Review By Paul Mount, 3.5 out of 5

In space, no-one can hear you?r, get hacked to bits by a resuscitated cryogenically-suspended unstoppable serial killer. No, doesn? have quite the same ring, does it? We?l have to make do with Evil gets an Upgrade , the tagline for JASON X, the latest in the long-running FRIDAY THE THIRTEENTH series. Now I? not familiar with the misadventures of Mr Jason Vorhees so you?l have to bear with me a bit. For me, JASON X is just a sci-fi shocker about a monster running loose on a spaceship and any FRIDAY THE THIRTEENTH baggage is entirely lost on me. Which is probably just as well because I? able to approach this little movie and judge it on its own merits without any worries about how it fits into the continuity of the past. Then again, do fans of this kind of slasher movie really give a damn about continuity? Who knows?

It? early in the twenty-first century. Jason Vorhees is on a rampage until he? finally trapped in a cryogenic chamber. His final act of defiance is to slice through the chamber door and puncture Rowan (ANDROMEDA? Lexa Doig), his erstwhile captor. Cryogenic gas seeps from the chamber and both Jason and Rowan are plunged into a centuries-long sleep. A passing spaceship happens upon them and takes them on board. It? 400 years later and nanotechnology heals Rowan? wounds. But it? not long before Jason is thawing out too and embarking on a traditional carnival of blood-letting and the numbers of the ship? crew are falling faster than the sales figures of the latest Pop Idol single.

I really enjoyed JASON X and I? really not sure why. Maybe it? because I watched it on a sleepy Sunday morning, maybe it? because it? a genre I don? frequentUr maybe because it? a genuinely well-made, wittily-scripted little SF horror thriller. There? no real subtlety here, the acting (from a cast of relative unknowns) is enthusiastic if unexceptional; but the effects are pretty spectacular, the script casts a few knowing winks in the direction of its audience and there? always mileage in the ?elpless-victims-trapped-in-an-isolated-place?scenario. Vorhees?killing spree is edge-of-the-seat stuff, even though many of the deaths are of the predictable neck-snapping, back-breaking or decapitating variety. But the setting is claustrophobic and well-realised and the climax, with the few survivors desperate to board a passing rescue ship and under attack by a renovated UberJason (as he? referred to in the cast list) is a real nail-biter. There? even a dandy little teaser hinting at yet another sequel. I wouldn? say I enjoyed JASON X enough to track down the previous nine films in the series but it held my attention as a space horror film in its own right and is probably worth ninety minutes of your time.

THE DISC: Crisp, clean transfer and a nice raft of extras from the bog standard ?aking of?feature to a half-hour ?istory of Jason?documentary which filled in a lot of blanks in my Jason knowledge. Trailers and a commentary fill up a well-rounded package.

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