ON SPEC: Outlining The Next FRIDAY THE 13TH Film

This may be Chris' masterpiece.

1. Crystal Lake Memories

When I was eight-years-old, my former-80s-metal-head mother sat me down to watch Friday the 13th Part 3. It’s the one where Jason first gets the hockey mask. It was also released in 3-D. It’s also considered one of the more gruesome entries into the series. It’s also one of my favourite movies of all time.

When I say my Mom is into horror movies, I mean my mom is a serious fan. She’s the mom who would go all-out with the decorations every Halloween—purposely trying to give the neighborhood kids a good scare.

She introduced me to Nightmare on Elm Street, Evil Dead, Halloween and Scream. When Freddy vs. Jason came out, she bought tickets ahead of time and we went to see it on opening night.

For one of my birthdays (which happens to be the day after Halloween), she got me and my friends a bunch of tickets to see the Texas Chainsaw Massacre remake—although we had to cancel when she received numerous complaints from other kids’ parents.

Friday the 13th Part 3 scared the piss out of eight-year-old me. But as time went on, I grew to see the humor and outright fun of the Friday series.

There are many wonderful horror franchises, but for me, Friday the 13th has always stood head and shoulders above them all.

Maybe it’s the sentimental value. But I think there’s another, obvious reason.

2. Jason Voorhees

Let’s get something straight. Jason Voorhees is an excellent character. It doesn’t matter if he’s undead, fighting a girl with telekinesis, not in most of the movie or in fucking space—when he’s on screen; you’re having a fun time.

Like The Roadrunner or Mad Max, wherever Jason goes, calamity and drama ensues. When a frat-boy camp counselor stumbles into the woods at night, and you know Jason is out there, there’s a wonderful feeling of tension, anticipation and nervous excitement.

There are of course differences for the fandom to squabble over from film to film and actor to actor (James Bond, anyone?). But on the whole, the character is iron clad.

You know what to expect from Jason, and yet you’re never quite sure what he’s going to do. He’s the most fun slasher of all time. Yes, more than Freddy Krueger.

While Freddy grows to be flatly cartoonish in the later films (Freddy’s Dead is flat out embarrassing and a borderline straight comedy) Jason is consistent—menacing, brutal, terrifying, and still fun.

And at the present moment, he’s sorta gone. Jason Voorhees is a cinematic icon, locked in movie purgatory.

Imagine not having a new Bond or Batman film to look forward to. Knowing there’s no new Jason on the horizon feels very sad.

Most frustrating of all? There are twelve films in the Friday franchise. Meaning that we’re all waiting on the thirteenth.

3. The hockey mask

The iconography of the hockey mask is powerful and wonderful. It’s a simple item that represents everything the franchise is about; the unknown, the other, violence and a big, colloquial wink at the audience. When you see that mask, you don’t think of hockey. You think Jason, and perhaps more significantly, horror movies in general.

Think about that for a second. How many other horror icons transcend the fan base to create iconography that impacts pop-culture so significantly?  

Like the lightsaber to Sci-Fi, the hockey mask represents an entire movie genre. I think this makes it all the more tragic that we don’t really have a new Friday movie on the horizon.

Its absence almost makes it feel like these kind of horror movies are fading from public consciousness. And what we’re left with are repetitive haunted house flicks, torture porn, and shark inspired b-movies.

It’s time that a new generation was introduced to that damn mask.

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4. Maybe we could have a good one?

The last twenty years have not been kind to Jason.

First, he went to space. That happened. Then, after a decade-long wait, we lost Kane Hodder and got a sub-par Freddy vs. Jason film. Then the 2009 remake which…meh?

There have been rumblings, of course, of a new film (although at the time publishing, a new film doesn’t appear to be on Paramount’s release schedule), and even a new TV show (which would have been developed by The CW before they ultimately passed). But let’s be honest, the most new Friday the 13th we’ve got since 2009 is an unfinished (if inspired and fun) video game.

The Friday films have never been well reviewed. They’re universally loathed by critics, but that doesn’t mean they’re not enjoyable, or that they’re missed.

So let your mind wander, for a moment, and ask yourself, “What if a new Friday the 13th movie was coming out?” And, “What if it was actually going to be good?”

SOME CRITERIA FOR THE NEXT FRIDAY THE 13th MOVIE.

1. You don’t need an origin.

I would continue where the ‘09 remake left off (just to avoid the unnecessary stigma of yet another reboot), and then proceed to salute the entire franchise.

Both the seemingly abandoned TV series and new film apparently wanted to focus a lot on Jason’s origin (perhaps because they had no other ideas).

