Movie Review - Friday the 13th (2009)

Director: Marcus Nispel (2009)
Starring: Jared Padalecki, Danielle Panabaker, Amanda Righetti, Travis Van Winkle
Find it online: IMDB, Amazon UK, Amazon US

In the good old days, the Friday the Thirteenth movies had only a few rules: don’t have sex, don’t drink, and don’t do drugs. The 2009 remake adds a new ‘thou shalt not’ to the pantheon. Don’t fuck with Jason’s weed stash.

In the new Friday the Thirteenth, Jason Voorhees seems to be growing his own stash of weed in Crystal Lake. There’s no other explanation as to why cannabis would be growing in the woods. One thing’s for sure… if you touch it, Jason’s gonna fuck you up. Because, as anyone who watched The Tripper will know, backwoods America is full of hillbilly weed.

Anyway, F13 2009 opens with a nifty prologue which sees mamma Voorhees beheaded by the lone survivor of (sort of) the original film. It then skips swiftly onto a second prologue, in which a group of annoying teens are wandering through the woods, seeking out Jason’s cannabis garden. After 20-odd minutes of premarital sex, drinking and drug taking, Jason shows up and kills everyone. And then, finally, the title credit shows up onscreen. Its two prologues out of the way, we’re introduced to a third group of teenagers (those prologues, then, are pretty much a mash-up of the first and second F13 movies – apparently making this a remake of the first three flicks. It’s an interesting approach). These particular teens are heading off to a house party situated near to Camp Crystal Lake. Despite the house belonging to one of the teens, everyone seems pretty clueless about the camp’s existence – and, by proxy, that of Jason.

You’re delivered everything you’d expect from a Friday film. There are copious amounts of nubile, naked flesh, all washed down with lots of blood and gore. The sex, incidentally, is among the most explicit you can expect to see without having to rent a boner-fide (GET IT) titty flick. It’s occasionally surprising that they managed to get this much past the MPAA. The film certainly benefits from it.

The second lot of teenagers, thankfully, are nowhere near as irritating as their predecessors; and one or two can even act worth a damn! Aside from occasional irritations (the black character constantly referring to himself as such gets old fast) they make for good protagonists, and some of them even have a few reasonably funny lines of dialogue.

But you don’t watch a F13 film for the machete-fodder. It’s genuinely good to see Jason back doing what he does best, and even better to see that he’s as mean a motherfucker as ever. This Voorhees is fast and he’s a force of nature; he genuinely looks and feels unstoppable and furious. This Jason is pissed as hell, and he’s a relentless bastard in cutting his victims down to size. He’s not so much retarded here, but more of a savant: an angry, survivalist version of Forrest Gump. He sets traps, lays bait and is expert with a bow and arrow.

That’s not to say everything’s perfect. Jared Padalecki flounders almost as badly as his Supernatural brother did in My Bloody Valentine 3D. He’s the weakest link, with his dumb face and severe lack of acting ability threatening to turn the whole thing into an episode of Supernatural (albeit an actually scary, sexy version of the programme). He’s a mumbling little fuck and you’ll be begging for Jason to shove a machete up his cornhole.

The gore, too, is somewhat lacking. Sure, the violence is amped up and occasionally cringe-inducing, but there’s nothing spectacular on show. It feels as if the film-makers are holding back for the sequel; just waiting to really set Jason loose.

But such grumbles are minor; you’ll have a helluva time with F13, and it really is good to see everyone’s favourite pissed off goalie back on the big screen. Ki-ki-ma-ma indeed.

4/5 screaming Scream Queens!!

1 comment:

  1. Being a huge Friday the 13th fan I'll comment :)

    I don't think it was Jason's stash. I think when Donnie got caught he just made up the excuse of him finding it so he didn't get into trouble for growing it if he was caught with it. Jason having his own stash to lure people in is just pretty silly IMO. And thats how I like to explain that one.

    I personally loved the first set of "teens" to get butchered and wish they (or most of them) had been in the rest of the movie too. Now that I've seen the movie a few times the 2nd batch have grown on me.