Thursday, October 29, 2020

Friday the 13th (2009)

The evolution of Jason Voorhees from slasher movie villain to folk hero is an interesting story with the entire franchise taken into account. However, the story in each individual film is usually dull. This one is over-hyped, slow, willfully stupid, and the MPAA probably cut it to pieces. In other words a perfect Friday the 13th movie.


Some dumb 20-somethings playing teenagers drive to a spooky lake house in the middle of nowhere. Watch out! Here comes a guy in a hockey mask with a machete. Will they survive? Of course not, but maybe some of them get killed in interesting ways. That is the plot of not only this film, but also of at least 8 installments that came before it.

This critic sees the Friday the 13th reboot as a mixed bag. From little nitpicks like characters misunderstanding GPS technology to the handful of bloodless kills, the film does not feel like trash made in earnest. It’s not the original, which existed only to rip off Halloween (1978). It’s not the second or fifth film, which leaned harder on sex appeal. It’s really just a bland remake that isn’t trashy enough to inspire the old audience or attract a new one.

Aside from violence, the only thing trash entertainment has going for it is sex. The girls in this Friday are unfortunately normal-looking (a Michael Bay tradition) as opposed to the babes of previous installments. Lisa Ryder and Lexa Doig of Jason X (2001), while not the hottest in the franchise, were of particular note for appearing in the Andromeda sci-fi series. The careers of the actresses in the 2009 film are far less interesting.

With relatively weak violence and weak sex appeal, a thinking audience is left with only dumb throwaway lines. While it takes itself (too) seriously, the film can be experienced as a comedy. It has some real zingers like:

Say hi to your mommy…IN HELL!

If you’re a Jason completionist or in the mood for something dumb, give this one a watch. Otherwise don’t.

If another film were to go into production for release in 2021 or 2022, it could possibly be a prequel, or as marketing executives call it, an “origin story”. Personally, I feel the concept of a timeline is too classy for this series. Like the 2009 film, the next 13 sequels will assuredly be a guy in a hockey mask stabbing people. What more do you want?