Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Reshaping, Part Two

Yesterday I decided that "Friday The Thirteenth Part 8: Jason Takes Manhattan" would be stronger if the film took place mostly in the dark, isolated places in the five boroughs of New York that I feel sure must exist. Hell, who overlooked the novelty of Jason stalking teens in Central Park? The point is, if that never would have worked, that you need to work hard to keep Jason in his comfort zone even as you put him someplace new.

The general thrust of the plot is something a little different. Most of the films in the series would benefit from roughly the same notes as I shall be giving here. So we have a group of sight-seeing high school seniors in New York. Let's say that some kind of incident- something comical, like an inability to read a map, or something more serious like a health emergency - gets them good and lost, and maybe the same  kind of thing that actually gets Jason to New York still does in this version.

The core characters are mostly valid. I would shy away from "topical gimmick" characters, but mostly the characters are valid. Rennie, the traumatized sensitive soul and Sean, the son of a sailor are basically fine, although I surely would recast. McCulloch, the overbearing principal is fine, although I would recast and omit his absurd status as Rennie's legal guardian. Julius, Tamara, JJ and Wayne are basically fine. You could throw Eva in there, just so we could could give her a real character arc this time instead of her being an Asian-American token.

You have a screwball comedy style romance between Rennie and Sean- the artist and the military brat (as we're making his dad a real Navy officer instead of a "cruise ship admiral"). You have McCulloch, motivated by the reasonable goal of getting everyone back home safely, but employing extreme, desperate measures. You have Wayne wanting Tamara and JJ wanting Wayne. Wayne obviously needs to not be a pathetic piece of shit. You have the brash, athletic Julius trolling for local women, but maybe realizing what's right there in Eva after an ill-fated fling with the flashier Tamara (who can remain a villain among the victims).

The whole thing ought to be playing out as the group tries, Warriors-style, to get back home. Initially it's just about restoring the itinerary of an expensive, once in a lifetime trip, but quickly becomes about survival when Jason enters the picture. Why not have the trauma that drives Rennie be that she's had some kind of encounter with him before, either firsthand or through someone she cares about who was murdered by Jason? God knows the series has done that before, and I wouldn't be above doing it again if it was better than the alternatives.

No comments:

Post a Comment

What say you, netizen?