First of all, I’m a big fan of the original two, maybe three Friday the 13th films. Four was alright. Then they started getting ridiculous. Anyway, last night Dan had rented me the new Friday the 13th and now I should be on a hunt for Michael Bay’s head with a hockey mask and a machete. This movie did not carry a subtitle, which, in movie terms, implies a remake, i. e. , the recent remake of Halloween by Rob Zombie. That was a okay film, by the way, by comparison. Rob Zombie gave the fans of the franchise a back story, somewhat likable characters (Laurie, Dr.
Loomis, maybe the cop), some nostalgic homages and a raw, gritty style. Even Michael Myers was made into a character, instead of just a plot obstacle. It wasn’t perfect, but it was a satisfying addition to the over exploited, under executed horror genre. This movie gave the original franchise fan almost none of that and on top of that they Michael Bayed all over it. There was no story. I take that back. The story was about some kids trying to steal weed and some rich kids being pretty. Way too much of this. The absence of a pointless story is actually what was good about the original The Texas Chainsaw Massacre.
There’s a brief intro scene which introduces you to the meaningless meat (characters) and then you get right into the hacking. In this new Friday addition we get way too many scenes with way too much lame, uninspired dialog and no character development. Especially when it comes to the most important character of all… Jason Voorhees!! (By the way, I don’t remember hearing his last name mentioned, but I could be wrong. ) The most clever dialog was when a kid asks Jason if a hockey stick he finds in a tool shed belongs to him. The biggest problem with this movie is the way it’s being marketed.
If this were Friday the 13th: Subtitle, I wouldn’t be so hard on it, but this movie was sold with the same title as the original. With the number of remakes being xeroxed lately, we’ve come to expect a somewhat reminiscent of the original version of a film. This movie definitely picks from the original but is not a remake in any way. They start the movie with a few clips of Jason’s mom slashing up camp counselors. She gets her head chopped off by the lone surviving counselor. So far, so good. I actually would’ve liked a bigger portion to cover the original story.
Maybe explain a little about what happened to Jason after he had drowned. Where did he grow? Underwater? Or did he come out as a kid and grow on land? And how did he come back? Was he just holding his breath for a long time? Did his mom’s psycho spirit possess his dead body? (That’s my best guess. ) What was he like as a kid? Crazy? Stupid? Momma’s boy? Probably, but they completely ignore all events after his mother’s beheading up until present day, where the film continues. First, we’ve got some attractive kids who are hiking around Crystal Lake looking for a crop of weed.
Well, Jason obviously doesn’t like people messing with his weed, especially if it’s near Crystal Lake property, so he kills them. Then the screen booms with “Friday the 13th” and you can just smell the filmmakers smugness. By this point, I was unimpressed and was quickly losing faith in the film. There was nothing there to make me think it was a remake and the dialog and acting already sucked. Then we meet this guy who’s in the area looking for his missing sister. Obviously one of the previous victims. He runs into a group of annoying preppie rich kids who end up being the main focus of the movie.
They’re going to one of their daddy’s huge vacation houses which just happens to be right on Crystal Lake to drink, smoke, have sex and die. While this guy’s going around town asking the locals if they’ve seen his sister, appropriate crazy old person cliche warns him that “he” (Jason) doesn’t like people coming around “his” lake. People who go missing around here stay missing. Right there, that tells you that this is not a remake. If this were a remake, Jason would not have gone on any murder rampages, hiding bodies in clever places to fall down on a rope and startle you right before he kills you.
But this old lady knew about it, so this was going to be just another sequel. Not just another sequel, but another, tired, flashy, 90-something minute Michael Bay visual showoff. And the gore really wasn’t that good. The Saw movies are much more graphic, although they’ve all sucked after the first one. Was there anything good here? A little. Jason was keeping his mom’s head in a crude shrine, which I believe was in Part 2. The first group of kids snuck into Jason’s old house, which I guess was on or very near the lake. They found a little locket on a necklace with a picture in it that looked like one of the girls who was on the weed trip.
Foreshadowing. We find out later that Jason is keeping this girl alive somewhere underground by feeding her backpack leftovers. He thinks she’s his mom. Awww. I didn’t mind this. It was a bit of much needed story. While the guy looking for his sister is meeting the town’s folk, he runs into the guy who has been growing the weed. He says that someone has been stealing the kerosene. I guess Jason would be the culprit. I suppose he’s using it to run generators at his house, the camp, and his underground lair. The movie doesn’t go beyond mentioning missing kerosene, but it’s either that or Jason is paying his utilities bill.
At the end of the movie the guy rescues his sister but they’re chased and they, of course, run into a barn. Before Jason kills the guy, his sister plays mom, also reminiscent of Part 2, and tells Jason it’s okay. He can stop killing. Speaking of this, they only did the signature “kill, kill, kill,” whispers once throughout the whole movie. Anyway, guy takes advantage of this, gets a chain around Jason’s neck, and hangs him. They wait around for the sun to come up, dump the body in the lake and they’re safe. That is, until Jason leaps out of the water, grabs the girl, and takes her under.
This, of course, is the first glimpse we get of crazy Jason in the original Friday the 13th. I appreciated these few things. This all sounds alright, until you remember that the other 60 minutes are spent hanging out with the talking body counts. I had high hopes for this one, but knowing it was only the 12th in the series, (if you count Freddy vs. Jason), I still have hopes for the 13th installment. Maybe they can talk Rob Zombie into it because this one was an utter let down, especially since they used the title in its original incarnation.
The writers sucked. Two of them wrote Freddy vs. Jason, which I liked. It payed homage to both series more this this sacrilegious piece of crap. The directing style wasn’t particularly bad, but it was forgettable. It was the same director as the The Texas Chainsaw Massacre remake, and it suffered from the same problems. And on top of that, you’ve got Michael Bay. I don’t think he’s a horror fan. Putting Michael Bay in the production chair is like trying to polish a turd. All he concerns himself with are visuals. Yeah, it looked cool, but the story was missing.
Bottom line: he knows how to make cool action scenes but he doesn’t know how to tell a story. So far Michael Bay has ruined The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, The Amityville Horror, and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning. And that’s only what I’ve seen. I’ve heard that Pearl Harbor missed the point, as well. And, horror fans, do you wanna hear something really scary? He’s producing the remake (or not a remake) of A Nightmare on Elm Street!!! Noooooooooo!!!!!!! I can’t tell you how much that pisses me off. At least he’s not touching Sleepaway Camp.