It’s not the casual hike that teenager Mark Hill was planning, an hour of exercise in the snow photographing the scenery around Crystal Lake despite the warnings against trespassing; instead, on the cold morning of Friday the 13th January 2017 he is running for his life through the trees, frantically trying to get back to his car.
Alarmed when he has not returned, Mark’s mother has alerted the police and come nightfall they find the abandoned car, yet Sherriff Rick Cologne seems disinterested in investigating, almost as if he already knows the answers. Deputy Alan Mabry left to close up the scene, he hears a noise, and on the hood of his car he finds a single word scratched in the paint: JASON.
Written and directed by Vincente DiSanti who also plays Jason Voorhees, Never Hike in the Snow is a crowdfunded prequel to his 2017 short Never Hike Alone, billed as A Friday the 13th Fan Film but while the style of that long running slasher horror series is easy to mimic like Jason himself it is not easy to capture, yet DiSanti has done it again.
Running to only thirty minutes, Never Hike in the Snow does not require the extended narrative of a feature, instead presenting the essence of Jason Voorhees who appears almost immediately for a spectacular first kill before fading into the shadows, vanishing as swiftly as he manifests.
With Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives‘ Vincent Guastaferro and Thom Mathews reprising their roles of Sheriff Cologne and survivor Tommy Jarvis and an onscreen reference to Never Hike Alone’s Trail Junkie Kyle McLeod, Never Hike in the Snow ties to both the official film sequence and Womp Stomp’s previous release with increasing confidence and technical proficiency.
Presented as a flashback within a framing story, Never Hike in the Snow also explores unfamiliar territory behind the iconic mask with scenes shown from Jason’s distorted perspective, the permeating dread and menace not so much the killing of another teenager, already established as a fait accompli, but of something else yet to come: in all likelihood, it is not over yet.