Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Friday the 13th (2009) (Review)

Friday the 13th

Friday the 13th (2009)

Directed by Marcus Nispel

There are 2 ways of viewing this reimagining of the Friday the 13th series. One way is to look at it fresh without the 30 somewhat years of history.

The kids in the theatre where me and Insano Steve watched this flick were part of this group. Millenials, tweens, Generation Y and Zers. These pseudo horror fans have grown up post Scream, watching horror remake after remake and think these movies are the best thing since Ghostface killed his first virgin victim.

The other way to watch the movie is knowing the legend, the history and having watched the 12 other films (probably non consecutively as nobody probably ever did, I didn't). I remember watching Part 6, then Part 8 (I was excited to seeing Jason in my hometown) then watching the original and all the rest on VHS.

I had to watch this movie with the full on Jason Voorhees baggage. It's hard for true horror fans
to watch this without it. Jason is part of our childhood, like He-Man or Optimus Prime and Freddy. He's for most of us the unstoppable slasher we all love.

And so the remake or reimagining is something that if done well, can serve its purpose. Reintroduce the king of slashers to a new audience. The fact that it broke the box office record for a horror film, I guess we can say it did its job. People seem to like that Jason is back killing teenagers and slashing it up 80s style.

I am not one of those people.

It is without a doubt, a complete bastardization of the entire series in my opinion. Yeah, I know I should just try to take it for what it is, a melding of 4 movies and adding a little MTV soundtrack for the iPod masses.

I should say the kills were cool or Jason was menacing and smart and its a great homage to the series.

Fuck that.

I don't care. The remake messed with an iconic slasher and jumped the shark on what made Jason great. It's like the director and writers pissed on the entire series.

If this and Zombie's Halloween are what were going to expect in the near future, please have Jason just stab me in the throat with his rusty machete.

Boring Plot-O-Matic

Searching for his missing sister, Clay heads up to the eerie woods of legendary Crystal Lake, where he stumbles on the creaky remains of rotting old cabins that lie in wait behind moss-covered trees. And that's not the only thing hiding behind the brush.

Against the advice of police and caution from the locals, Clay pursues what few leads he has and, with Jenna's help, he meets a group of college kids up for an all-thrills weekend. But they are about to find much more than they bargained for.
Little do they know, they've entered the domain of Jason Voorhees, armed with razor-sharp machete.

When Clay's sister Whitney and her friends disappear into the thick forests surrounding Crystal Lake, Clay comes desperately looking for clues as to what could have happened and where she could be.
Despite advice from town police, Clay searches throughout the area and slowly begins to suspect that something just is not right about this town.

With the assistance of teens Jenna and Trent, who are spending the weekend at the lake with their thrill-seeking friends, Clay begins to learn the dark secrets of Crystal Lake, its infamous abandoned camp, and its most terrifying local legend... Jason Voorhees.

Awesome Review-O-Matic

As I've said before after reviewing Jason X and Final Chapter the thing about the Fthe13th films is you have to grade them on a curve. They should include the following:

1.) Jason Voorhees (or his mom)
2.) High body count with clever and gruesome deaths
3.) Nudity! Nudity! Nudity!
4.) An ending with a twist or a clever plot device or a reference that a sequel will be made

So we'll go ahead and use this criteria to review our reboot.

1.) Jason Voorhees (or his mom)

OK. Straight out I don't like this Jason. Jason Voorhees is an inbred, redneck, bad swimmer momma's boy bent on killing anybody who comes to Crystal Lake. This Jason is a little too clever. It's like we got a Jason MacGuyver or something.

Here's my problems in total random order.

a.) We see him running

WTF?!?!? You never see the slasher run. EVER!!! He ALWAYS runs off screen to get ahead of the would be victim. That's why Jason would always be breathing heavily. Yeah I know he ran in Part 3 but its unfuckinbelievable they messed this shit up. It's in the fuckin slasher handbook.

b.) What's up with the fuckin tunnels under Crystal Lake?

Is this how Jason gets from point A to point B so fuckin fast? How so drug mule of you Jason. I'm completely speechless.

c.) Jason never ever takes fuckin hostages/prisoners

Dude. Jason would never leave a victim alive. Period. But you know what he does in this flick? He keeps Whitney alive because he may or may not think she's her mother.

Remember, it was only until the last sec that Ginny put on the sweater to confuse Jason in Part 2.

So that scene from the trailer where he's about to machete her. That didn't happen?

Fuck you Nispel.

d.) Jason acts like "The Wolf"

The wolf I refer to is Harvy Keitel's character in Pulp Fiction. He's the guy who cleans up the mess Jules and Vincent have made in the car. Here we see Jason picking up his victims and cleaning up the carnage he's made. Part of Jason Voorhees persona from the series is he would arrange his victims and hide them so when our final girl would see if her friends were still alive, all she would see were nicely arranged slashed up dead bodies.

