Friday the 13th Review: A Bloody Good Cut
FRIDAY THE 13TH: On general release from Friday 13th February 2009
As the credits rolled on Freddie vs Jason, it was obvious that the Friday the 13th franchise was in serious danger of bleeding out. After 11 films and the aforementioned – noticeably lacklustre – clash of the horror titans, even the most bloodthirsty and hardcore of fans would have agreed that something had to change. But where do you go with the relatively simple story of a special needs, sociopathic Oedipus freak which had gradually grown so ridiculously elaborate that by the end of the last movie in the franchise he had died (repeatedly), fought telekinetics, invaded Manhattan, possessed bodies, gone into space and been pitted against one of horror’s greatest icons?
REBOOT, of course.
The 21st century has seen a number of slasher movies remade and rebooted for a modern audience (Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Halloween, Last House on the Left), and so it makes sense for Friday the 13th to follow suit. And to Michael Bay and Marcus Nispel’s credit, they’ve pretty much encapsulated everything you want to see in a Friday film into 90 minutes of beautifully shot carnage.
Story-wise, things have been left relatively unchanged. An initial flashback to Camp Crystal Lake details Jason’s mommy’s murderous rampage and her subsequent downfall at the hands of one mightily annoyed camp counsellor. 20 years later and a bunch of generic, teenage cannon fodder head into the woods in the search of weed. As night falls, the spooky campfire stories start; primarily one revolving around the local camp’s legacy and the urban myth that Jason still stalks the place sniffing out pretty young things to avenge his mother. Once the boobs come out and the beer starts a-flowing, you know it’s not long until Jason (and his machete) make an appearance, and then you can just sit back and enjoy the mayhem.
If we’re being incredibly pedantic, you can kind of see his point. And while you can’t help but think a good sit down on the Jeremy Kyle show would do him a world of good (This week’s show: “I’M A MUTANT, SAW MY MOTHER DECAPITATED AND LIVE IN A SHED. LIFE SUCKS AND I WANT REVENGE”), the writers have been clever enough to make 90% of these actors so remedially annoying, you’re right there with Jason, cheering him on the whole way.
The deaths are almost always entertaining (especially look out for the wakeboarding duo’s demise, which had the entire theatre laughing), and despite a heavy reliance on LOUD MUSIC JUMPY MOMENTS, the tension ramps up well enough to have your heart beating steadily against your chest throughout.
You know what you’re getting here: boobs, inventive deaths, pretty people, a psychotic Chuck from The Goonies stabbing his away across America’s sweethearts and more boobs. If that doesn’t sound like your thing, stick to Confessions of a Shopaholic. If you’re already smiling, then you’re guaranteed to have a bloody good time.