Chris Higgins returns to her old family home after a traumatic incident kept her in fear of coming back. This time she brings along a group of friends for a party getaway. Yet another case of a group who are uninformed of what occurred there the last few years.
We get a brief recap of Part II’s finale before breaking into the title sequence. Oddly enough, the original theme is dropped for a more upbeat track that doesn’t seem to fit the franchise at all. This is just the beginning of the issues with “Friday the 13th Part III.”
First off, the film was shot entirely in 3D, which may have been a compelling decision for its theatrical release, but at home it’s distracting. Throughout we see dozens of shots that were obviously planned to take advantage of the 3D camera. Objects like popcorn, a yoyo and even juggling fruit fly towards the camera in jarring fashion. Some scenes still manage to look great, like Jason sticking his hands towards the viewer.
The worst aspect of Part III has to be the characters. We’ve got the jock, stoner, geek, preppy, motorcycle gang member and the girl next door. Beyond their surfaced personality there is really nothing to grab onto. The film attempts to add more depth to its characters with lover quarrels, but once again it falls flat. Chris might be the most believable within the group of characters, but all believability is quickly thrown out the window as her love interest Rick opens his mouth. His lines are delivered in such a mundane way it’s borderline laughable. The rest of the characters make crucially idiotic decisions as they wander off on their own. Yes, this isn’t anything new for the horror genre, but it’s so unbelievable that it is straight hilarious. Characters will practically say whatever they think. “What’s that?” “Where’s this coming from?”
Now that we got the negativity out of the way, it’s time to praise the one thing going for the film, Jason. Here we finally get to see him don the infamous hockey mask. Once he puts it on you almost see his gravitas grow as the evil consumes him further. It’s one of the most satisfying moments of horror history. It doesn’t stop there as he performs the most gruesome yet creative deaths so far in the franchise. This is where the series really kicks off the outdoing of previous films. The kills are more elongated, mostly due to the 3D gimmick. It still works though, showing the true brutality of Jason’s actions.
While the kills are much more gruesome and creative, the film lacks in dialogue and acting, making true moments cringe. It’s sad to have a movie so lopsided as the negatives outweigh the great components presented. “Friday the 13th Part III” has its promises, but overall is defeated by lack of talent.