Friday the 13th (2009)

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http://www.fridaythe13thmovie.com

Ignoring the warnings of the locals, a group of teenage camp counselors takes on the job of reopening Camp Crystal Lake — on Friday the 13th no less, and raise the ire of Jason Voorhees, a masked, homicidal maniac.

'Friday the 13th' turned out to be one of the biggest disappointments when it comes to horror classics remakes. After watching the trailers, I got the wrong idea that this film was going to be more serious. The previews gave me the false impression that this remake was going to go deeper into Jason's background story or maybe even offer extremely gory murders, when in reality, it is exactly the opposite. I'm not one of those horror lovers who want to know everything related to the villains, their origins and such, but in this case, it would have been acceptable to throw in some flashbacks regarding Jason Voorhees' past. Unfortunately, this remake wastes all the opportunities to make this interesting and instead, it offers an exaggerated and ineffective amount of comedy situations that are badly placed and ruin the possibility of creating a genuine horror feeling. Comedy situations in slasher films are no surprise, but in this remake, the attempted comedy is badly placed and seems like it was forced by the producers to make the film more marketable. I will give an example: after a really tense and dramatic persecution, the film cuts to a scene involving a horny stereotyped hillbilly lusting over a mannequin, while Jason silently walking up to him from behind, with the obvious intention of slashing him. How can they mix cheap humor and tension in one scene? The results obviously cannot be good. It was a murder scene, but instead of causing uneasiness, tension or shock, everyone at the movie theater was laughing at the guy talking about how he lost his virginity to a mannequin. The worst part is that the so-called humor is extremely 15-years-ago and even back then, it wouldn't have been funny.
The gore is very unsatisfying also. Nowadays, slasher films usually offer creative and really brutal murders and even if the plot is not so good, you can always at least settle for that. When I found out that Marcus Nispel was directing this, I thought it was good news, because he directed "The Texas Chain Saw Massacre" remake, which is a fine example of a movie that may not be as good as the original, but at least it offers something more serious, gory and overall fulfilling. Naturally, since Marcus Nispel also directed 'Friday the 13th' remake, I expected something in the same vein as 'The Texas Chainsaw Massacre' remake. Sadly, that was a very inaccurate assumption. In this film, the gore is completely unsatisfactory and in some cases, the murders are even funny. The entire movie theater burst into a maniacal laughter during some of the murders and I must say that in those cases, I had to agree with them.
Another thing that bothered me about this film, is the fact that they could have showed a little bit more about the character of Mrs. Voorhees. Unfortunately, she only appears during the first seconds of the film and they cut her scenes with the opening credits, which is a disgrace. The confrontation between Mrs. Voorhees and the counselor girl is perhaps one of the finest points of the entire 'Friday the 13th' series, and it should have been remade in an equally tense way. Cutting the scene with the opening credits is, in my opinion, a self-sabotage. I think it's safe to say that many fans of the original film were eager to learn some more about Jason's beloved mother and see her more time on the screen. But no... apparently, they didn't even take advantage of that opportunity to make this movie more interesting. True, we see a little bit about Jason's environment, since the characters get to take a tour inside his house and it was a good idea to show his bedroom and evidence the fact that once upon a time, the killing machine was an innocent boy with a normal life. However, that doesn't make up for the lack of space that Mrs. Voorhees had on the story.
'Friday the 13th' turned out to be a teen comedy with lousy humor and some badly placed murders from the beginning until the end. Watch it if you're curious, but unless you're a silly teenager who thinks everything is funny, don't expect anything even remotely good, because you'll be devastated.

New Line Cinema, Paramount by Marcus Nispel, Damian Shannon, Mark Swift, Mark Wheaton, Victor Miller.
Stars: Jared Padalecki, Amanda Righetti, Derek Mears, Danielle Panabaker.

Genres: Horror, Mystery, Thriller

Keywords: teenager cabin in the woods ax murder camp counselor jason vorhees

02/11/2009

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