Friday the 13th (2009)

Jared Padalecki, Danielle Panabaker, Amanda Righetti, Travis Van Winkle
A group of young adults discover a boarded up Camp Crystal Lake, where they soon encounter Jason Voorhees and his deadly intentions.
Though technically well-constructed, Friday the 13th is a series rehash that features little to distinguish it from its predecessors.
  • Warner Bros. Pictures/New Line/Paramount Company:
  • R Rated:
  • IMDB link IMDB:
  • 13 Feb 2009 Released:
  • 16 Jun 2009 DVD Release:
  • $65.0M Box office:


This garbage is Friday THE 13TH meets Farrelly Brothers meets Texas CHAINSAW MASSACRE1/10
(Slight spoilers, though nothing major. Hell, the whole rotten movie is a "spoiler")

Upon viewing the opening third of this movie, I swear I thought the film had been written by Peter and Bobby Farrelly (the talentless brothers behind such pieces of dung such as THERE'S SOMETHING ABOUT MARY, and ME, MYSELF, AND IRENE) because the film assaulted the audience with embarrassingly crude, off-color, profanity-ridden dialogue.

The film also stoops to presenting distressingly stereotypical characters, including blatantly adding the token black guy and the token Asian guy and then tries to poke fun at it! ("Just because I'm black, that mean I can't listen to Green Day?") The film didn't get any better from there.

As a longtime, die-hard Friday fan, I cringed as I watched the filmmakers completely destroy the myth and character of Jason Voorhees by turning him into a psycho, inbred redneck -- directly out of the Texas CHAINSAW series (directed by an individual who directed the crappy remake of that, and using actors from that remake too!). Absurd was the plot point of Jason holding the girl hostage (for reasons that were never truly made clear)-- since when has Jason EVER done anything like that? Oh right, we're making him into Leatherface now.

The lighting was awful, the kills were mostly too fast and too dark to be enjoyed, Derek Mears was OK but unremarkable as Jason. I'll credit him for doing the best with the sickeningly bad material he had to work with.

Worst of all, the film tries to have it both ways -- it tries to create a scary Jason, but makes the characters so repugnantly unappealing that the audience is rooting for Jason. You can't have your cake and eat it too: either have a scary Jason that we're rooting against because he's the villain, or portray him as the (anti)hero who's there to wipe out teenage scum. Not both.

A couple good touches, such as the topless skiing scene (even though that didn't show off what it could've) and the ax kill (now THAT was pure Jason) can even begin to save this pile of sludge. But I'm sure we'll have another awful remake (or sequel to a remake), since this crap hit it big at the box office.

Grade Z tripe.
Lousy remake/reboot/re-imagining/whatever the latest PR spin word is.3/10
I didn't expect much of anything other than a few memorable kills and maybe a cheap jump scare here and there. This pathetic excuse for a movie couldn't even deliver that much. For starters, I personally can't stand how recent horror movies are shot. Everything has the same dark, muddy and flat-looking quality, with no real clarity of picture and irritating shakycam going into overdrive during 90 percent of the horror/action scenes because far too many directors today aren't talented enough to stage an effective horror or action scene without it. The gore was often even hard to make out because of the camera-work, too, which renders something like this almost completely pointless. And while the 1980s Friday films aren't what I'd call genre classics, you could at least clearly make out the gory scenes instead of getting a split flash of some CGI effect while the cameraman goes into a seizure. Bah-humbug, I know. But I swear I really did try my best to like this one. Honest!

Defenders of this latest bargain basement remake will say things like...

"It's not supposed to have a storyline or plot!" or "The acting is supposed to be bad!" or "The dialogue is supposed to be stupid!" or "The characters are supposed to be unbearably obnoxious and annoying!" or "It's not supposed to be scary!" Well OK then. I'd now like to take the opportunity to congratulate Mr. Nispel for making an unscary, ugly-looking, suspense-free movie with bad acting, terrible dialogue, forgettable kills and annoying characters. Way to go Marcus!

What other "goodies" do we get here? Let's see...

For some reason, the film opens with all the credits but waits until about twenty minutes in to reveal the TITLE.

Half of the dialogue seems to consist of either the "f" word or "dude." And what's up with every person talking to themselves? Every time a person was alone they were having a conversation. With whom? I have no clue. When a floorboard creaks it's not really necessary to have someone say "What was that? I better go upstairs and see what that is!" Or, in Friday remake terms it's more like... "What tha @#!* was that @#!* ? Dayum I need to go up doz @#!*' stairs to investigate me some @#!*!" The characters are all pretty awful - a bunch of annoying, smug, self-satisfied, foul-mouthed twits who seem like they need to immediately be committed to a rehab program. Naturally all the white characters get to pair off and have sex, while no one seems the least bit interested in the one black and one Asian character. Since the black guy can't get laid he's reduced to pleasuring himself while listening to whitey going at it upstairs. At least three different male victims said "What the @#!*?" when they were confronted with Jason. The black guy had a slight variation though since he's black. Seriously, whoever wrote this should be embarrassed.

