Friday the 13th 2009
The Hollywood remake disease continues with yet another attempt to breathe new life into a license which has already been whored to death with the twelfth entry in the Friday the 13th series. This is actually like a reworking of the original three films put together. The cast is weak, the script is badly written and the action is surprisingly dull. They shouldn't have resurrected Jason for this.
Part one is dispensed with during the opening credits as Mrs Voorhees is beheaded and we plunge straight into manic Jason action as he slaughters some camping teens. It is immediately apparent that Jason is now a fast-paced killer literally leaping through the air to machete victims and using traps to capture them. The first sequence as he kills a group of teens out camping near Camp Crystal Lake is fairly promising and Jason is decked out in his creepy makeshift hood, hiding his mutated ugly mug like part two of the original series.
He finds his mask for the final assault on another group of teens holed up at a holiday lodge. Despite his association with the hockey mask it wasn't actually until part three in the original series that he picked it off the body of a practical joker. It was inevitable they couldn't resist having the hockey mask Jason; if this was a genuine remake of the original film it wouldn't feature him at all. The Voorhees on show here has changed. This Jason is fast, he doesn't bother with stalking much and he has an underground lair where he inexplicably keeps one of the girls chained up, despite slaughtering everyone else on sight. This must be because her brother (Jared Padalecki) is searching for her and he is the main character.
All of the additions to his well established psycho killer character are awful and they actually manage to make him less scary. The film is attempting to find a more realistic backdrop for Jason's actions but the series needs this like a hole in the head. There are of course plenty of holes in the head during the action but somehow the film manages to drag despite being just 90 minutes long and having a high body count. Director Marcus Nispel also directed the horrible Texas Chainsaw Massacre remake and he seems to be attempting to capture a similar gritty visual here but he has no clue how to build tension.
The characters are the usual blend of obnoxious rich kids so you can relax and enjoy their inevitable slaughter. The acting is passable although there is never a taxing part in a Friday the 13th movie and star Jared Padalecki easily stood out as the best actor. Jason himself was underwhelming and failed to give off the air of menace that he had in the original series where he somehow managed to look angry all the time despite wearing an expressionless hockey mask.
It would be nice if the grasping film execs would green light something original for a change. This had obviously high production values which probably exceeded the combined budget of the first five Friday the 13th films and yet while it was visually better it was worse in every other way. Instead of endlessly remaking films that don't need to be remade, how about creating a new horror icon? It is no surprise to find Michael Bay's name pop up on this as a producer, everything he is involved with is creatively bankrupt. If you want a real scare then consider this, he is planning to remake A Nightmare on Elm Street next.Short Review
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