New Line Cinema took over the FRIDAY THE 13th franchise with JASON GOES TO HELL. This was part of their overall plan to eventually bring two of the titans of horror: Jason Voorhees and Freddy Krueger together in one film.
It was met with great optimism that “The House that Freddy built” (aka New Line), which generally had great success with horror, would give the series a much needed kick in the butt and really give fans what they wanted.
Unfortunately that wasn’t to be. What we got was this very confused and ultimately unsatisfying entry into the series. I give JASON GOES TO HELL credit as being the most heavily plotted of the entire series (almost of all of them combined), but the plot is so muddled and convoluted that it’s a real head-scratcher. To make matters worse Jason is barely in the film.
The plot as I understand it, is that after seeing Jason blown to smithereens in the opening sequence, we discover that the “masked one” is akin to an immortal demon and his soul/essence/??? can occupy other bodies. He can ultimately be reborn (evidently dressed in the exact same clothes he was blown up in), but only through the body of a Voorhees.
Conveniently, Jason has a sister (Huh?), who conveniently has a daughter and grandchild. So ala 1987’s THE HIDDEN, a Jason wormy-thing can take over people and then be transferred by some deep French-kissing to another body until he can complete his mission.
It’s not as crazy as it sounds and might have been a workable premise had the filmmakers taken a little more care in the film’s execution. The story is filled with so many contrivances and holes that it just gets tedious after awhile and for a movie that revels in some extreme nastiness; there are scenes that feel like they’re from a 80’s teen comedy.
Like the poster image, JASON GOES TO HELL is a “hot mess.”