Slasher Sequel Review: “Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan” (1989)


Yesterday I watched Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan for the first time. I have seen all previous installments of the Friday the 13th franchise. For this eighth entry I had very low expectations. Mainly because of the really bad things I’ve heard about it.

Well I’ve seen it and its definitely not the worst installment of the franchise. I was surprised by how engaged I was throughout watching this sequel. The characters were out there. Some were really likeable and fun while others were simply awful and atrocious. The acting was alright, some of the actors stood out while others fell flat. I liked Jensen Daggett as Rennie, a very down to earth and refreshing final girl in my opinion. Kane Hodder was once again AMAZING as Jason Voorhees. The opening sequence was fantastic and while most part of the film takes place on a boat, I still enjoyed it for what it was. The death scenes were good not great, some of the make-up effects looked very cheap and plain bad. It took a long time for them to actually get to Manhattan, and when they did we only get to see like 10 minutes of footage… That was pretty disappointing. The directing was pretty solid however, especially the scene in Times Square. I still think this movie has lots of problems. Mainly the script, editing and pacing could’ve been much better. The story was nothing special, some of the aspects were interesting however. The soundtrack is fun and the final act is great.

Definitely not one of my favorite installments of the Friday the 13th franchise, but also not one that deserves all the hate its getting. In my opinion Part III is still the worst of the franchise. Jason Takes Manhattan is cheesy and over the top and filled with some hilariously bad one-liners, but its worth watching for the deaths, the amazing Kane Hodder and New York alone.

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–Ferdi Akkulak