Friday the 13th (2009)

Friday the 13th (2009) — Who among us has not been having sex with a beautiful woman in the woods and then ventured off to investigate a strange noise?  Such universally relatable scenarios have formed the basis of the prolific Friday the 13th series [this remake is the 12th film made].  There are always interesting things as well as many pitfalls when remaking a horror classic but this one remembers the key thing about the Friday the 13th movies: they’re fun.  The plots are always ridiculous, the behavior of the characters moronic, and the nudity oh-so-delightfully gratuitous.  This is not Mamet or Scorsese here.  It’s just about showing young people having a good time until they gets methodically picked off one by one.  But unlike movies such as Halloween or A Nightmare on Elm Street, Friday the 13th is not some sacred cow that can’t do with a little tinkering [though personally I find Halloween overrated but whatever].  The new and improved Jason Voorhees can run and plan things out, which makes him somewhat more threatening (if less superhuman).  In addition to the violence the main six things this movie has going for it are America Olivo, Willa Ford, and especially Julianna Guill.  In some ways this remake serves as kind of a highlight reel of the first several Friday the 13th movies.  Certain deaths are replicated (though not some of my favorites, like Kevin Bacon’s death in the first one or the two person sex-kabob from the second).  There are even subtle reference’s to kills from the previous series (like the wheelchair dude from Part 2).  So why a remake and not just another sequel?  Well for one, “re-imaginings” are all the rage.  One of the writers referred to this movie as “Batman Begins for Jason.”  Secondly, it allows them to strip away some of the more convoluted aspects of the last several films in the series (going to Manhattan, possessing other people, getting an “upgrade” in space, or fighting Freddy Krueger) and just get back to the basics which made the films hits in the first place.  These films have been my favorite guilty pleasure since the 8th grade and this one ranks with the best of them. My review of the entire Friday the 13th franchise is available at http://12ftdwende.com/family/?p=5364

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