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Not a fan of the franchise, but I can safely say this is the best in the series that I have seen.

  • Nov 30, 2011
** out of ****

I have always swam against the tides when it comes to Sean S. Cunningham's "classic" by-the-numbers slasher picture "Friday the 13th"; a film that is well-liked an widely-respected by a pretty solid number of horror fans, and despises by many critics including myself. I'm sorry, but if violence, nudity, simplicity, and dumb characters (not to mention the uninspired dialogue which they speak) makes a horror movie a good one; then this isn't the world I thought it was. Whenever a modern movie stylized like "Friday the 13th" comes along, people complain about clichés and familiarity; why should that steaming pile of dung be treated any different?

But of course, like all 80's slasher movies that have made a name for themselves, a remake was always on the horizon; and alas, it has arrived in the form of "Friday the 13th" (2009). And you know what...it isn't as bad as I expected it would be. Most franchise-enthusiasts will probably think differently, but I appreciated the direction that filmmaker Marcus Nispel (who directed the visually imaginative but severely lacking remake of "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre") took with this material. He can't quite make a good or satisfying movie out of it; but in all its decency, I think this will please anyone willing to overlook the flaws.

Let's start out by stating the obvious; this is a slasher flick, therefore, expect it to be very run-of-the-mill. No surprises to be found here other than the respectable amount of craft that went into it. For what it is, I can admit that it's well-made and has its moments of solid entertainment, but there's too much missing for me to call it a good film. It doesn't even manage to get on the good side of decency; but you can't say it doesn't try.

With that out of the way, you probably know the villain; Jason Vorhees. His mother was beheaded at the end of the first "Friday the 13th", and you might be shocked when you discover that such a concluding point is where this reboot begins. Jason swears vengeance on his mother's grave; he isolates himself somewhere underground Camp Crystal Lake (that infamous "horrible place"). As with a lot of slasher icons, he exists to murder horny teenagers; and murder horny teenagers he shall.

They come in two groups; one is searching for weed in the woods nearby the lake when they discover, to their dismay, the hulking demon lurking not-so-far in the shadows; while the second group contains a good amount of teens looking for a good time at a friend's lake-house; which happens to rest on Camp Crystal Lake (oh no). With the first group of kids, Jason killed all but one; a girl whom he takes hostage. She remains deep in his layer to the present day (which is six weeks after the events that befell the first group of people). The girl's brother has been desperately searching for his lost sis for those few weeks; and gets his chance to reunite when he meets the second group. In an instant, he finds himself stuck inside the house where they reside; Jason paces somewhere outside - silent and deadly as ever.

This "Friday the 13th" is unabashedly a formula film; so it is predictable and therefore, in many instances, a boring triviality of a movie. It is not a good horror film by any stretch of the imagination; but it comes close to all-out entertainment with its attempts at camp and satire. There are some great moments shared between two members of the second group - stoners Lawrence (Arlen Escarpeta) and Chewie (Aaron Yoo) - who together managed to a get a few big laughs out of me, personally. I also applaud director Nispal's production design and choice of camera placement; he's a skilled and very-much visual filmmaker, he just needs to find material that only he could treat the way he does. Like most of those involved; he tries his best, but fails to create a successful reboot of a long-running franchise. I remain dissatisfied. But if its blood, boobs, and brawn that you crave; then "Friday the 13th" might just hit the spot, if only for a few moments.

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December 04, 2011
This wasn't as bad as I thought it would be....I had fun with it.
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About the reviewer
Ryan J. Marshall ()
Ranked #11
It's very likely that the only kind of reviews I'll ever post here are movie reviews. I'm very passionate about film; and at this point, it pretty much controls my life. Film gives us a purpose; … more
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About this movie


Friday the 13th is a 2009 American horror film directed by Marcus Nispel, and written by Damian Shannon and Mark Swift. It is a reboot of the Friday the 13th film series, which began in 1980.

It stars Derek Mears as Jason Voorhees, with Jared Padalecki, Amanda Righetti and Danielle Panabaker portraying the male and female leads. The film follows Clay Miller (Padalecki) as he searches for his missing sister, Whitney (Righetti), who was taken by Jason while she was camping in the woods at Crystal Lake.

Originally starting out as an origin story, the film ultimately became a re-imagining of the first four Friday the 13th films. Along with bringing the film back to its roots, Jason was designed as a leaner and faster killer, with a backstory that could provide a little sympathy for the character but not enough that he would lose his menace. Although this film reboots the continuity, Jason's iconic hockey mask, which was not introduced until the third film in the series, is acquired through the progression of the film. In keeping with the tone of the film, Jason's mask was also brought back to its roots, created from a mold of the original mask from Part III, though subtle changes were made to keep it unique to the new film. Friday the 13th also incorporated some of Harry Manfredini's music score from the original Friday film series, as the producers recognized the iconic status it held.

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