Friday the 13th
There were eleven
Friday the 13th movies between 1980 and 2003 - not to mention a
syndicated TV series which ran for three seasons and a video game - so I
don't think the world has really been missing hockey-mask wearing maniac
Jason has gone to
Manhattan, he has gone to space, he's gone into Freddy Krueger's nightmares
- so this attempt to reboot a series which never quite had gone away is
going back to the basics and returning to Camp Crystal Lake.
The makers of the new
Friday the 13th suggest that this is a re-imagining of the first film
from 1980 - though technically Jason never appeared in that film. He
was discussed, but he was a red herring. The murders were actually
committed by his mother, Mrs. Voorhees. In fact her death, which
formed the climax of the original film, is quickly dispatched during the
opening credits here. Actually this movie has much more in common with
Part II and Part III.
Honestly, Jason was always
the least interesting mass-murdering boogie-man of horror - Michael Myers of
the Halloween series and Freddie Krueger of Nightmare on Elm
Street at least started out in good, intriguing films, even though the
more they were used, the less thought was put into their adventures.
The Friday the 13th movies were always cheesy exploitation films that
had no higher aspirations than violent mayhem and periodic gratuitous
Therefore, the hope is that
the new Friday the 13th would try to treat the return to the genesis
of the series as a way to finally show this well-traveled monster a little
respect in the horror movie world.
Sadly, no such rethinking
seems to have taken place. This Friday the 13th could have
easily been any one of the series' interchangeable cheesy sequels - with
only slightly ramped up sex and... oddly... slightly more-restrained (at
least less explicit) violence.
It basically follows the
killing formula of the whole series - kids who have sex, who drink or take
drugs, who are dorky or are ethnic will eventually be punctured by Jason.
here, the first person killed was the one guy in the movie who had the least
shot at getting laid, so I suppose that is some kind of progress - however
he did fit into the dorky demographic. The good, serious kids - the
ones who could get laid if they wanted, but are too busy trying to save
everyone - will be the last ones to take Jason on.
You know the basic playbook
- a bunch of college-aged types stumble upon Jason's hunting ground and are
stalked and violently murdered through the night. Still, the kids do
lots of stupid things like going into dark places alone, fighting amongst
themselves and investigating mysterious sounds.
Friday the 13th
actually slaughters two of these groups of
dumb students. The first group of five visit the area because they
find out about an illicit marijuana field. (Who knew Jason had a
side-job as a pot dealer?) They are killed off in an extended (about 25
Then, the real victims show
up - a group of college kids who go to party at their rich friend's lake
house. All of the characters are just types - the rich jerk (Travis
Van Winkle), the good sweet girl (Danielle Panabaker of Shark), the
stoner jock (Ryan Hansen), the two hot girls who will undoubtedly take off
their tops before dying (Julianna Guill and former pop star Willa Ford), the
token black (Arlen Escarpeta of American Dreams) and the token Asian
Add to the mix Jared
Padalecki of Supernatural and Gilmore Girls as a brother
searching for one of the girls who disappeared in the first group.
Line them up and whack them
If you have seen any of
these films, you have a pretty good idea of what is going to happen.
You can even make a pretty decent educated guess as to the order in which
the kids will be killed and probably not be all that far off. (I only
missed on one character - Willa Ford went faster than I figured.)
It is not horribly
well-made, but it works well enough on its own modest level. If you
liked the earlier films, you will like this one. If you never quite
understood the appeal of the series, don't come here looking for the answer.
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Posted: June 13, 2009.