Thursday, February 26, 2009

Review: Friday the 13th (2009)

I can't believe I haven't written anything yet about Friday the 13th. I definitely needed some time to figure out what I actually think about this movie. I was sorta stunned and not in a good way when I left the theater.

First I want to make clear that I haven't seen all the Friday films. I remember the original (Kevin Bacon!), X and Freddy vs Jason. I know I've seen a couple of the middle ones when I was younger, but that was at least 10 years ago.. so in my world, Jason is this big mindless killing machine. That's not the Jason I saw in this reimagining. This was a killer pretending to be Jason. He was too smart! Why does he have traps? Really, I'd like to know! And the running! Don't get me started on that. I've read that, yes, Jason did run in several Fridays, but I just couldn't wrap my brain around it and take this "Jason" seriously. Good lord, did Michael run in Zombie's Halloween? I can't remember, but that would have ruined that movie even more for me. Ohw, and Jason has weed. And he's very protective of it. Really, I was just very annoyed by this weed subplot. Why did they make the first group of kids go in search of weed? Couldn't the Powers that Be have made them camp counselors arriving to set up the new Camp Crystal Lake or something?

I've read several times that the movie visually looks too much like Nispel's Texas Chainsaw Massacre. That's something I was excited about when I heard about Nispel's involvement. I'm a big fan of his reimagining of TCM, and while I wasn't bothered by the alikeness of it all, it didn't help make this movie feel like a Friday film. It was more a 'crazy pothead killer in the woods who likes to dress up as Jason' movie. And if I had paid €9.50(!!!) to see that, I would've been satisfied, but that wasn't the case.

Now about the casting.. I feel there is no middle ground here. I really liked certain actors and just down right loathed some of the others. Jared Padalecki, Danielle Panabaker, Travis van Winkle, Ryan Hansen, Ben Feldman, Aaron Yoo, Arlen Escarpeta and Jonathan Sadowski are all very enjoyable, while I never hope to see Amanda Righetti (don't like her on The Mentalist or in Return to House on Haunted Hill either), Julianna Guill, Willa Ford, Nick Mennell and America Olivo (= a poor man's Shannon Elizabeth) ever again. EVER. Not sure what the point is of having Richard Burgi in the cast if you aren't going to use him.

The kills were pretty decent. While I wasn't fond of Jason having traps, I did like the scene where Ben Feldman stepped into one and witnessed America Olivo tied up in the sleeping bag above the fire. That was my fave death.

This movie had too much pointless nudity.. even for a Friday film. Topless wakeboarding? Really?!?

I think that's it. Maybe I'll like the movie better when I rewatch it, but right now I can't help but feel 'meh' about it. A 3/5.

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