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Waiting for Jason: Hope for Crystal Lake lovers, beyond the next Friday the 13th

Voorhees's absence has left a hole in our hearts (not stab-related). But Horror Inc's new Jason Universe may be cause to love again

Image credit: New Line Cinema

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I see the Friday the 13th fanbase (myself included) as a giant group of Time Traveler's Wives - confident that our love shall return, but trapped in a cycle of painful, painful waiting. Our hearts skipped a beat when A24 and Peacock announced prequel TV series Crystal Lake, only to be broken when A24 announced that development has stopped. So when Horror Inc. announced their new Jason Universe initiative this week, we naturally all wondered: dare we hope our love returns, even at the risk of being hurt again?

I'm here to argue: yes.

But before I do that, we've got to take stock of the relationship, to inquire (as Andy Kim once did) "Baby how'd we ever get this way?" In other words, we've got to ask...

Why aren't there new Friday the 13th movies?

Image credit: Paramount Pictures

Like any complicated relationship, the reasons for distance are complex, long-running, and often boil down to money. In Jason's case, those reasons can be summed up in battle over rights raging between BLANK. I'm not going to get into particulars here, but I will say that, until these legal disputes are resolved, our hockey-masked hunk will not be on the silver screen.

Related: Friday the 13th watch order: How to bring Jason to your movie marathon

So for the time being, if we want to stay committed to Jason, the nature of our relationship has got to change. And if we accept that, we can open our hearts to the kind of love Horror Inc. is offering. "But what kind of love is that?", you may ask.

Let me tell you.

What is Jason Universe?

Image credit: Horror Inc.

As reported first by IGN, Horror Inc's new Jason Universe project isn't even going to try getting into movies. Instead, its purpose is to reinvent Jason for other mediums, including "games, immersive experiences, merchandise and more." Now if that idea worries you, I understand - moving a franchise into a new medium can be scary, a fact to which any attendees of Glasgow's Willy Wonka Experience will attest.

But the reason I'd argue that Jason Universe (no relation to Stephen) knows what it's doing is one of the capable people involved - a couples therapists, if you will, to repair the hurt between us and the Friday franchise. That person is Robert Barsamian, the President of Horror, Inc. and executive producer behind what is, to date, the greatest Jason Voorhees product outside a movie theater.

Friday the 13th: The Game

Image credit: Gun Media

For so many of us lovelorn fans of Pamela Vorhees's only child, Friday the 13th: The Game is what's kept the embers of our romance burning. Released in 2017, Friday the 13th: The Game sold 1.8 million copies in the first four months after its release (via Eurogamer), then took home the Best Indie Game award at the 35th Annual Golden Joystick Awards. With constant updates, the game continued to grow a fanbase until its servers shut down last year, but the mark the game made on Friday fans will never go away. It's been 25 heavy years since Jason's last time on the big screen, but the last 7 have been the best.

Related: Upcoming horror movies: Where and when to watch werewolves, vampires, and assorted monsters, oh my!

To my mind, this game alone is proof that our affair with Jason can survive the move away from the box office. Like any good relationship counselor, Barsamian and Co. understand what brought us together in the first place, and they act under the firm assumption that with a little work, a relationship can survive any change. Horror Inc.'s message with Jason Universe is more than just an announcement, it's a promise - that if we give him a chance, our boy will continue to be there for us, on screen or not.

Love, it turns out, may be the one thing that Jason Vorhees knows how to keep alive.

In the immortal words of Danny Elfman, "Life's no fun without a good scare." We couldn't agree more, which is why we think you should check out horror aficionado Greg Silber's list of the best horror movies of all time. Or, if you've already seen those classics, check out our list of the most underrated horror movies from the past couple years. And if you've already seen all of those, Let us tell you what to look forward to (or dread) in Popverse's list of upcoming horror movies.

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