Note: The following contains spoilers.
I thought that I may have hit the nadir of the Friday the 13th franchise with A New Beginning, in which, just to remind everybody, a faux-Jason spends the movie slaughtering kids at a halfway house. But then I watched Jason Lives and found something even worse than the killing of mentally disturbed people: ironic affection. After watching the movie I went online and saw some critics view Jason Lives as a precursor to Scream in terms of the tone, and having just watched Scream 2 yesterday I feel confident saying this assessment is pure poppycock.
Scream is aware of the mechanics and clichés of horror movies, good and bad, and embraces them in a way that comes out of pure love. And it shows by being both a genuinely chilling movie when it wants to be (that opening scene…) and a goofy, self-aware movie when it wants to be (when they’re all watching Halloween). Jason Lives has a sort of ironic affection for horror movies that comes across as not really sincere. If Jason Lives was personified as a horror fan, its favorite movie would be Sharknado.