So often, fan films come along in abundance, lacking a budget and with no attention to detail. That couldn’t be further from the truth with Never Hike In The Snow. The Womp Stomp Films team made this Friday the 13th fan film as a sequel to their 2017 hit, Never Hike Alone (read our review here). With all of the recent trademark lawsuits over the rights to the Friday the 13th franchise, it’s refreshing to get a new addition to the series that feels like it’s truly part of the cannon. Never Hike In The Snow leaves a machete-sized slash in our hearts that leaves us begging for another sequel.
Never Hike In The Snow was written and directed by Vincente DiSanti (Disappear 2019), and you can tell that he’s a die-hard fan of the Crystal Lake slasher. From the sets to the costumes to the storytelling, this film settles right inside the ambiance of previous ’80s entries in the series.
DiSanti also brings life to the Jason Voorhees character, and his stature and movement feel very natural and chilling. When you’re doing an homage to a classic horror franchise, details will make or break its quality. The details set by this crowd-funded love letter are excellent.
But DiSanti isn’t the only standout actor in this film. It also stars Thom Matthews (Return of the Living Dead 1985) and Vinny Guastaferro (Sons of Italy 2006), both reprising their roles from Friday the 13th Part 6: Jason lives (1986). Once again, Matthews plays Tommy Jarvis, Jason’s biggest nemesis. Guastaferro plays Sheriff Cologne, the town’s policeman who wants to hide Jason’s return to preserve the normalcy in the area.
In addition to these wonderful continuity callbacks, we also get an accurate appearance of Jason’s mother, Pamela Voorhees. The sweater-wearing caretaker was portrayed wonderfully by Lennon Hobson (The Date 2018). As Jason goes on slashing in Crystal Lake, the others try to solve the case and keep the machete-wielding maniac at bay. Never Hike In The Snow runs for a svelte 26 minutes.
My only complaint would be that it wasn’t enough. This story arc doesn’t seem complete as the credits roll while the action is at the top of the rollercoaster. But keeping your audience craving more is a sign of good pacing and storytelling. This team of fan filmmakers has given us better short sequels than a lot of major studios do. The acting, atmosphere, and nostalgia all make Never Hike In The Snow a must-watch for fans of the original series. It’s available for free right now on YouTube here, and I can’t recommend it enough.