I guess the question we could ask is do we really need a remake or a ‘re-imagining’ of the now classic movie ‘Friday the 13th’, with the simple answer to that being 'hell to the no'. But we got it so why even bother to ask that silly question. A more relevant question I suppose would be is this re-imagining of that damn near thirty year old movie any good? Well…
This little remake picks up right where the original left off with the lone surviving camp counselor lopping off the head of Mrs. Vorhees (Nana Visitor), apparently in front of her walking dead son Jason. I’m a little curious about this because Jason is still a boy when this happened though I believe he died some twenty plus years before moms lost her dome, so why didn’t he grow in that time and why is he grown now? I need to get to the bottom of this compelling mystery.
Fast forward to the present where a group of five young adults have traveled to the woods just outside of Camp Crystal Lake looking to score some freely growing weed they’ve heard about and decide to rest for the night. You know the routine… one of our hopeful pot dealers tells some creepy fire side story about the boy named Jason who roams these woods, one dude wanders off to take a piss, one pair get the hornies and run of to a tent to screw and another couple wanders off to ‘explore’. You probably know this routine as well. Everybody dies. Pretty much.
A month later still in the general vicinity of Camp Crystal Lake we meet Clay Miller (Jared Padalecki) who happens to be the older brother of one of those who was with that doomed of crew of pot foragers in Whitney (Amanda Rigetti). While putting up flyers in the area he runs into a group of ethnically diverse young people heading out
that way to party like its 1999… and DIE! This particular group of kids, led by the supreme asshole Trent (Travis Van Winkle), make it out to Trent’s plush cabin and proceed to do what that previous group of kids was doing, that being getting high, drunk and sexed up. Except for the pretty and pure Jenna (Amanda Panabaker), looking a lot like ‘Final Girl’ material to us, who is none to happy with Trent’s assholery and decides to hang out with Clay instead and help him find his missing sister.
Unfortunately Jason Vorhees (Derek Mears), for reasons that will never be explained, has decided to choose the right now to have a coming out party and rain HELL on these pot-smoking pre-marital sex experiencing youths! We’ve always known Jason to be super strong, but apparently he’s added the mantle of Track Star to his dossier. I mean Jason can flat out fly, so run if you must but it won’t do you any good. Now that I’m thinking about it, Jason Vorhees would completely dominate the decathlon because he can also hammer throw, high jump and long jump on top of being one of the worlds best long distance athletes. Regardless, Asians die, Black dudes die, naked chicks die, assholes die, cops die… and our hero Clay with the cute hottie by his side searches on for his baby sister.
I don’t know much but I’m pretty sure this movie is going to make a lot of money, even though it’s really not all that good. Producer Michael Bay and Paramount were smart enough to realize that a twelfth Friday the 13th sequel, like something along the lines ‘Jason vs. Jehovah’ or ‘Jason vs. Batman’ is something nobody, even fanatics, would want to see. So instead they just rebooted the damn thing with 21st century technology and 21st century titties, all of which will make this thing accessible to everybody once again. Genius.
As far as the movie itself goes, well understand first that I have no real affinity towards Jason Vorhees and ‘Friday the 13th’, though I have seen every single one of those mindless sequels, and this here reboot really adds nothing in particular to the genre. Marcus Nispel directs on auto-pilot giving the viewer what they expect when they expect it, which pretty much negating any real fright factor from this movie. The kills aren’t particularly inventive, the characters aren’t all that memorable and what little story there is only serves the purpose of stringing the kills together in someway. But I will say the movie does move well and is never dull, Travis van Winkle makes for a great asshole and there were people in the theater who I saw this thing with jumping out of their seats, which I did find somewhat surprising because how could you NOT know that girlfriend was going to catch a machete straight through the top of her skull? That’s Vorhees 101 right there.
I had just seen the documentary ‘His Name was Jason’ and among the interviewees were admitted Jason slappies Joe Lynch who directed the movie ‘Wrong Turn 2’ and Adam Green who directed ‘Hatchet’. Both of those movies were better than this one and I suspect that both of those directors would have somehow found a way to make a more original and unique retelling of this movie than the one Nispel has shot out. Even though I wasn’t all that crazy about Rob Zombies retelling of Halloween, but that too was a better movie than this one. However with all that being said, and this is a risky statement, this still managed to be the best version of ‘Friday the 13th’ EVER! Better than the slow moving original, better than all of those silly sequels where Jason goes to space, Manhattan, Hell and becomes a slug… Even better that ‘Jason vs. Freddy’ and I’m a Freddy Krueger guy. This reboot of ‘Friday of the 13th’ is better than ALL of them and its STILL shittty. And this version is going to make so much money, imagine the joy of knowing we will probably see another ten sequels down the road.