Friday the 13th Part IV – Jason’s Curious Behavior

fridayfinalfront_NEWSlasher fans tend to be pretty forgiving of lapses in logic.  We kind of have to be.  Some of my favorite movies have pretty baffling things going on.  These are the moments that detractors of the genre have the hardest time accepting.  I don’t blame them; but if you love slashers enough (especially slashers from the early 80s), you get it.  There’s more to love than just the traditional attributes that make a good movie.

I don’t want to give the impression that I watch these movies condescendingly or with an intent to laugh at them.  I’m not being ironic in any way when I say that I absolutely love Friday the 13th Part IV.  It’s just that when you love a movie long enough in spite of its flaws, sometimes you start to love the flaws just as much.

Having said that, let’s take a look at some of Jason’s curious behavior in Friday IV.  First off, he tends to have a sixth sense for when people are invading the areas surrounding Crystal Lake, so it’s understandable that he doesn’t like it when Rob sets up a tent and various equipment in the woods.  I’m not even exactly sure what these gadgets are.  You’d expect Jason to deal with this in typical mass murderer fashion.  After all, he’s not known for his stunning ability to reason with people.  Instead of butchering Rob’s ass, he breaks his rifle and crumples up his map.  Good luck finding your way home now, sucker!

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It also looks like he took the straw from his juice box

It’s not just when he’s messing with people though.  He displays some questionable tactics even when massacring the partying teens.  Take Tina the twin, for example.  As cool as it is to reach in through the second floor window and throw her on to the parked car, what exactly was Jason doing out there?  How long was he standing out there?  If it was a long time, would he have sat down to rest for a while?  Were his feet dangling while he was sitting?  He must have felt at least a little lucky that no one saw him while he was waiting around.  He would have looked like a pretty inefficient slasher.

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Totally worth the wait

Pretty much the same question can be asked when he killed Sam earlier in the raft.  Was Jason that confident that someone would swim out to the raft at night that he thought he’d wait them out?  I bet he would have felt like quite the asshole if no one came out to swim that night.  A cold, soggy asshole.

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Jason also takes quite the circuitous route to kill Sara.  After all, she’s blow drying her hair down the hall when he crushes Doug’s head in the shower.  There’s no way he didn’t know where she was.  He could have marched right in there and taken care of business, or maybe stalked her a bit upstairs.  Instead, he goes downstairs and waits on the other side of a door he’s pretty sure she’ll try to escape from.  He’s right.  Sara finds Doug’s body and runs right to that door.  Is he a student of human behavior?  I know the kids in the movies are predictable, but not to that level.

After all the obvious Jason-fodder has been dispatched, he turns his attention to Trish, the movie’s final girl.  As she goes to explore the party house, Jason waits down in the basement.  Again, his understanding of human psychology enabled him to predict her path.  At this point, that’s hardly surprising.  Then again, maybe he was just rooting through the basement.  We know there were some dirty movies stashed in the house.

What’s surprising though, is the amount of work Jason is able to do upstairs at this time.  He stashes Tina’s body on the step.  This is the same door she entered in a few minutes before.  Was Jason able to walk past them without being noticed?  It was probably important for him to block the most obvious escape route.  No way someone would consider jumping over it.  He also nailed Jimbo’s body up in another door.  I assume he did this while Trish was inside.  This is usually the kind of thing people notice when they enter a house.

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In the two previous movies, Jason sort of operated out of a home base.  Here, he was more erratic.  I’m not sure how much of this was intentional.  Were they going for more of a “Jason in a ghost haunting the area” vibe?  If so, why intentionally show him hoofing it back to Crystal Lake from the hospital morgue?  The way that Ted’s death scene is edited seems to suggest that Jason can scoot around with unnatural speed.

That said, I’ve watched this movie with plenty of people over the years.  Very rarely do I hear anyone complain about it.  It seems to be only the obsessive fans that even notice it.  I have a feeling that it boils down to Joe Zito wanting a cool feeling roller coaster rather than a logical chain of events.

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17 Responses to Friday the 13th Part IV – Jason’s Curious Behavior

  1. Lol! I remember being terrified of Jason as a kid. I feel like this genre during that period of time was not meant to be “smart” but definitely just creepy, self aware of its craziness and make you jump out of your skin terrified. Jason and Freddy were the all haunting presence that was going to pop out of your closet at night. So these little illogical sequences make it probably more endearing to those that love these kind of movies. Lots of nostalgia associated with it- at least to me. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • drhumpp says:

      I agree. It’s hard to argue when people tell me that these movies are poorly written or illogical. They’re often right, but there are other things that I appreciate from them.

      Someone just reminded of the most extreme example – in The Burning, the killer must have been lying down in a canoe drifting downstream for who knows how long on the off chance that the kids will check it out. They did, of course, and the result is one of the coolest scenes ever in a slasher movie.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Aaron says:

    Jason knew that without any means to extract liquid from his juice box, Rob would eventually become carb-depleted, rendering him tired and cranky and therefore easier to murder. #PlayingTheLongGame

    Liked by 1 person

    • drhumpp says:

      HA! It’s a good plan, too. I’ve tried to drink from those little foil things without a straw before. Damn near impossible.

      Playing the long game worked, too. Rob couldn’t do anything but yell, “He’s killing me!” down in the basement. Did he even try?

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Jay says:

    I love this list. I definitely get what you mean about loving\forgiving a film its flaws. Sometimes you just have to make exceptions. And this was clearly fun for you!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. emmakwall says:

    “It’s just that when you love a movie long enough in spite of its flaws, sometimes you start to love the flaws just as much.” – so true! And all true about slasher fans being forgiving 🙂 horror is a unique genre, the films don’t have to be good….to be good!

    But also nice to say how much you genuinely love Friday the 13th Part IV, I LOVE people standing up and shouting how much they love a movie that can be, er, perhaps “looked down on” by other movies fans 🙂

    I like the way you write in a fun, conversational tone!

    🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • drhumpp says:

      It’s easy to get defensive when someone dislikes something that either means a lot to you or resonates with you in some way.

      Although some slasher movies have legitimate style, they often lack what traditionally makes a movie good.

      It makes me feel good to watch these movies though. I don’t know why I get caught up in caring whether or not people think less of me intellectually for it.

      Thanks for the compliment on my writing! It means a lot. I have so much fun reflecting on these moments, I’m glad some of that shines through.

      Liked by 1 person

      • emmakwall says:

        It definitely shines through! I like it when I read posts from people that have a familiarity about them and a bit of personality. It’s nice to hear a ‘voice’ as you’re reading.

        People who grade how intelligent you are based on what movies you watch are STUPID. Bottom line! I actually hate movie snobbery to the point I’m almost a snob myself – the inverted kind. I love embracing all the dumb things I enjoy and winding people up along the way ha ha.

        You’re CLEARLY very smart and intellectual 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      • drhumpp says:

        The inverted movie snob? There should be a club!

        Smart & intellectual? The pressure is on.

        Like

  5. emmakwall says:

    P.S meant to say this was a funny idea for a post! I may start looking at films in a different way 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  6. That was a fun post indeed. It also makes you realize that a lot of slashers seem to have more than a little foresight when it comes to their intended victims. lol

    Liked by 1 person

  7. markmc2012 says:

    I watch 1-3, 6 and 8 fairly often and the rest not so much unless I get all fired up and watch them all in a row. That last part hasn’t happened in some years.

    Liked by 1 person

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