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Monday, June 22, 2009

Friday the 13th (remake) movie review

Friday the 13th movie review
A remake that you SHOULD remember

I’ve already kind of read some of the reviews that this movie got elsewhere on the net, it is pretty much unanimous that the movie sucked and it is getting ripped apart by critics. Well, of course it is, I don’t think many critics understand horror films and dismiss them as stupid, childish, immature, cheap thrill rides. But I disagree, I really liked the movie, I think it showcased and excellent blend of horror and comedy, some interesting deaths, pretty good scenes of some nudity but most importantly – the return of the greatest slasher of them all – Jason Voorhees.
For those of you that know me, or have read some of my previous posts, you know of my love of the Friday the 13th series and the Jason character. You might have also known that I once called out sick from work to have a Friday the 13th marathon drinking game (it was rough by the way and I made it all the way up to Jason X before I got too sick). I’ve been through the good (F13 part 4 & 6), the bad (F13 part X & 8) and the ugly (F13 part 5) but I hold each one of these films as a treasure from my childhood. I mean, how many films can you think of where the audience roots for the bad guy, while simultaneously being frightened by him?
When I initially heard that a Friday the 13 part 12 idea was scrapped and was going to be turned into a remake, I groaned and worried, “oh man, not another – is there no franchise safe from Hollywood?” But, I then heard that the team behind the Texas Chainsaw Massacre remakes were going to be working on it, along with the writing team from Freddy vs. Jason AND Paramount was going to be involved in the franchise again – I felt the project was going to be in good hands. I became curious as to what direction they might take as far as a remake went and I was hoping that the film would perhaps relieve some of the mystery behind the Jason character and not just “pop him into the series” for the sake of making more sequels. And then prolong those sequels and try to make his back story just a knock off of Michael Myers.
Yeah, that’s right – I said it. Jason / Friday the 13th has been a knock off of Halloween films right from the get go. Now this is just my humble opinion, and I still love the Friday films regardless but here is my biggest gripe. Okay, so the original Friday film ended with Jason’s mom dying, and then the second film opens up saying that “by the way, Jason never really died, he was alive all along and saw his mom murdered that night.” I feel the producers had to do this because the original Friday the 13th film was so popular they needed a sequel. SO they must have done a springboard off the original ending of Jason coming out of the water to do his infamous final scare. Jason became the main killer for parts 2-4, and then it seems attention was going to be sent onto Jason’s childhood nemesis Tommy Jarvis (originally played by the legendary Corey Feldman) so they didn’t use Jason as the murder for part 5.
BUT in part 6 he came back as basically a zombie, in seven he was defeated by supernatural/E.S.P powers, in eight he was washed away by toxic waste. BUT in nine he came back whole again and the film makers tried to create a horror film for the horror fans with Jason Goes to Hell. A film with a new direction in the series since obtained by New Line Cinema, and featured homage to horror films and gore fans alike (such as Evil Dead) but I felt the plot was too much similar going back to the Halloween series. In part 9, they claim that Jason keeps coming back and there was this curse on his blood line and he can’t rest until he ends his bloodline. SO he has to kill his sister, and then his niece and his niece’s daughter. Just like the Laurie Strode angle and ended up with a druid cult in the original Halloween films. Finally, going back full circle, we have created another horror franchise named after a holiday, featuring a masked/strong psychopath, killing teenagers and having their corpses drop/pop up around the place. Halloween set the tone for the slasher genre with numerous imitators in the 80’s (April Fool’s Day, Graduation Day, Silent Night Deadly Night) but it is Friday the 13th that dared to bare with it’s gore and interesting kills.


Well, I was a little disappointed that the film didn’t really tie up all loose ends from the original series, and is kind of like a remake – but featured elements from about the first three or four Friday films. The film opens up on June 13, 1980 just like a near word for word remake for the ending of the original film. Pamela Voorhees is giving her speech to the last camp counselor before getting her head cut off. And then out of no where, Jason is a little boy standing by her decapitated body. SO my whole thing they need to talk about if they make a sequel to this or just dedicate a whole film to Jason’s back story is, “if he loved his mother so much and she was going around killing all of these counselors on his birthday to avenge him – why didn’t he just tell her, hey mommy I’m really not dead by the way!”
The film then jumps to modern day, and then begins almost like the second Friday the 13th film. A group of teens gathering around a camp fire and recapping Jason’s legend and how “you know what’s weird is that Jason’s body just came back.” Thankfully, the teens get drunk, one girl rubs oil over her boobs and they are murdered off one by one by “bag head” Jason. Yeah, just like Jason in the original Friday part 2, this Jason wears like this burlap sack thing wrapped over his head. For some reason or another, there is rumored pot field growing around Crystal Lake that initially this group came to find. Well, I guess Jason didn’t like the fact they were touching his bud, so he murders them, and then another two stumble into his house and take his mom’s locket. Well, thank God one of those kids looks QUITE like Pamela Voorhees and Jason keeps her trapped in his underground tunnel of his cabin for about six weeks.
So, that one girl ends up having a brother who goes searching for her, and he ends up crossing paths with yet another group of teens that want to stay and some asshole’s parents’ cabin for the weekend. Well, it isn’t too long before this group of kids intrude on Jason’s territory of Crystal Lake and he kills them off one by one. That’s another gripe that I have, if these people know that Jason is going around murdering people, why would you want to build a super luxurious house on Crystal Lake? The brother character ends up coming to a barn, which made me think a lot about of the infamous barn scenes in Friday part 3. There is this really dirty red neck character who also offers to sell some of Jason’s weed in the woods. Later on the red neck hears some scuffling coming from upstairs in the attic, and it is Jason trying to steal some kerosene. BUT along the way, Jason also discovers his legendary hockey mask and puts it on after the red neck comments on seeing his face, “oh dude, that’s not right.”
Well, I won’t get into tooooooo many details, but the film is intertwined with some pretty funny jokes, a lot of pot smoking humor, pretty good titty scenes and okay deaths. I wished there was some more interesting and original deaths (and a higher total body count) that they could have taken advantage of (once I saw the tools and circular saw in the tool shed, I was hoping Jason would have a field day). But for the most part, he stays true to his machete, there is some interesting slow gouging and penetration of various objects and he even proves to be an excellent archer. But overall, I really enjoyed the movie, even if I was criticized for laughing too much whenever someone gets murdered – and others might criticize the film for being a little bit too predictable. But, I just blame that on the genre and what Scream did to it years ago. So, you should go see this movie if you are true to the slasher genre or just a Jason complete-est. Or perhaps you just wanna take your kids and they can relive the Jason craze you had from years ago.

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