I would submit this isn’t really necessary. You can touch on Jason’s origin briefly, but like Bond and Batman, it’s best to get that stuff out of the way so you can let the story happen.

2. Chapters. And time jumps.

Perhaps one of the more drool-worthy teases to ever happen to the franchise was when Quentin Tarantino was offered to direct a Friday movie, way back in 2005.

Obviously, QT was never going to direct a Friday the 13th. But you’ve got to think, what if?

To that wish fulfillment, my version would be broken up into distinct chapters. And maybe even introduce an air of “the cinema of cool” into the franchise.

This would also allow us to play with a few different tones; almost like an anthology, and salute different periods of the character and the franchise.

3. Jasons.

I would have three separate actors playing Jason.

Derek Mears as a nimble, younger Jason.

Kane Hodder as a pissed off, uber-violent, war-machine Jason.

And Jonathan Banks as an older, slow, deliberate and creeping Jason. (Seriously watch how Mike Ehrmantraut moves in Breaking Bad—and then just imagine him with a hockey mask on.)

It would also be fun to have the Jason actors play other characters when they’re not playing Jason. So maybe Banks plays a small town Sheriff, Mears plays a guidance counselor, Hodder reprises his role as a SWAT officer etc.

Okay, enough build up, let’s get into it.

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Chapter I

We pick up right where the ‘09 remake left off. Same cabin. The bodies are all still fresh, and right where we left them at the end of the last film. Clay (Jared Padalecki) and Whitney (Amanda Righetti), our survivors from the previous film, are gone.

It’s daybreak, the next morning. The local sheriff's department is setting up a perimeter around the property—it's a crime scene investigation. It’s only a handful of small-town officers; the FBI hasn’t shown up yet.

Jason, for now, is nowhere to be seen.

Rookie cop, SARAH JARVIS and A PARTNER investigate the scene. Their fellow officers go missing one by one—falling out of radio contact. Sarah and her partner split up to investigate—but then Sarah starts finding the bodies of their butchered coworkers.

Sarah finds her partner in the tool shed—she arrives just in time to see JASON use a table saw (remember how in the 2009 movie they establish there’s a table saw in the giant, elaborate tool shed and then NEVER USE IT?) to saw her partner’s head in half.

This is the same kind of Jason we saw in the 2009 flick—the Derek Mears Jason. He’s fast, agile and cunning. Sarah makes a break for it through the cabin, Jason follows. She pulls the axe out of the back of the dead guy in the hot tub (‘memba the guy who gets the axe in the back in 2009 flick?).

Jason takes what seems like fatal run at Sarah. But then, THWACK! Sarah digs the axe through Jason’s mask, and into his skull.

He goes down.

Sarah screams.

The title card comes up: FRIDAY THE 13TH: PART 2

Chapter II

The FBI finally arrives. When they do, Sarah is wrapped in a blanket. Jason goes out on a stretcher.

Back in the hospital, a few frat-boy paramedics wheel Jason's “body” in, with the axe still well wedged in his skull. They're met by THE CORONER; a chauvinistic asshole who makes passes at his female intern.

He mocks Jason’s deformities, and as soon as he’s alone in his office, fires up some porn on his smartphone.

We can see where this is going, right?

BOOM Jason sits straight up off the stretcher—the axe STILL in his head. Jason yanks the axe out of his own skull and butchers The Coroner.

This is a different kind of Jason. The Kane Hodder Jason. Panting, deliberate, brutal and pissed.

Jason looms the halls of the hospital, offing the cast of hospital staff we were just introduced to in most unpleasant ways. If you’re picturing Jason crashing in on the cast of Grey's Anatomy, so am I.

One PARAMEDIC walks down a hallway listening to an iPod. We can see, around the corner, Jason waits, bleeding from his head and holding the axe. (I imagine this is super long shot. Like 20 seconds. Where we just watch this paramedic walk down the hall while Jason waits patiently). When The Paramedic turns the corner, Jason takes an axe to him.

Outside in the ambulance garage, Jason beats the last paramedic to death with a stretcher (because irony) and escapes.

Chapter III

13 YEARS LATER…

TOMMY JARVIS arrives at Forest Green Home for Wayward Youth; a halfway house in the woods for kids fresh out of Juvenile Hall. Tommy has had a rough go since his mom, Sarah, suffered PTSD at the hands of Jason.

In a way, Jason took his mother away, the way Alice took Pamela away from Jason.

Jason is also something of an urban myth. Since he escaped, the FBI buried any evidence of his existence. But things have been quite. No murders.

Tommy meets his housemates, who include a variety of troubled kids. Most of which have just got out of juvenile detention. One girl, GINNY, is into the the occult and witchcraft. Her parents sent her away after she killed her family cat during a ritual she read about on the internet.

