The FRIDAY THE 13TH franchise isn’t known for its Shakesperean complexity nor it Hitchcockian character studies. We get 3 things: blood, boobs and Jason- in no particular order. The original movies were simple yet still effective. They knew who their audience was (i.e. horny straight teen boys) and gave them what they want. Sounds easy right? No so much. Lets face it: this reboot (I friggin’ hate that word) failed on so many levels. Not Friday the 13 part 8 fail, but more like Friday the 13th part 7 fail. In fact, I’m going to reverse my normal format and give you the “bad” first.
10 reasons this movie failed:
1) The wrong director (and studio) were behind this. I get the fact that Paramount pretty much distanced themselves after part 8, but Platinum Dunes will forever be the studio that has no soul in my opinion. With the exception of TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE, every one of their remakes failed. Why? Because they all look the same. Marcus Nispel directed the TCM remake and it looked brilliant. Unfortunately, lightening didn’t strike twice. This FRIDAY has the same look, tone, and beat as TCM. It didn’t work. Jason’s world is more immediate and less glossy and polished. Even if you didn’t already know you would figure that the same people behind TCM remake are behind this film.
2) Since when does Jason hold prisoners? Seriously, I didn’t see the point. This storyline looks like it was held over from an earlier draft and the producers forgot to drop it before the cameras rolled. Even if I buy that this is a new Jason I still didn’t understand what he was doing with his pet hostage.
3) The characters were all shit. Forget about the opening sequence. The bulk of the movie is made up of unlikable characters (maybe with the exception of Jared Padalecki’s Clay) who couldn’t die quick enough. We get the generic, arrogant blonde douche, his Matthew McConaughey-ish friend who I couldn’t get a read on, the non-threatening Asian and the stock Black character who was clearly written by writers, who I’m guessing, only exposure to a black man is Dixon on 90210. The gals were thin, pretty and had long hair and
C-list boobs. Their nothing roles were only there for masturbatory fantasies for the target audience.
4) Did someone read the script and question continuity and common sense? I know this is only a FRIDAY THE 13th film but when Jason turns on the flood lights by his cabin, I couldn’t help but ask, “who’s paying the light bill?” If this a desolate area how does he have power? How does Whitney have strength to escape and run if she’s been chained up for over a month? Was Jason bringing her Hot Pockets? Also, if the beginning of the film is a recreation of the original film and takes place in 1980 and Jason supposedly drowned almost 30 years prior, why is he an 8-year old in 1980?
5) Why did the beginning flashback look nothing like the 1980 original? The new “mother” looked like a sweet old lady…in a long dress. I’m supposed to buy she butchered a group of young, fit teens moments prior? At least in the original she was wearing pants and wasn’t so homely.
6) This is NOT a remake. It’s not even a reboot. It’s just another sequel, which I’m fine with. Just don’t sell me water and tell me it’s wine.
7) This sequel was not effective in moments where it should’ve been. Case in point: Jason’s putting on his mask for the first time. Let’s not even get into the completely unnecessary hick-hop character that tried to finger a mannequin before getting the slice from Jason and the limp way he died. Let’s just let our hopes for any true “for the fans” triumphant moment would die when the set up for Jason finding his hockey mask and trying it on has about as much impact as a two-year old’s fist.
8) What children’s camp has an underground lair? And again, how does he have electric power down there?
9) The problem with combining the first 5 FRIDAYs is that we’ve seen all this shit before. Nothing was new nor shocking.
10) Whatever elements of suspense and tension that was in the original films were replaced with adrenaline. This movie was clearly made for the Red Bull generation. Every shot was quick. Jason was almost telepathic. The shots were dark, up close and made loud noises which indicated something bad was happening.
Even when he’s bad
like in parts 8 and 9 Jason is still good. This Jason is the human Jason from the first half of the original series. People forget that he did run after his victims in the beginning. I also dug the jet-ski scene. It was by far the best post-credit sequence in the movie. The pre-credit sequence also brought this movie up a few notches. That cast actually had chemistry. The deaths were also more brutal and helped start the movie off on the right foot. Too bad the rest of the film was a let down.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. DO NOT LOOK AT THIS MOVIE AS A REMAKE. It’s another sequel that was cleverly disguised as a reboot. It can actually continue the story from the original franchise. It’s not a horrible film, it just doesn’t have a soul. Then again, this is Michael Bay and Platinum Dunes.
Roasted weiners,s’mores and plenty of Miller 64.