Abandoning the cheeky humor of the series' previous installment (the jokey Friday the 13th, Part VI: Jason Lives), this inferior sequel tries to enliven the franchise with a return to straightforward horror and a dash of sci-fi. The result isn't exactly the worst entry in the series, but it comes close. By this late in the game, cheap production values and amateurish acting had become the norm. In their place we get lots of backstory about unsympathetic new characters -- mostly telekinetic scream queen Tina, portrayed at various ages by Jennifer Banko and Lar Park Lincoln. As played by stuntman Kane Hodder, Jason himself is a depressingly anonymous killing machine, recognizable only by his hockey mask and propensity for dismembering people. In the end, matching the iconic boogeyman against a girl with psychic abilities provides little more than an excuse for so-so special-effects set pieces. Jason would face an even lamer nemesis -- a boat full of horny teenagers -- in the subsequent Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan. Here, though, despite the novel nature of his adversary, "the man behind the mask" seems like a one-trick pony.