Tommy himself was a violent offender, he beat a kid nearly to death before getting sent to Juvenile Hall. He’s also plagued by terrible nightmares, where he imagines his mother, Sarah, telling him to kill his new housemates.

During a hike, Tommy, Ginny, and two other housemates stumble onto JASON’S CABIN. They investigate, because it's a horror movie.

Jason is nowhere to be seen. And the group concludes that even if Jason was real, he’d probably be dead by now. But one housemate finds JASON’S MASK and of course, jump scares the group with it.

In a bookshelf, Ginny finds something else. A book inked in blood, and bound in human flesh.

That night, Ginny sits on her bed and flips through the pages of the book. Tommy is plagued by more nightmares. And in the morning, the housemate who found Jason’s mask turns up butchered.

The counselors call the local sheriff's department, who put the house on surveillance.

The murders don’t stop. We get the classic first-person view watching the victims, and reveals of the remains as they’re discovered by the housemates.

As the counselors and police officers are picked off one-by-one, the house devolves into a whodunnit with most of the fingers pointed at Tommy—with Ginny being the only hold out.

Because it’s a halfway house, the residents aren’t allowed cellphones, and the landline has been cut. So the only option is to sit tight and wait for the cops.

Things come to a head between the group just as THE POWER GOES OUT.

One housemate opens the front door to go investigate the fuse box and BOOM gets a machete to the head from JASON.

Chapter IV

13 years ago, we see Jason stumble through the woods after escaping the hospital. He’s still got an axe wound to the head, after all.

He takes his mask off in his cabin, and places it next his old shrine to his mother, Pamela.

Emotionless as always, Jason walks out onto a dock, tumbles into the lake, and sinks to the bottom.

13 years later, the kids stumble onto Jason’s cabin. They find the mask, and the book.

Ginny doesn’t just flip through the pages of the book that night. She reads from them. And as she says the words, bubbles begin to rise out of Crystal Lake, until finally, BAM! Jason rises from his watery grave and walks ashore.

This is the Jonathan Banks Jason. Haunting, deliberate and cloaked in shadow.

All the murders are fully revealed to us in gory detail. We follow Jason as he alludes detection from the squabbling housemates.

We catch up to Jason putting the machete through the unlucky housemate’s head. He pulls it out as walks through the door. Tommy and Ginny run up stairs and barricade themselves in Ginny’s room.

Ginny is convinced she brought Jason back with the book. Tommy isn’t sold. They don’t have time to debate. Ginny grabs the book and they jump through Ginny’s bedroom window just as Jason CRASHES THROUGH THE DOOR.

Ginny and Tommy fall two stories and hit the ground.

Chapter V

On the ground, Ginny comes to just in time to see Jason slink away into the darkness from her bedroom window. Ginny gets Tommy on his feet, and the two run into the woods with Jason in pursuit. The two find an woodshed, and bunker down.

Tommy finds an old chainsaw and begins to gas it up. Ginny explains that the only way to kill Jason for good will be with the book. Tommy’s pretty sure the chainsaw will do it.

Jason bursts in and Tommy fights him off with the chainsaw long enough for Ginny to get away with the book. Tommy gets knocked out, and Jason is about to finish him off when Ginny begins reading from the book. It physically torments Jason, who drops his machete.

Tommy grabs the machete and drive it into the side of Jason’s head, who hits the floor.

Ginny and Tommy breath a sigh of relief, until they see Jason rise to his feet and pull the machete out of his head.

The two make a break for it again and climb into a canoe, frantically paddling into the lake. Jason walks into the lake after them.

Jason bursts out of the water and tries to drag Tommy down with him. In the fray, Tommy pulls off Jason’s mask, revealing his rotted face. Ginny finds the right passage in the book, and chains emerge from the water to pull Jason back down.

Daybreak. Tommy and Ginny float down a river together in the canoe. It’s peaceful until JASON POPS OUT OF THE WATER and pulls Ginny down.

Tommy awakens the next morning to find himself alone in the canoe, washed ashore. No sign of Ginny. Was that a dream?

Paramedics and police are on the scene. Tommy, wrapped in a blanket in the back of an ambulance, stares at Jason’s mask.

Over Tommy’s shoulder creeps FREDDY KRUGER’S GLOVE attached to the red-and-black striped sweatered arm. We SLAM TO BLACK and get the classic FREDDY LAUGH before the credits roll.
 

Chris D'Alessandro is a screenwriter from Toronto, Canada who likes movies and arguing with people. He also has more cover-up tattoos than he'd care to admit.