Friday the 13th (remake) review by The Grim Ringler

FRIDAY THE 13th (remake)

I have said it multiple times on here so I will spare you another mention but, for reals, I grew up with Jason, in a way and since I was a kid, I have loved the FRIDAY THE 13th films. I understand that the films are not great, I can see that, but darn it, they are fun. Heck, the first four are darn well great in this series. Unlike a lot of horror nerds though, I didn't go into the theater all angry and angsty I went in excited. These movies have always, ALWAYS, been about having fun and making money. What art there is in the films is almost accidental at this point. All I wanted, going in, was a fun movie that stays true to the character of Jason and from there, I am pretty open.

Wait, did I say I wanted 'fun'?

Can I tell you that my trip to the theater was the most memorable and awful I have ever experienced? Seriously. We went to the theater and it was like we were on the set of an ESCAPE FROM film. Cops, an ocean of underage teens, and areas cordoned off to keep non ticket holders out. Wow. We had to pass through three do you have a ticket lines and the last one was even checking ID of some of the kids. Even with all that we got into a theater FULL of freaking kids. FILLED with kids. Like, obnoxious, loud, young, angry kids, which lead to a fight in the upper seating tier. Then the manager had to come in and lectured this sold out crowd about how there was a one strike policy and she and a couple security guards enforced that during the picture. Oh, the movie, it was pretty good, over all.

Friday the 13th is essentially the first three movies smooshed together and sped up. We begin with Mama Voorhees and her reign of vengeance on the camp counselors that 'let her Jason drown', but she meets the one counselor who fights back and thus the end of Mrs. V. Enter Jason, very much not dead, and still a child, but now a child who has taken up his mother's vengeful crusade. The movie kicks it into fast forward from there, Jason hunting and killing anyone foolish enough to trespass on his woods or on the abandoned campgrounds where he now lives.

That is the basic story, and, while there are no great plot twists, to say more is to really give away what is beneath the sheet, and I don't do that.

The movie is decent. Nothing great but with more energy than we have seen in the series (the main series, not the Freddy and Jason outing) in ages. This is a well made film. The sets are fantastic, Jason is scary and looks great, and the gags are pretty good. I give all the credit in the world for making an interesting, exciting movie. Suddenly this franchise is relevant again. And unlike Rob Zombie's HALLOWEEN remake, there is no dark undertones to the film, this is, truly, an eighties party slasher. Which is a boon and a curse. It is a fun film, sure, but it feels hollow. It plays too MUCH to the audience. So much so that there are no real characters nor plot, just running, screwing, toking, and dying. It drives me nutty too because there is a LOT of mythology here, a lot of 'but what is THAT all about' sort of stuff what happened to the camp, why does Jason live in an underground tunnel system, what DOES he do with all those bodies, and why does he kill a local? This is a movie that needed and deserved more story and more time.

But...
The kills are pretty good. Jason looks better than he has in years and, like I said, is SCARY. The laughs are pretty good, though get a bit long in the bong. There are a LOT of nods to the earlier films. Some fun, some silly, but all pretty neat to see. The direction is good but, my GOD there was too much use of handicam. My kingdom for a horror film/slasher that leaves the hand held camera work for the indie film wannabes. This is a scary character, in big, menacing woods, and they shot him and the film for crap at times. The acting is passing but most of these people were picked to be pretty and to die well and that they can do.

Overall, this is a fun movie that will thrill a lot of the fans. Some will cry foul, and depending on their reasoning, I can appreciate that. There is a lot to like here but a lot to be frustrated with. I hope, hope, hope this was just a quick shot of adrenalin to the franchise and that as it moves forward they will slow the pace down and give us more story. This could be a damn good franchise if they treat it the right way, so here's hoping. For now, it is a good way to whet the appetite for what I hope is a deeper, darker, slower sequel. And one that uses the campground once more.

...c...




7 out of 10 Jackasses
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