The cast was also bad. Travis Van Winkle should never act again. What is the appeal of this guy anyway? He can't act for squat and resembles Vincent from the Beauty and the Beast TV series. And Jared Padalecki (though one of the better actors here) would probably look better without the Farrah Fawcett hairdo. I had a very difficult time telling the actresses they hired apart. When blonde #1 was killed and they cut back to the cabin to blonde #2 I was like "I thought she was already dead?" And then there's a missing sister, who I kept confusing with the rich jock's girlfriend toward the end. If you can hire a black and an Asian actor to help diffuse all the shaggy-haired white boys, then why can't you hire an attractive black or Asian actress? Preferrably one who isn't sporting a set of distracting and unnatural-looking silicone cans like several actresses in this film. No wonder Willa Ford couldn't keep herself under water for long! Note to parents: If your 18-year-old daughter begs you for a set of DD bolt-on's for her 18th birthday, get her a Prada handbag instead. She'll thank you later.

The film is full of extremely stupid moments and scenes. Getting hit directly in the head by a speedboat going about 50 miles per hour will only result in a tiny little boo-boo. And the extensive lair of underground catacombs under Jason's house? Did Jason dig all that out or is it some sewer system in the middle of the woods? Maybe a former coal mine... with an escape hatch through an overturned school bus? Whaaaaaaa? Then we have Jason keeping a hostage. Well, the Jason I like don't play like that. Are they trying to now "humanize" him like Rob Zombie did with Michael Myers in his equally wretched "remake" of HALLOWEEN? Urghhh...

It all leads up to an ending that fails just as badly as the rest of the movie. The original has that legendary moment that made people jump from their seats while the people who made this botched that opportunity because of a completely awful editing cut. So I'm sad to say, but in my estimation, this was sloppy, irritating and pretty much just plain boring and tiresome. It could have been fun. It's not. At least to me. JASON GOES TO HELL and JASON X were even better than this!
Balance not quite right8/10
Friday the 13th has an incredibly powerful first 15-20 minutes. It really kicks off with a bang. Jason is back better than ever. Then something goes fractionally wrong and we fall back into old territory. Everything becomes a bit too familiar. Still, it does better than most horror films in the sense that it really doesn't become too tedious until the last 10 minutes or so.

The main characters are strong in their performance without being memorable. The cameos are the real scene stealers including a gas station attendant and a man named Donnie. A lot of the jokes from all concerned really hit the mark though and are a nice touch to the film.

The Friday the 13th remake is what it is and at the end of the day probably all that could realistically have been hoped for. It won't decrease the seemingly ever growing hate of remakes, but it certainly won't add to it either and that in itself is an achievement.
Booze, Boobs and Bongs6/10
"Jason was my son, and today is his birthday…" Twelve birthdays have passed for the masked killer Jason Voorhees since the series was born thirty years ago back in the golden age of slasher films. Of the slew of terms studios use to avoid the word 'remake' I suppose the best term to describe the latest 13th film would be rejuvenation. The series started its downward spiral after part IV and while director Marcus Nipsel's doesn't wipe the slate clean, he ads enough pizazz to make it the best of the series in nearly two decades.

To give credit where it is due, this film does a number of things with the Jason character that are certainly a relief. Nipsel has opted to do away with the supernatural element and the super-zombie- Jason angle as well as giving Jason some spunk and cunning that he left with him at the bottom of Crystal Lake before part VI. Along with discarding these cumbersome characteristics, Jason is graced with a hunter/gatherer mentality that has him setting snares, traps and siphoning gasoline from locals. This is what the character should be; a loner forced to fend for himself in the forest; disturbed and deadly.

From the get go I thought this movie was a disaster. Never before had I seen poorer character development or less tense of a build- up. But don't leave the theatre so soon, as the opening act is graced with a nifty twist that you will not see coming. The calibre of the acting has never been a prominent staple of the Friday films, but this latest offering certainly comes closest to what could be considered as such. The dialogue is acceptable, only occasionally displaying the wince factor, and the leads are likable enough that you care just enough that you don't wish for a machete to the skull.

Years have passed since young Jason drowned at Camp Crystal lake, and the rein of Pamela Voorhees (Nana Visitor in a cameo) has been cut short…pun intended. Returning to the town of terror, much to the chagrin of the sheriff is Clay Miller (Jared Padalecki) who longs to find his sister (Amanda Righetti) who disappeared along with her friends a month prior. Clay's journey intertwines with a group of friends venturing to a cabin for a weekend of booze, boobs and bongs including Jenna (Danielle Panabaker), the cabins snooty owner, Trent (Travis Van Winkle) the resident stoner, Chewie (Not to be confused with Chewbacca, Aaron Yoo) among others. Their story lines are forced closer together still as people go missing, and soon the terrifying force from the nearby abandoned camp is revealed.

