"more, More, MORE!" are the words that I found myself screaming at the conclusion of Womp Stomp Films', "Never Hike in the Snow". For those who are unaware, this film is the sequel to their Friday the 13th adaptation, "Never Hike Alone". These are branching films. This is not a term I use loosely. A branching film are films that I consider (in my mind) canon to the original franchise, even though its expressly stated that it is not associated with New Line Cinema's Friday the 13th franchise. I only use that term when I feel that it is done so well that it deserves to be placed with the rest. I recall having that feeling about Smallville. I recall have that feeling about Gotham. And even another branching title, Krueger, done by Chris Notarile.
I'm not sure exactly how much time has elapsed from the NHA (Never Hike Alone) and Snow (Never Hike in the Snow). But it's obviously pretty close together as Tommy Jarvis is still shaken and hunting Jason. Thom Matthews returns for this film to confront our most violent goalie.
This movie raises the stakes. There are some things I want to point out that will make this film worth watching.
1. BIRTHDAY (Almost): This movie was released a day before my birthday, its a shame that like NHA, I wasn't aware it existed. I am glad that I was able to watch this as the producers of Womp Stomp Films' directed me to this stellar project.
2. KI-KI-KI, MA-MA-MA: I love telling this story. For years, I thought Jason was making the sounds, CH-CH-CH, HA-HA-HA (I know you're laughing at my ignorance). But, as it turned out, based on a documentary I watched some years ago, that famous sound is just Jason repeating what he heard his mother say out loud, which was conjured in her head.
In the first Friday the 13th, She would occasionally say, "Killer her Mommy". This is what you heard in her head and she was motivated by this command. Jason, being not very bright and mentally deformed, would confuse the phrase as "Ki-Ki-Ki, Ma-Ma-Ma." The producers of the film would have those words reverberating to let us know Jason was present and that is what he was motivated by. If we really think about it, Jason was being an obedient child. In a weird sort of way.
Where were we? Oh yeah, my point. This film, in my opinion, has the most deadliest and creative kills in the entire universe of the Friday... franchise. There's an opening kill and a final kill. Both are bloody and executed really well. I am not trying to be nice about it. It looks like some Hollywood style death scenes. And I've seen Jason split a guy in half, crush a guy's skull, these kills are the deadliest.
3. JASON'S DELUSION OF GRANDEUR: Ever heard of the term, a face only a mother could love? Well, Jason has it. There were a point in the film where his mom is heard telling him how cute he looked. I'm thinking to myself, "Are we seeing the same kid?" Yes, there's a dream sequence where Jason sees himself as being younger and this production crew nails that face. Kid nor adult Jason is not an easy look to pull off. It takes some serious skill for the makeup artists to get it right. They nailed it!
4. THE ARCHETYPE: Tommy Jarvis plays several archetypes in the film:
- The old crazy guy who knows all the towns secrets and no one listens to.
- The guy blamed for all the murders while the real killer walks free.
- The erratic hero who does suspicious things making people think he's the killer, without trying to explain his position. Think, Orville Ketchum.
5. THE AWARD FOR THE DUMBEST CITIZENS GOES TO...: Yes, Wessex County's citizens, especially its law enforcement are not the brightest. They are well aware Jason has been killing off people for years, and they are never brought to the logical conclusion that he's still killing until it's too late. I don't fault the writing on this one. This is something that happens in every Friday the 13th. I would think mass hysteria about the Voorhees boy should be running rampant in that area.
6. SMOOTH CRIMINAL: One of the things about Jason that he really didn't try to hide his crimes. But in this film, Jason was pretty crafty. He his his crimes well. He destroyed evidence. Why? I have no idea. Who's going to stop him? But the fact that the producers added this caveat in there made Jason a little more interesting.
7. TELEPORTATION (I think?): I believe there was a teleportation scene. At least, it could have been. There was a portion in the film where an officer had his weapon drawn on Jason. The lights went out and once they came back on, Jason was nowhere to be found in the room. Was it teleportation? I don't know. But I would like to see it someday.
8. JASON IN THE SNOW: I guess Jason in the snow is not half bad. I always thought that would harm the environment that allows him to stealthily move around. For starters, his clothing is built for the woods. He would stand out like a sore thumb in the pearly white snow. Yet, the producers made it work. I stand corrected. Kind of...
9. KILLING MACHINE: One of the things many fan films do with our favorite killers is they rely on their favorite weaponry too much. We know Jason loves the machete, but this film didn't rely on it. In fact, Jason didn't use it. I think that's the mark of a good filmmaker when they aren't reliant on a well known prop to tell a story. Can you believe it? Jason with no machete in this film? Pretty epic!
My biggest issue with the project is that it was a cliffhanger. I love and I hate them at the same time. I wanted to see the battle between Tommy and Jason. We know it’s inevitable. It’s only a matter of time. Being a magician, a rule of all show Business is to keep them wanting more. Well, I totally want more.
is it worth seeing? Yes!
I want them to drop the next installment now. The acting is good. They stepped their gore game up. And the story is unique and exciting. This is universe building. I’m ready for it all. Good job guys.