the scares are almost non-existent. The cast tries their best with the material but the whole self-referential “Scream” style humour has gotten old to the point of grating, whilst the low production values and mediocre directing make the setting feel astonishingly cheap.
Lisa Ryder comes out best as a naive android turned ass kicker, and there’s a hilarious sequence in which Jason returns to Campy Crystal via a hologram and proceeds to have fun with two campers, but one decent character and one scene aren’t enough to save an otherwise dud of a film which belongs toward the bottom of the franchise (I personally like 1, 3, 6 & 7 myself) but at least is better than the last two.