So I think a lot of people have probably already gotten to watch this pretty amazing fan film called "Never Hike Alone" from Womp Stomp Films. If you haven't, stop reading this right now and take the next hour to go watch it here. Do yourself a favor and watch it on your computer or better yet your tv, it deserves better than a viewing on your phone.
Ok, ready now? Good. I'm going to try to do this without any spoilers to the best of my ability in case you decided to just keep reading anyway. So I first heard of this project through a friend of ours (the special makeup effects artist of the film Kelsey Berk), as well as our friend Cody Wilkins who helped Kelsey with some of the gags. We also had the pleasure of meeting Vincente DiSanti (the director/writer/Jason) at Monsterpalooza this year, he bought one of our Camp Crystal Lake Canoe's and we chatted a little about the project. Fast forward to this past weekend and our friend Cody had asked us if we watched it yet, I had forgotten all about it! After we did watch it I was pretty mad at myself for overlooking it.
First off, what a breath of fresh air this was after the last entry in the F13 franchise. The single character dynamic was something really different and interesting to see. Now obviously because of that I didn't go in expecting a double digit body count, but I also wasn't interested in seeing that. As much as I love the F13 franchise, once they became just a body count movie that became the only reason to watch for the most part. One of the things I really loved watching this was that it had tension, suspenseful moments that really called back to the first few entries in the Franchise. Drew Leighty does a great job carrying the first half of this himself, playing a slight stereotype of a "Hiking Blogger" of sorts. I love the coupling of the Go-Pro shots along with traditionally filmed shots as well, it really brings you into a lot of the tense moments without feeling like you're watching a found footage movie for an hour. The writing is fun and wity, and the only thing that threw me off a little was the piece of dialogue recounting Jason's story. It felt a little too descriptive and accurate, but hey for an hour long independently funded fan film I'd say thats pretty amazing that the only issue for me was one little piece of dialogue. Vincente DiSanti does a great job of playing Jason, again theres a little throwback to the earlier Jason's in his performance along with some nods to Kane's as well but he really did a great job making it something his own. There are some moments watching him play Jason where I could've been fooled thinking that he's been doing this for years. The makeup fx are practical and done extremely well which for me is always a huge plus, I really enjoyed the look of Jason not only makeup wise but also his wardrobe too. Now one of the best parts is definitely the ending, and this is where you can really see how big a difference it can make having someone who cares for the source material write and direct. It was a really great way to tie into the actual franchise without feeling forced, or like it was just thrown in there. As someone who is constantly saying they just base the next/new F13 movies in the 80's, I would love to see this modern day story.
Someone please give this guy bigger budgets and the rights to Friday the 13th so we can once again enjoy the franchise like its new again.
Leave your thoughts in the comments!