Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan was such a letdown after the solid Part VII which I felt gave them a solid foundation to build upon. This movie is almost like a parody of everything that makes the Friday the 13th series so much fun. The idea of Jason going on a killing spree in New York is fun, but when the trailers and ads are more entertaining than the actual movie, you know you are in trouble.
How to Download Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan
Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan was released on July 28, 1989. You can download or stream the film from a digital platform. Click on the Download button at the end of this review and make your choice.
Over the years that I have been a Friday the 13th fan, the stuff behind the scenes is just as interesting to read about as the actual movies. A few different scripts were floating around, one of which was written by the actress who played Tina from the last movie that sounds awesome!
Disappointment with the Main Character Change
That brings me to the first thing I dislike about Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan, there is no Tina! I felt like they set the stage for Tina to be the new nemesis of Jason now that Tommy was out of the picture. Even though this takes place after Part VII, there is no Tina here and that sucks. As good as Lar Park Lincoln was as Tina, I would have taken a recasting to keep that story going, hell we had multiple Tommy Jarvis’s!
Critique of Film’s Setting and Tone
I will say the way that Jason gets shocked back to life is kind of funny. Our main girl this time is a young woman called Rennie. Rennie along with some of her graduating classmates and a couple of faculty members are taking a boat trip to New York City and they have a machete-wielding maniac as a stowaway. The idea that Jason has stowed away on a boat is hilarious.
Final Thoughts on the Film
That brings me to another point about this movie and that is about ¾ of the movie takes place on the boat and not in New York! The whole point of this movie felt like it was about Jason going on a rampage in New York and we never get to see that as much as I am sure we would have all liked to.
It also feels like the tone is a little off here. It was like they wanted to make it funnier, but did not want to lean all the way into it. Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan does have a scene I love where amateur boxer, Julius tries to go toe to toe with Jason like it is a boxing match, only for Jason to knock his head off with one punch! That is the best scene in the movie by a mile for me.
They do have some good ideas, but they are never fully realized. Like Jason, Rennie has a fear of water and she has these visions of a young Jason. This never goes anywhere and I feel like this was a real missed opportunity to dive into this more as I wanted to know what the deal with this was.
While Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan is not my least favorite movie in the series, it is probably second from bottom. The fact it fails to build upon what Part VII started and also the fact that it is not sure if it wants to be funny or not make it one of the more boring movies in the series, apart from that dude getting his head punched off, that is awesome!
- Kane Hodder once again looks imposing as Jason
- Rennie did have the potential to be an interesting character
- Jason and Julius boxing is hilarious
- Hardly any of the movie takes place in New York!
- It sucks that the movie did not continue the story of Tina
- The tone of the movie is very weird