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Review: Friday the 13th (2009)

In On Film on February 22, 2009 at 8:47 pm

So here it is. After a week’s delay thanks to a sold-out theater, my Friday the 13th review can finally come to pass. I feel that I’ve screwed myself over in the last week by posting rants on the homepage about the problem I have with remaking horror films. I know it seems like I had my mind made up that I hated the movie before I even saw it, but I assure you that wasn’t the case. I actually went into this film with an open mind. Despite this, (surprise!) I hated the movie. Be warned, some SPOILERS will be sprinkled throughout the review.

This Friday is a lot like every other Friday film before it when it comes to the story. You have your stereotypical group of “teens” who decide to go out, camp, have sex, get loaded, etc. And where do they end up? Why, Crystal Lake, of course! If you’ve seen a Friday film before this, you can imagine what happens next. The main plot point of this particular installment revolves around a young man named Clay Miller who is looking for missing sister Whitney, who was taken by Jason. Sure there are other characters in the film, but trust me, they’re not even important enough to mention. You won’t remotely care about any of them. It’s fairly obvious that 90% of the characters in the film were there solely for Jason to kill and nothing more.

Now I want to really lay out how this film utterly failed. One minor thing about the film that most probably won’t care about is the issue of Jason running. To me, the way Jason lurked around slowly but somehow managed to catch/kill his prey was a quality thing about the old films. That quality has been thrown out the window. At times, Jason takes off like he ran track before his untimely demise at camp. Like I said, most people probably won’t care about this, but I found it to be extremely silly.

Next, why in the hell is Jason taking hostages in this movie? Can you honestly remember a time in the previous films where Jason decided to lock someone up “Silence of the Lambs” style? No, you can’t. It’s just stupid and insane to add something like that to the series. I am sure the writers thought this would just be something brilliant to add to the franchise, something new and fresh. Well, it’s new, but it certainly isn’t fresh. Jason isn’t Buffalo Bill, he doesn’t take hostages.

The kills in this movie flat out suck. Even if the movie was horrible, in most of the Friday’s you could expect really cool kills to be planted throughout. You don’t have that here. In many cases, the movie teases you with the prospect of a specific kill that you just know will be amazing. Then, just as your hopes are at their highest, you get a basic throat slash or something of that nature. Did the brilliant minds behind this movie just decide not to watch the previous entries?

I know this sounds pretty stupid, but this movie just didn’t “feel” like a Friday the 13th film. I read a review recently that said the new Friday was the Texas Chainsaw Massacre remake with a different mask. This is pretty spot on. The whole thing feels like your watching that particular abomination all over again. I am serious. Rent this film when it hits DVD and watch it along with the TCM remake, then tell me it’s not the same.

The only good thing about the film would probably be the choice to keep the things the franchise is infamous for; gore and sex. Other than that, it’s yet another pathetic remake from Platinum Dunes. Thanks to the coupon in the His Name Was Jason DVD I purchased, I thankfully saw the movie for free. If you’re in the same position, go check out this movie to see how bad it really is. If you don’t have the luxury of viewing the movie for free, save your time and wait for the rental if you just have to see it.

Lets all say a prayer for Mr. Freddy Kruger. He is next up to be shamed in a remake. Behind him waits Pinhead. Will the desecration of our horror icons ever end?

Final Grade: F

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