Nick Antosca’s shelved 'Friday the 13th 3D' script: A Review

By Jesse Miller
MoreHorror.com

It’s been eight years since we’ve seen Jason Voorhees on the big screen in Platinum Dunes’ 2009 effort, simply titled Friday the 13th, and though production was set to go ahead in 2017 for a new sequel, the trip back to Camp Crystal Lake has been delayed.

Recently writer Nick Antosca (Hannibal) sent out a link to a draft of his approach to the franchise, titled Friday the 13th 3D, and I’m just going to come out now and in all honestly write that this could’ve been the best entry in the franchise since, hell, I’m going to say the first film.

Antosca’s Friday the 13th 3D takes place in 1988, eight years after the first film came out, at the new Camp Crystal Lake, established on the other side of the lake far away from the original site where Missus Voorhees got up to some nasty stuff.

What’s immediately noticeable about Antosca’s script is that the camp counsellors we’re going to follow through hell shortly are given dimension. They’ve got personalities, agendas, hopes, and desires, things that were often missing or underdeveloped in the films. I mean, they were slasher films after all, built for the shock and titillation of murder and sex.

But the surprising thing for this script is that it’s risky. For the first thirty pages or so, tension is still being built. Jason is largely off screen stalking. The kids are the focus, they’re developed as they interact with each other – there’s jealousy and young love and yes, sex and nudity.

Antosca’s writing is terrific here. Not only is the script written in such an engaging way that’s hard to put down but he understands tension. He’s not nudging us because we both know we’re in a Friday the 13th film, he’s just making events as terrifying and entertaining as he can.

The set pieces in this script have some great potential to be the stuff of nightmares. From the abandoned campsite, to the twisting forest, to the execution of the murders themselves. For the first time in a long time, the franchise feels reinvigorated and exciting, not by-the-numbers or bland.

I found myself constantly surprised by the outcome of the story, of who would die or die next? And when I was hoping for a character’s screen time (Not Jason’s), it hit me. Was I really this invested in a Friday the 13th film? By George, I was!

So not only does Friday the 13th 3D go for nostalgia, featuring the sights and sounds of the 80’s, it builds tension and character and takes the mythology to a place that’s exciting and energetic and fresh.

It’s a damn shame this was shelved. This would’ve been something special with the right crew and care. This could’ve been the film that would’ve been worth the wait.

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