With a Friday the 13th sequel (or prequel or continuation or reboot) slated for some time in 2017, the rumor mill is already at work thinking up what could be next for Jason Voorhees and the unhappy campers at Camp Crystal Lake.
While some are open to exploring Jason’s origins in more depth — particularly figuring out whatever happened to Papa Voorhees — others have pitched some pretty farfetched scenarios.
(Of course, this is a series that once took Jason to space, so how farfetched is farfetched when you’re discussing Friday the 13th?)
Well, apparently, someone has found the limit. In a recent post on IMDb, one commenter posed the possibility of a Friday the 13th film that was actually rated PG-13.
It sounds utterly insane, and the original commenter was castigated for even suggesting it. Jason movies are all about nudity, swearing, and gratuitous violence — that pretty much sums up every response.
But if you really start thinking about a PG-13 Friday the 13th film, it’s not that crazy. Wait just a moment and hear the reasons before ripping that statement in the comments.
First of all, the PG-13 Rating is pretty inconsistent.
According to Business Insider, the first film to get the “dreaded” PG-13 rating was Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. That was partly due to the eating of spiders, monkey brains, and snakes.
It also had something to do with a man getting his heart ripped out of his chest while he was still alive.
Since that time, the rating has been applied rather inconsistently, with some movies getting the distinction based on very small instances of sensuality (Kenneth Branagh’s Much Ado About Nothing) and others getting away with a shocking amount of risqué antics (Josie and the Pussycats).
Let’s face it. The PG-13 rating is quite inconsistent, and it has been utilized in previous horror films to good effect — Insidious, The Ring, The Others, Drag Me to Hell.
Secondly, there has already (kind of) been a PG-13 ‘Friday the 13th.’
Okay, not an actual Friday the 13th franchise film, but a pretty clever parody called The Final Girls. Released earlier this year, this horror-comedy proved that you can make a genuinely good slasher movie without breaking the PG-13 boundary.
In the film, the killer is quite clearly a knockoff of Jason Voorhees, and so are many of the situations. It works because it both honors and plays around with the common slasher movie tropes, which Friday the 13th had a hand in shaping.
With the right script and a solid sense of humor, there is no reason to think that a Friday the 13th sequel would be unable to pull it off. There are enough highly talented filmmakers out there who genuinely love these films and wouldn’t mind playing in the sandbox. Why not give one a shot?
Finally, PG-13 doesn’t mean you have to take the teeth out of it.
A Friday the 13th movie could still be effective and deliver horror movie fans what they want.
These movies need a sense of humor, sensuality, cleverly planned jump-scares, and a few dashes of blood. You can get away with all of that without traversing into R-Rated territory.
One could argue that the Fox series Scream Queens is doing everything that a Friday the 13th movie should be doing right now, and it’s on network television!
While it’s highly unlikely that the next Friday the 13th movie goes the PG-13 route, the evidence is there: it could, and be no worse for the wear.
But what do you think, readers? Is a Jason Voorhees flick not complete without graphic violence and tons of nudity? Sound off in the comments section.
[Image via Friday the 13th (2009) screen grab]