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10.20.2017
Friday The 13th (2009)
Movie Review by The Insane Old One
01.02.11

Friday The 13th (2009) T'will be more of the same for camp THIS year, kiddies.

I'm pretty well-established in my stance against remakes. I'm a purist, through-and-through, and although there are some surprising exceptions (and I'll gladly have my slice of humble pie in those cases), I'm pretty firm on my stance that remakes (or "re-imaginings", if you must) typically follow the "we don't have any new ideas, so let's cash in on old ones" formula.

This film is NOT one of the exceptions.

I'll be honest, I went into this film with a higher hope than I had for say, "The Amityville Horror" or "The Fog"...I figured that the story of Jason Voorhees had a lot of room for elaboration, and any writer worth his salt could conjure something new or at least moderately interesting out of the character and his beginnings...indeed, I expected this, as we got a meatier chunk of Leatherface and his family's psychosis in "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre" remake done by the same production company.

Sadly, I left with a greater sense of nostalgia for the original films, as hackneyed and trite as they had become.

First and foremost, I was disappointed with the overuse of near-pornographic sex; I expect it in a slasher film...it's pretty much one of the prime ingredients, but I feel the producers went entirely overboard with it in this film. I'm not a prude by ANY definition, but in this case it's obviously overdone, way too over-the-top to offer anything to the film other than the satisfaction of overly-hormonal males in the eighteen-to-twenty-five year old target audience.

Secondly, with only a couple of exceptions, the characters are far, far dumber than in most of the sequels to the original film...whereas it was always fun to yell at the screen in the past when victims ALWAYS ran up the stairs to a place they couldn't escape, or ALWAYS went alone (and typically half-dressed and unarmed) to investigate the strange noise even though they KNOW there's a homicidal maniac on the loose, in THIS film the fodder seem so ignorant that it amounts to mostly frustration, and I for one felt a sense of relief when they finally met ol' Jason face-to-hockey mask. This is not the fault of the actors, who in all but a few cases I thought performed well with the material they had to work with, but instead the blame lies on the scripting.

The incorporation of the first three films of the series (and references to several others) was a good idea, and could have worked if the writers had made the effort to breathe something new and interesting into the plot, but all you really have here is a Reader's Digest version of those first three films...a Cliff's Notes, if you will, hitting the high points but offering nothing new at all. The only thing I found redeeming is that they finally give somewhat of an explanation as to how Voorhees could seemingly be everywhere at once.

I suppose to "re-boot" the franchise to a new generation, it's not a godawful film, but for the money I would suggest simply renting "Friday the 13th", "Friday the 13th Part II", and "Friday the 13th Part III"...you'll get the same information, same story, same pretty much EVERYTHING, but as it was done originally, and in a more entertaining way.

Until the next time, children!

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