Posted on 2/19/09 08:26 AM
[center]FRIDAY THE 13TH
[left]Like 2003's 'Texas Chainsaw Massacre' or 2007's 'Halloween', I'm hard pressed to find a reason why 'Friday the 13th' exists. A slasher that strictly follows well-worn rules, this latest reboot never commits any astonishingly bad sins. What it does do, however, is fail to stand out from the pack of every other bloodfest. If you're looking for a quick fix, look no further. But if you want to see Jason return with new life and brutal vigor, pop in the original.
Brought to you by the same team that uncovered the 'Texas Chainsaw Massacre' franchise, director Marcus Nispel and producer Michael Bay return to take on everyone's favorite momma's boy. They are essentially the same film. Identical formula, similar crop of actors (where almost every male character sports the same shaggy haircut), and no shortage of sex and gore in sight. But from the start, 'Friday' suffers a puzzling identity crisis. Is it a remake? Is it a revision? Is it a new platform for the 21st century? We never find out. One thing is for sure, Jason's back. But he won't exactly get your blood pumping.
The 70s and 80s saw their fair share of cheesy horror flicks. Jason, Michael, and Freddy wreaked havoc on their craving fans at a relentless pace. 'Friday the 13th' was never a classy affair, but its creators understood exactly what kind of film they were making. Never taking itself too seriously, 'Friday' churned out the campy fun better than most. Even at its worst, you can't deny its awesomely bad entertainment value. But now, nearly 30 years after arriving on the scene, Jason has lost his bite. He's still offing off promiscuous teens by the dozen, but there's something missing.
In the end, there's nothing in this latest 'Friday' that's new or original. While Nispel and Bay are busy throwing out buckets of blood and limbs, they forget to add an element of suspense. There are in fact some creative kills to be found here, and that accounts for something, but the build-ups are so obvious that scares are hard to come by. You've seen it all before. A little style and pizzaz go a long way, but 'Friday the 13th' is too busy flying on autopilot to notice. I'll always be a fan of the 'Friday' movies, and I certainly can't complain to see Jason back in action. But when the experience is a dull and thrilless journey, you can count me out.