ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Movie Review: "Friday the 13th, Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan" (1989)

Updated on January 20, 2012
Too bad Jason didn't get to kill anyone in this building.
Too bad Jason didn't get to kill anyone in this building. | Source

I'm more forgiving than most people when it comes to teen slasher flicks like those of the "Friday the 13th" franchise because I can accept them for what they are, I don't expect anything more out of them. If I do get more, great but if not, it's perfectly fine. With that being said, while the first seven "Friday the 13th" films aren't anything close to academy award winning material, I must say that this is one of the lowest points in the series.

Everything about "Friday the 13th, Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan" has a sort of 'running out of steam' vibe to it, I don't know if it's the boat from the movie or the actual script (probably the latter). One may argue that the whole 'Jason Takes Manhattan' subplot adds a bit of freshness to this sequel but that whole "portion" of the film (notice how I'm putting emphasis on that word) is so miniscule that it's akin to trying to find one single little ant on a giant beach. Truth be told, this is in fact the lowest grossing film of the franchise, it's no surprise that they didn't make another 'Friday the 13th' movie for a few years after this one.

The 'Friday the 13th' Movies - Domestic Gross Chart

Freddy vs. Jason (2003)
$114.9 million
Friday the 13th (1980)
$59.7 million
Friday the 13th, Part III (1982)
$36.9 million
Friday the 13th, Part IV: The Final Chapter (1984)
$32.9 million
Friday the 13th, Part V: A New Beginning (1985)
$21.9 million
Friday the 13th, Part II (1981)
$21.7 million
Friday the 13th, Part VI: Jason Lives (1986)
$19.4 million
Friday the 13th, Part VII: The New Blood (1988)
$19.1 million
Jason X (2002)
$16.9 million
Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday (1993)
$15.9 million
Friday the 13th, Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan (1989)
$14.3 million
The gross revenues of each film in the 'Friday the 13th' film with the exception of the 2009 remake which doesn't count.

1. Jason Runs Out of Creativity

Over the course of the 'Friday the 13th' franchise, there has been a noticeable drop in creativity when it comes to Jason's killings. Well in this film, they come across as downright lazy. Jason kills a rock star by bashing her head with her own electric guitar, a boxer is killed in a sauna via sauna rock to the chest, a naked woman is impaled by a broken glass shard, one girl is strangled on a dance floor, a guy gets dunked in a barrel of sewage, and one guy is thrown onto a deck post. That pretty much makes up for the bulk of the killing that Jason does in this sequel.

2. Jason Swims to New York City

Jason kills one of the people on the ship by throwing them into a control panel which starts a fire that leads to the sinking of the ship. After our few survivors escape a on a row boat to the New York harbor, Jason swims after them. I don't quite grasp this since the reason Jason died in the first movie was due to the fact that he couldn't swim.

Actually, if we backtrack to "Friday the 13th, Part VI: Jason Lives", the protagonist of that film uses this weakness to help kill Jason. He chains Jason to a heavy block and dumps the block into Crystal Lake, bringing Jason down to the very bottom where he eventually drowns. But then again, we're talking about a supernatural character here, however, I don't think this was clearly defined to begin with.

3. The Big Apple Takes a Bite out of Jason

So the big event of the film is that Jason is taking a bite out of the Big Apple. On the contrary, it's more like the Big Apple is taking a bite out of Jason instead. And this is because he doesn't even set foot in Manhattan until like the last twenty to twenty-five minutes. See, most of "Jason Takes Manhattan" is set on a ship in the Atlantic. Think a poor-man's "Titanic" meets a teen slasher film and just replace the iceberg with Jason Voorhees, then bingo! You've got Part VIII of 'Friday the 13th'.

So eventually, the ship starts to sink and the last of the teen survivors escape via row boat and row the rest of their way to the NYC harbor. Jason follows them in the water, he chases them through some alleyways, a subway station, Times Square, and then finally, the sewer. This may be the most proactive portion of the entire movie but the fact that the filmmakers marketed Manhattan as being a primary setting for the film is downright distasteful and wrong.

This movie should have been retitled "Friday the 13th, Part VIII: Cruise Control" because the primary setting of the film is on a ship and Manhattan is just an after-thought.

4. What Should Have Been Done

How about setting the first act of the movie on the ship and the rest of it in Manhattan? Jason boards the ship, kills lots of people, the ship begins to sink, the survivors escape and make it to the NY harbor, they get hospitalized, then Jason disappears for a little bit.

The NYPD start an investigation, things get worse when Jason starts killing in Manhattan and hunting the survivors down one by one. Then we could end the last twenty minutes the way it did here with the chase through the subway, Times Square, and then the sewer. I think that going this route would have lived up better to the film's title of 'Jason Takes Manhattan'.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • SPomposello profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from NY

      The reboot of the franchise was a success. However, it's obvious they're going to go down the same path they went before with future sequels (Some kids go camping or partying, then Jason kills them, rinse and repeat). It's not like they can reboot this and do something totally different, other than change a few environments (like Part 8 here attempted to do).

    • Stevennix2001 profile image

      Steven Escareno 

      6 years ago

      To be honest, I've never really been a fan of slasher flicks. However, I do come across a few like "Saw", "Nightmare on Elm Street", and "Scream" that seem to be very witty yet innovative in it's ways of adding to the genre; which intrigues me. However, like all slasher film franchises, the common formula for their sequels seem to be to beat a dead horse into the ground until it dies, then resurrect it again in a reboot/remake, and repeat the process over again. It's a vicious cycle, but what can you do?

      Sometimes you hit gold, but sometimes you don't. It's the way the cookie crumbles with these slasher films. I will admit based solely on your review, as I haven't seen this movie, it seems your right in that the title of this is very misleading, and probably would've been better served doing as you suggested.

      By the way, how did the remake of this do at the box office anyway? I don't think I heard too much about it since it was released. Anyway, thanks for the great read.

    • FatFreddysCat profile image

      Keith Abt 

      7 years ago from The Garden State

      I paid to see this in a theater... God help me. :)

      By the way, the Roman numeral in your title is incorrect - "8" in Roman numerals is "VIII," not "XIII" (which is "13")

    • nelsonwong999 profile image


      7 years ago from HK

      Nice movie for me!


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)