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A few weeks back, TribecaFilm.com introduced readers to Until Dawn, the new video game that's also an interactive slasher movie. The fates of several sex-crazed, potentially filleted characters are in the player's hands—if the user makes the wrong moves, Until Dawn's masked homicidal maniac kills the characters in elaborately gory ways. An obvious touchstone influence for the game is the Friday the 13th franchise, which has followed the hockey-masked and machete-wielding Jason Voorhees' efforts in ridding the world of camp counselors and self-centered (and poorly written) adults over 11 gruesome movies (and one crappy remake).
Earlier this week, though, Until Dawn’s reign as the coolest horror game of the year was seriously challenged. And by whom? None other than Jason Voorhees himself.
A new Kickstarter campaign has been launched for Friday the 13th: The Game, a multiplayer and open-world experience that'll give one player the chance to become Jason and seven others the opportunity to be the counselors evading his slaughter.
It's the ultimate fantasy for slasher movie fanatics who've spent a questionable amount of hours re-watching that sleeping bag kill, or the time Jason sent that wheelchair-bound guy down a seemingly endless flight of stairs, or when Kevin Bacon's neck oozed blood, or that nasty homage to (or rip-off of?) Mario Bava's A Bay of Blood. Now those Friday the 13th lovers will be able to (legally) carry out Jason's massacres firsthand.
Those same fans will also be happy that their favorite undead serial killer’s video game legacy may finally be saved. Friday the 13th: The Game, if it's fully funded, won't be Jason’s first time terrorizing a console. Back in 1989, Nintendo released the survival horror title Friday the 13th, and it's easily one of the worst video games ever made. It makes the terrible NES Jaws game look like Warcraft in the Ocean. Aside from being brutally dull, Nintendo’s Friday the 13th pointlessly features bats, zombies, and werewolves in addition to Mr. Voorhees. Players unenthusiastically walk inside Camp Crystal Lake’s bunks and, if they're lucky, run into Jason in order to stop the boredom, and then Jason, wearing a purple jumpsuit and a ridiculous aqua blue mask, bounces up and down like he’s hopped up on speed and trapped inside a much more exciting video game.
Great news: This new Friday the 13th game, thankfully, is already a marked improvement on that Nintendo disaster. As you can see in the above trailer, its graphics look excellent, and Jason himself is appropriately hulking and, frankly, scary as hell.
More importantly, co-creators and designers Wes Keltner and Ronnie Hobbs have legitimized the game in all the right ways. Sean S. Cunningham, who directed the original Friday the 13th, personally offered them the franchise's video game license and is fully on-board; visual effects legend Tom Savini, the mastermind responsible for conceiving Jason's sickest carnage, will oversee the game's murder sequences; Jason's movements will be executed via motion-capture technology and performed by Kane Hodder, who wore the hockey mask in four Friday the 13th sequels; and, lastly, the first movie's composer, Harry Manfredini, has agreed to lend authenticity to the game’s music.
Even if you're not a slasher fan but just appreciate horror, we highly recommend that you contribute to Friday the 13th: The Game's Kickstarter before its November 13 deadline. Keltner and Hobbs need the cash to ensure Jason's latest game-specific killing spree is as hard-R-rated as his movie sprees. If anything, do it because it's the Halloween season, but the better reason is simple: Jason, one of cinema's greatest badasses, deserves so much better than something as wimpy as this: