Julien Neaves, Editor
Can you believe that it has been almost 15 years since we got an official Friday the 13th film? The last time undead murder machine Jason Voorhees slashed his way to the big screen was in the surprisingly solid 2009 remake. A legal battle over ownership has prevented a new film from being made for all these years and it’s anyone guess when the slasher icon will make his long-awaited return.
But for those hoping for a F13 fix outside of rewatching the 12 films there are several fan films available, though admittedly of varying quality. The best of those movies has been produced by Womp Stomp Films, namely 2017’s Never Hike Alone and 2020 prequel Never Hike in the Snow. Our Horror Head Writer Sommer previously reviewed both films in her Friday the 13 Fan Film ranking (I’ll link that below) so I won’t get too much into those films. What I am here to discuss is the latest film, Never Hike Alone 2, which was fittingly released on Friday the 13th this month. Since its release the film has racked up an impressive 1.2 million views and deservedly so, because it’s awesome.
Never Hike Alone 2 centres on Jason nemesis Tommy Jarvis who tries to convince the town of Crystal Lake that Mrs Voorhees’ son has returned and is killing again. Thom Matthews reprises his role of Tommy from Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives (my personal favourite) and the aforementioned Never Hike in the Snow, and he is excellent as the driven and haunted character. He truly brings his A-game here and was riveting to watch. And his rematch with Jason in this fan film is done much better than what we got with Sally Hardesty and Leatherface in 2022’s Texas Chainsaw Massacre.
Matthews is ably supported by fellow returning Never Hike actors Drew Leighty as injured hiker Kyle McLeod, Anna Campbell as Dr Diana Hill, who is still seeking answers about her son Mark’s disappearance in Never Hike in the Snow, and the great Vincent Guastaferro as the love-to-hate him and extremely obnoxious Sheriff Rick Cologne. The cast is great all around here and the acting far above what you would usually expect from a fan film.
Jason here is played both by writer/director Vincente DiSanti and Bryan Forrest, and he is a beast! The actors do a commendable job of capturing the slasher icon’s intimidating presence and physicality. His kills are quite bloody and delightfully visceral. I must also give DiSanti kudos for intertwining Jason Lives and the previous two films into the new story in a manner that makes sense. At an hour and 12 minutes it is also the longest of the Never Hike trilogy and it earns that runtime with a compelling and entertaining slasher story that was clearly made by fans for fans.
I had a blast with Never Hike Alone 2 and it felt like the Friday the 13th entry I had been waiting so many years for. Watch it for yourself and you will see what I mean.
Editor Jules’ Score: 8.5 out of 10
You can watch Never Hike Alone 2 by clicking here and do give them a like and a comment. And you can check out more horror content below:
Julien “Editor Jules” Neaves is a TARDIS-flying, Force-using Trekkie whose bedroom stories were by Freddy Krueger, learned to be a superhero from Marvel, but dreams of being Batman. I love promoting Caribbean film (Cariwood), creating board games and I am an award-winning author. I say things like “13 flavours of awesome sauce”. Read more.