The year is 2010 and the location is the Crystal Lake research facility where the notorious killer Jason Vorhees (Kane Hodder) is being held in chains. His guard is unnerved by Jason staring at him from out of his hockey mask, so throws a sheet over him as outside the room an argument is going on. Scientist Rowan (Lexa Doig) is demanding that her superior, Dr Wimmer (David Cronenberg) reconsider his position on not cryogenically freezing the murderer for an indefinite period, yet he wants to experiment on his tissue and find out more about the way in which he manages to regenerate his body after apparently being killed over and over again. But the doctor is making a mistake as he discovers when Jason somehow escapes and begins to kill once more...
As if there were any doubt. The sheer invincibility of Mr Vorhees is now a standing joke, so it's appropriate that screenwriter Todd Farmer settled on making this tenth instalment more of a comedy than any previous entry. Just like a magician, or perhaps more fittingly an escapologist, the villain gets out of the seemingly binding chains and bumps off the lot of soldiers and scientists who planned to carry out their foolhardy schemes. However, there's a twist this time round, which manifests itself when Rowan manages to trap Jason in the cryogenics chamber, although not before he stabs her with his trusty machete through a steel door - believability was never the series' strong point.
This means that the gas is let out and freezes Rowan as well as Jason, which is handy for this is the science fiction version of the hoary old story - if it's good enough for Leprechaun and Critters, it's good enough for Friday the 13th. What transpires is a version of Alien, only without that film's classy scares and a more tongue in cheek sensibility. And so we travel far into the future, the twenty-fifth century to be exact, where both Jason and Rowan are salvaged by a group of students visiting the now devasted planet Earth. Once they get the bodies back on their spaceship, they set about reviving them with their technological expertise; Rowan takes being transported centuries ahead with remarkable level headedness, or at least until she learns who is on the ship with her.
Rowan is our "final girl", although there are so many potential victims on board that it's no surprise that Jason doesn't succeed in slaying them all - just most of them. There are more dead bodies in this one than any of the other individual entries, but there are signs that invention is thin on the ground as far as killing them off is concerned. Sure, there's a woman whose head is frozen and then smashed, and a bloke who is impaled on a large corkscrew, revolving all the way down, but mostly it is meeting of people with sharp objects that provides the thrills. However, that injection of humour saves it, making Jason X one of the more enjoyable in the series; it may not be the funniest thing you'll ever see, but there are some disarming laughs to be had as events grow more ridiculous, with flipping, gun-toting androids and the baddie himself given a Windows-style upgrade. For a film few have great expectations of, Jason X isn't bad at all. Music by Harry Manfredini.