Friday the 13th franchise killer Jason Voorhees is not the most talkative of slasher villains, but what was the one line the killer had onscreen?
Friday the 13th franchise villain Jason Voorhees is far from talkative, but there is one instance of the character speaking onscreen during the closing scenes of Friday The 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan. Since he first debuted (albeit briefly) in 1980’s summer camp slasher Friday the 13th, slasher Jason Voorhees has been known more for his terrifying appearance than his memorable quotes. Unlike fellow horror icon Freddy Krueger – who Jason faced off against in 2003’s Freddy Vs Jason – Jason is a man of few words.
Like Halloween’s Michael Myers, Jason seldom speaks onscreen and his wordless status compliments his hulking physique to make the implacable killer an imposing screen presence. Unable to be wheedled, reasoned with, or tricked, Jason is very much a mute killer and this quality is central to his threatening status. Like Myers, any talking from him is likely to blunt the effectiveness of the machete-wielding killer’s scare factor.
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However, there is one time in the franchise where the adult Jason can be seen speaking onscreen. The moment occurs in Friday The 13th Part VIII and is not a scare, but rather a strangely sad moment that occurs during the sequel’s ending. During the climax wherein Jason chases the movie’s heroes through the sewers of New York, as he’s about to be pelted with toxic waste (which apparently floods the city’s sewers every night), Jason briefly speaks in a child’s voice. Although the Friday the 13th movies leaned into comedy over scares by this point in the franchise, the scene ends on a surprisingly tragic note as Jason says “Mommy! Don’t let me drown! Mommy!” as he flashes back to his death as a child.
This fear is a fitting theme for Jason’s only onscreen dialogue to center upon, as the character’s terror around water is a controversial topic among fans. Although Jason died by drowning as a child, hence setting his mother Mrs. Voorhees off on her franchise-starting killing spree, he is often portrayed as being far from afraid of wading into the water in his undead state. The character frequently uses Camp Crystal Lake as a hiding place and, despite the later franchise addition Freddy Vs Jason depicting Jason’s fear of water, Friday The 13th Part VIII mostly takes place aboard a cruise ship and Jason’s typical murderous antics aren’t at all encumbered by the fact he is surrounded by water. In fact, he even swims to New York once the boat sinks.
As a result, it makes sense the only line of dialogue to come from Jason in the series was a desperate demand for his mother to save him from drowning. After all, her failure to do so set the events of the franchise in motion and established the character’s on-again, off-again fear of water. Jason Voorhees may have overcome his fear of water for long enough to rack up an impressive body count in Friday The 13th Part VIII, but the killer is still a mother-obsessed figure whose original drowning established his career as a prolific slasher killer. As such, the line is a perfect summation of the tragedy and horror of Voorhees in one simple sentence.
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