Aside from the Jason overhaul, who can run, jump and kill with the best of them, I enjoyed how the director managed to make the characters do stupid things, without making the characters themselves seem equally idiotic. The way the story unfolds, it is only the frantic ramblings of a few characters that claim a threat, which allows the others to wander to their bloody demises. There are still all the trademark Friday elements; a lot of booze, a lot of pot and a lot of nudity (which is overdone at times) When Jason first rears his ugly head, he has not yet donned his hockey mask, and I was interested to see if they could have him happen across it in an uncontrived manner; I was pleased if not blown away.

Fans of the series should at least be content with the latest offering, but really there is nothing new enough to become ecstatic about. One death aside, it is predictable, and the gore and deaths are less inventive then the early films. There are moments of tension to be certain, and the climax, like all Friday films, does not fail to disappoint. Disposable, but nothing special, when Jason does return I am hoping for a full overhaul of the horror icon that will not be as unlucky as its title implies.

6.5 / 10.0

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The Texas Chainsaw massacre Remake... Or was it Friday the 13th?3/10
Did you know a horror franchise drowned a day before this week? The Producer and Directer weren't paying any attention... They were counting their money while that cult icon drowned. It's name was Friday the 13th. I watching the night it happened. Losing my temper... there. I was a fan. Friday the 13th should have been awesome. Every minute! It was... It wasn't a very good remake. We can give up now... fans.

You see Friday the 13th was my favorite movie... and today it was raped.

I mistakingly had high expectations of this movie. Of course I was bothered by the fact that Marcus Nispel, who did such a smash up job on Texas Chainsaw Massacre remake, was directing. In fact besides the fact that Jason wore a hockey mask, had an affinity for machetes and his mother was in it for five seconds. It was almost impossible to differentiate between the two movies. Lots of slack jawed yokels and shaky camera action in the dark, just like Chainsaw. Poor story telling with numerous loose ends, just like Chainsaw. Terrible adaptation, just like Chainsaw.

Okay, maybe I'm being a little too hard on the movie. The first few minutes of the movie were incredible. Of coarse there' no rhyme or reason to Jason's return from the grave, but they never had on in the original either. The elements that they took from the first four movies were there, and yes I said 'Four' movies. There were elements from the Final Chapter despite what the propaganda says. The acting wasn't terrible. Yoo's character was probably the funniest character to ever be in a Friday the 13th to date. The under the dock kill was so classic that it felt like it belonged and it was good to see Jason in his old sack mask again.

Many key elements were there, but only for a second or two. Mrs. Voorhees head wasn't really elaborated on and wouldn't be caught as significant to anyone who hadn't seen the original movies. Despite all the hype about how Jason gets his hockey mask in this movie, it was a big let down and just seemed a little too convenient. The locals in the town were basically rejects from the Texas Chainsaw Massacre. In fact the scenery may have appeared New Englandish... but the locals just screamed, "I'm from Texas!"

Jason Voorhees. How could they screw up a character like Jason Voorhees? Give these folks a hand though. They did it. I started to realize that Jason wasn't quite himself around the sleeping bag death scene. First and foremost Jason is a killer, not a sadistic torturer. Sure he's done some pretty brutal things to his victims, but roasting a person alive, just isn't his style. It's too much set up for Jason honestly. Additionally, if Jason has you on the ground with a machete coming down at you, you are DEAD. He doesn't lock you in his basement and keep you alive for months because you're a pretty girl who looks like his mother. Jason kills. And he especially kills if you impersonate his mother.

The end... in more ways than one. When I watched the ending of this movie I literally had the feeling that I was ripped off. The pay off with the wood chipper wasn't even utilized here. And then for some reason the survivor(s), another thing that was lame, decided to dump his body in the lake. This means they had to actively decide it was a good idea to get rid of the evidence that they were not the manics that killed a bunch of people, but it also means that they had to take Jason out of the chipper, take the chain off his neck, remove his mask, and carry him all the way out to the dock. And if Jason was playing possum the entire time, why didn't he just kill them when he still had access to a wood chipper and a barn full of tools?

In fact this movie raised nothing but questions. Who killed Mrs. Voorhees? What ever happened to her? Why did Jason miraculously come back from the dead? Why was his body still intact after all those years in the lake? Why does Jason wear a mask? How did he keep the rats from eating his mother's head? Why did the local cops not bother investigating anything? How did Jason learn to hook up electricity to his camp? Why didn't the power company notice nobody's paying the electric bill for an abandoned summer camp? Why would Jason keep some girl chained up in his basement? Why do all the locals of Crystal Lake appear to have come from Texas? Why did they bother doing makeup for Jason when they show his face for maybe two frames of the whole movie? Why does Jason pop out of the lake at the end with his mask on? What were they thinking? Why did I see this miserable attempt to remake a great movie? Why am I wasting more time on a bad review? Why are you still reading?

All in all a terrible movie.