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“FRIDAY THE 13TH: THE GAME” Exclusives/Video: “Pamela Voorhees Tapes,” “FRIDAY VI” Director Signs On and More

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Gun Media’s FRIDAY THE 13TH: THE GAME aims to breathe new life into Camp Crystal Lake and its most notorious resident. What better way to celebrate the forthcoming third-person survival adventure than with exclusive breaking news on Friday the 13th?

Co-creator Wes Keltner has revealed to FANGORIA that Tom McLoughlin, writer/director of FRIDAY THE 13th PART VI: JASON LIVES, has joined the original film’s creator Sean Cunningham, FX artist Tom Savini and composer Harry Manfredini, along with Jason actor Kane Hodder, as part of the FRIDAY team. McLoughlin was hired to pen what may be one of the coolest in-game collectibles gamers will ever see—or in this case, hear: “The Pamela Voorhees Tapes,” giving Jason’s mother and the first movie’s killer a place in the scenario. According to Keltner, “Survivors/counselors will be able to discover the tapes during a match. Their locations will be randomly generated in the level, and there will be several to collect. Once the player discovers one, it simply drops into their inventory. They can listen to the tapes later, in the menu system.”

Keltner elaborates, “ ‘The Pamela Tapes’ will provide some background to her story: How she came to Crystal Lake, her relationship with her son Jason and then the events surrounding his loss, and how this triggered a downward spiral in her sanity. FRIDAY THE 13TH: THE GAME doesn’t have a traditional narrative,” he adds, “because we are multiplayer-focused. We want to include a single-player experience, but we need to hit our stretch goals to include that. But yes, we dig deeper into the canon of the franchise. Who better to help with that than Tom McLoughlin?”

McLoughlin recorded this exclusive video to announce his participation in the game:

“We’re just incredibly humbled and excited to have Tom on the project,” Keltner says. “I’ve said numerous times that PART VI is my favorite in the series. I love how he approached it. His writing and directing took that film in a different direction and tone, which was a difficult feat, if you think about it. Fans were disappointed with PART V, so Tom had a steep hill to climb, but I feel like he got the franchise back on track with witty characters, some obvious nods to creature features from the past and paying tribute to other horror icons, like Karloff’s Store, where Tommy Jarvis uses the pay phone.”

With the recent passing of Betsy Palmer, the original FRIDAY’s Mrs. Voorhees, one might expect Nana Visitor, who took over the role in 2009’s FRIDAY THE 13TH remake, to be an obvious choice for voicing the iconic villainess. “We considered Nana Visitor,” Keltner confirms, “but then found a talented voiceover actress, Jen Burton, who delivered a fantastic performance for us. Also, we are focusing on the ’80s as the time period for this game. Nana nailed her performance, but we felt her performance was connected to the 2009 version. We wanted a new voice, and we found it in Jen.” Burton can also be heard on the trailer on the game’s official website.

“We really felt she nailed Pamela’s emotion and slightly crazy tone,” Keltner adds. “We had five or six different actresses send auditions, but Jen nailed it straight out of the gate. She sounded disjointed, hurt and vengeful. With very little direction, she killed it. I love working with people who were born to do the thing you need, if that makes sense. In my opinion, Jen was born to voice Pamela.”

Keltner also revealed some additional details about the game’s mechanics: “The cabins, weapons, car parts, vehicles and other lootable items are all random when a level loads. There is also some vegetation that “spawns” in differently. This is to help change up each match. The folks at Illfonic created the system, and put together a wide variety of cabin layouts. When you enter a cabin for the first time, you won’t know exactly where to go or where to hide. We like to keep players on their toes. Across the map, players won’t instantly know where to look for items or vehicles to escape, nor will they know the best path to get from A to B. We really push players to explore, and are embracing more of a nonlinear experience.”

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It looks like fans may have a lot more to look forward to as the game is developed. If Gun Media achieves its financial ambitions, we may see the return of Tommy Jarvis and some iconic movie locations. “We did not hit the financial stretch goal during the Kickstarter to include Higgins Haven [from FRIDAY PART III],” Keltner explains, “but the artists at Illfonic put their noses to the grindstone to produce some amazing work on the house. That work closed the gap enough for us to be able to adjust the schedule and budget to make the level happen for launch. We’ve always felt it was very important to include iconic locations like the Higgins house and the barn from PART III, but it all comes down to time and money. We have a passionate team at Gun and Illfonic, one that loves the franchise, and it’s in good hands. With our Slasher Backer program, every single dime that players put in now to pre-order is going into even more new content.

“Currently,” he continues, “the game will be on-line multiplayer only. If we hit our stretch goals, we can include offline bots and a single-player experience as well. That will be a mission-based system: Think HITMAN, but more gore. If you play as a counselor, you have to get out of that situation. If you play as Jason, you have to hunt your prey. It will be smaller, bite-sized moments that reflect scenarios found in the films. We really hope we hit our stretch goals so we can include those.”

2016 is shaping up to be an interesting year for slasher fans and gamers: With Behaviour’s DEAD BY DAYLIGHT slated for June 14 and Elastic Games’ LAST YEAR due to launch at the end of the year, Jason is going to have some competition—but so far it looks like FRIDAY THE 13TH could trump them all, especially when Keltner reveals that they have considered virtual reality for a potential additional experience.

“VR is amazing,” he says. “We’ve touched every product currently available. It goes without saying that a first-person VR experience where you play as Jason would be incredible. Can you imagine physically looking down and seeing Jason’s arm carrying a machete? I get chills thinking about it. Perhaps there’s a publishing partner out there somewhere reading this who feels as strongly about this…strong enough to open their wallet [laughs].”

Stay tuned for future coverage of FRIDAY THE 13TH: THE GAME as FANGORIA delves deeper into the mysteries of Camp Crystal Lake.

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About the author
Glen Baisley

Glen Baisley is an independent horror filmmaker and avid video-gamer best known for his series of movies featuring the Black Rose Killer. He has served as a freelance writer and reviewer over the years for numerous publications, including FANGORIA. His latest work, TALES OF LIGHT & DARK, can be seen on Facebook, YouTube, Vimeo and his company website Lightanddark.net. When not working on his own projects, he has often teamed up with puppeteer Bill Diamond to direct and edit various projects. Of note is the 2013 Rondo Award-nominated documentary PHANTOM OF THE OPERA: UNMASKING THE MASTERPIECE, which he edited.

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