Cleaning up the victims should really happen off screen. It's like I was watching Jason the Janitor.

e.) Jason and his clever fuckin traps

So Jason is fuckin smart in this one. Jason sharpens his machete (this didn't appear in the movie BTW) uses bear traps, wired bell alarms and positions his victims as bait. He also seems to be all Commando-ish, sneaky, stealthy and more uber human (I think he was using the cream and not the HGH).

Nispel gave us a Leatherfacey-ish Jason don't ya think? It's like he fused Hills Have Eyes mutants into Jason's persona.

Sorry dude. That fuckin sucked. Jason is smart to an extent. He don't need no fuckin traps. He sneaks up on you and kills you. That's it. Fuckin amateurs.

2.) High body count with clever and gruesome deaths

OK. With my low expectations going in, I was hoping I'd get some clever, goreific kills that were in the awesome Voorhees style. I mean, these new movies don't scare anymore but they do as Insano Steve has said raised the gore bar.

But this was a snooze fest in 13 boring kills.

Let's go through them shall we?


Slit throats (x2)
Stab in the stomach
Sleeping bag pyro burning death
Bear trapped foot trauma and machete thru the head
Sliced and dice in a tent
Pulled into the ground
Impalement into a truck
Screwdriver in the neck
Strangulation and antler impalement
Axe in his back
Arrow in the head
Ocular trauma
Sword trauma
Machete thru the head

Possibly the ocular trauma was slightly cool. Everything else was plain awful. I've seen more gore and splatter in a porn flick.

3.) Nudity! Nudity! Nudity!

Ahh yes. It wouldn't be a Friday without gratuitous nudity. We get some oiled up breasts. Some tent fucking. Some bouncing C cups from a hot blonde when jerk douchebag jock frat boy gets some action. We get some water skiing B cups from a blonde. I think that's it.

Good T&A. The keyword here is gratuitous. And it's enough to wax the carrot.

4.) An ending with a twist or a clever plot device or a reference that a sequel will be made

How Jason will ultimately die is something that I think is the hardest ending to write. In the past, he's been macheted in the shoulder, macheted in the head in 3D, macheted in the head and stabbed repeatedly, noosed in the bottom of Crystal Lake and propelled to death, pychiced powered and drowned, washed away in sewer water (!?!), knifed in the stomach by a "special knife", burned to death in Earth's atmosphere (!!??!!), and Freddy gloved to death (sorta).

So how would they kill Jason in this one?

Well if you've watched the flick, you know it's kinda lame. How he's died in the past was pretty bad to say the least but I really thought they'd make his death scene memorable in the reboot. I mean think about it. This is how he dies?

And you could see the foreshadowing a mile away.

As for the ending ending. You could also see that shit coming from 10 miles away. Fuck you for the gratuitous homage.

WTF moment

Jason admiring himself in the mirror after getting his mask

The Jaded Viewer's Final Prognosis

I'm going to be generous. For all my gripes, I was slightly entertained. This will get a spinkick and half. The 1 full spinkick for seeing Jason back in the theatre and the half for the decent T&A.

I did try to get my MST3K in which also helped.

Insano Steve and I had a bet going mid movie on who would die first, token Asian guy or token black guy. I took black guy. Well you know who won that bet.

We also started yelling absurdities at the screen. "Oh shit! That was Freddy's glove!" and "Yo Michael Myers would have never done that".

The reboot is what it is. Something the masses can drink without having seen the franchise. It's like eating mild Buffalo wings, instead of getting the fiery hot apocalyptic wings.

As much as I wanted to see Jason back on the screen, I almost didn't want to as I knew I would never like what they were going to do.

But this Friday the 13th is not for me. It's not for the Generation X gorehounds and splatter fans and the rest of us who grew up with a Friday every 2 or 3 years during the 80s and 90s.

This Friday the 13th is for the YouTubers, the tweens and the millenials.

Platinum Dunes will never make a film for me. I'm no longer the targeted demographic.

My Friday the 13th, my Jason Voorhees is dead. Killed off screen and sent to Hell.



The Trailer

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  1. "It is without a doubt, a complete bastardization of the entire series in my opinion."
    In my opinion as well.

    I did like Zombie's Halloween until Myers returned to Hadonfield.

    I do not care about him running. It was time for an upgrade in that department.

    "So that scene from the trailer where he's about to machete her. That didn't happen?"
    That reversal was bullshit.

    "He sneaks up on you and kills you." Jason sneaks up on his victims with his Zero-Sound ballerina slippers.

    "But this was a snooze fest in 13 boring kills."
    I agree. The kills were weak.

  2. While I enjoyed it more than you did, you made some excellent points JV!

  3. Speaking of Jason, my dad is Ted White. (Part IV) There's a chapter in my book about my experience on the set of "Friday the 13th The Final Chapter." Check it out on Amazon!
    More cool stuff at

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