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Friday the 13th

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Friday the 13th
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.

Reviews

Milo_Jeeder
'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.
Wuchak
***Scarier and with a more dangerous Jason, but not as fun*** I became a fan of the "Friday the 13th" series after seeing "Part V: A New Beginning" (1985) on TV in the late 90s and have subsequently digested all of the films in the series. This '09 reboot takes elements of the first four films, drops all campy elements seen in Part III (and V, VI, IX & X) and provides better scares with a more dangerous Jason, who runs, shoots arrows, uses traps and schemes. In the original series Jason was comparable to an unstoppable zombie-like force, particularly as the series progressed where Jason became more & more infernal and monstrous. Here he's more human, which makes sense since it's early in the timeline and Jason hasn't yet morphed into the hellish zombie he became in later segments. The appeal of the series for is not the gore or kills but rather the plot of a group of youths gathering in the wilderness; the inclusion of a psycho killer on the loose adds a necessary element of threat & suspense, and Jason's a quality nemesis/monster. Simply put, "Friday the 13th" is an entertaining series with creepy elements, but I never found the flicks all that scary, not even the first two films, which are the most serious in tone, along with IV, VII, VIII and XI. Of course there are jump-scares galore, but that's not what I'm talking about. With the third installment, campiness was added, which made several of the installments even less scary. The good thing about this '09 reboot is that it throws out the campy aspects and opts for a more serious approach. In addition, it has a couple of sequences that produce actual frights, something I never experienced with the rest of the series, as well as scenes with genuine suspense, like when Jason chases the three protagonists through the tunnels, etc. Speaking of the three protagonists, the cast is filled with youthful no-names, but the three main protagonists, a brother & sister and a brunette who takes a liking to the brother, are good and likable. It's always nice to have some people you can root for. Really, there are only two characters who are unlikable, a creepy redneck hick (and his "hot" mannequin, lol) and the arrogant alpha-male whose father owns the vacation house. I found one aspect of the film highly unusual and unique. I'm referring to the 24-minute prologue before the opening credits. This has to be one of the longest prologues in film history. I have to give credit to the filmmakers for being creative and trying something different. This reboot also just plain LOOKS better than all those older films; I'm referring mostly to the creepy woods at night. This is to be expected, of course, with the advancements in filming technology since 1980, not to mention the bigger budget. The series is known for its excellent assortment of women in every entry, but this one's not quite as good as most of the films in the franchise. There's the excellent Amanda (America Olivo) in the first act and also Whitney (Amanda Righetti) and Jenna (Danielle Panabaker) as the two female protagonists. They're solid, but not in the same league as Pam in Part V, Agent Marcus in Part IX and Heather in Part XI (FvJ). I suppose it's all a matter of taste though. The film was shot in the heart of Texas, mainly in regions relatively near Austin. FINAL WORD: My biggest criteria for judging the worth of a film is whether or not it pulls me in and makes me forget about the passing of time. This '09 reboot succeeds in this respect. Although nothing can replace the initial 1980 film and its immediate sequel, this reboot should be given credit for generating a few genuine scares, which I rarely if ever experienced with the rest of the series; not to mention providing a worthy trio of protagonists, as well as scenes with genuine momentum. Other than these factors, the reboot is just more of the same, but it's at least as good as the better sequels, although it's not as fun as several of them because it shoots for serious horror. This is good, but the first half is more effective than the second. And it fails to approach the greatness of the '09 remake of "The Last House on the Left," a veritable masterpiece that transcends the usual one-dimensional nature of most slasher flicks, not that I would expect (or necessarily want) that for "Friday the 13th." I have the "Killer Cut" that runs 105 minutes, while the theatrical version runs 97 minutes. Needless to say, this is a heavy R-rated picture. GRADE: B

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