A bad Friday the 13th film, but not a bad possession film. This entry makes no effort to pick up where part eight left off, instead Jason opens the film alive and chopping. But government agents are waiting and, in a hyperbolic sequence, blow him to pieces.
But Jason lives on by possessing various other bodies. He transfers his consciousness by vomiting a cucumber-thick black worm into his next host. His goal being to possess someone within his own bloodline so he can be reborn.
This film introduces a lot of backstory. We learn Jason has a sister. We also learn a grieving Pamela Voorhees may have become interested in the occult and used dark magic to revive her son. I liked this idea. It resolves some of the series’s early timeline ambiguity and better explains Pamela’s actions in part one and Jason’s undead status. But such details are best left to fan-fiction. Jason’s scarier when we don’t understand. When things aren’t nice and tidy.
On a brighter note, this entry features one of the series’s best kills. In one of only two woodland sequences, a Jason-possessed character impales a teen mid-coitus then jerks the spear up, splitting her torso in two like the T-1000 in Terminator 2. Never mind the inanity of the Jason-possessed individual trekking miles just to kill these random kids. Unless that’s part of the dark magic curse that fuels him… but I digress.
I never feel the urge to revisit this entry. When I’m in the mood for a Friday the 13th film, this won’t quench that jones. It’s not a woodland slasher and only features Jason-proper during the opening and closing scenes. But I must admit, whenever I do revisit it, I’m always surprised by how well it executes the rare moments it hews to the series formula, and how “not bad” it proves during the rest.