johnlink ranks FRIDAY THE 13TH (2009)

Decided to follow up the Oscars with a movie I was surprised wasn’t a winner at the Razzies. Really, I had little interest in seeing this, but it came through HBO HD, and I figured I could give it a chance and see if maybe it would surprise me. At the very least, a slasher flick couldn’t be too bad to watch once, right?

I watched FRIDAY THE 13th (2009) on 3.8.10. It was my first viewing of the film. TRAILER HERE

Indifferent. Really, there is no better word for how I felt about this entire film. I never absolutely hated it enough to just give up, but I may as well have. There is not a single memorable thing about it. In a film like this you are supposed to be looking for ‘good kills’. I can’t even give it that.

My biggest problem with this film is the group of ‘friends’. It is your typical horror stable. They pretend to be friends, but they all are just shallow selfish wastes. In typical fashion, those who do drugs or get naked and have sex all die. Those who are pure make it to the last act. This film does not have a single new idea to add to the genre.

The two pure characters are the only worthwhile parts of the film. Jared Padalecki is okay as the hero, and Danielle Panabaker is half-decent as the heroine. The rest, both the comic relief druggies, and there-to-get-naked females are terrible. The douche bag boyfriend is the worst of all. He might not even be a terrible actor, but his dialogue is so brutal that I can’t imagine anyone who sees this would offer him another role. Plus, there are several moments meant to be funny, or witty, or clever. None of them are.

Jason is ho-hum. Realistically, this film could have introduced a new character and been the same thing. I was no huge fan of Jason in the first place, so I don’t care either way, but I just don’t see the need to reboot this series (well, the film does open with the conclusion of the first film, so technically it is a sequel which ignores the other sequels).

The last ten minutes of this film isn’t horrible. Once we get to characters we actually like, there is a reason to care. Of course, there is a big logic jump in a character suddenly knowing Jason’s history and exactly what to say to him for no good reason. And the last moment is lame. But hey, it’s all the positive I have.

In modern horror fashion, we are asked to side with the killer as much as the heroes. This film tries to attract its slacker fans to Jason by making him a Mama’s boy just trying to protect his weed stash from douchey delinquents. We are supposed to be on his side for more of the scenes then we are his victims. We’re supposed to root for creative death most of the time. To me, that is the problem with today’s horror. It has become more about blood and apathy than suspense. When John Carpenter helped create the formula in HALLOWEEN, those having sex and doing drugs were fairly innocent. They may have been clueless, but they were not malicious and unlikable people we hoped would die. The genre has bastardized the formula into a lazy style which promotes rooting for the bad guy. Now I’m not one of these people saying that this is corrupting today’s youth. I’m not on that train, don’t worry. All I’m saying is that I find a movie much more entertaining when it creates suspense and tries to make us think, rather than take the lazy, non-creative approach.

Oh, and if you are curious how my view of this relaunch compares to the originals, you can see last year’s ranking of the first two films here.


FILM: 2; MOVIE: 4; ACTING: 3; WRITING: 1 (What is this?)

2+4+3+1+0= 10


~ by johnlink00 on March 7, 2010.

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