I love horror movies, particularly slashers. There are so many emotions involved with these types of films, and those that are well made can feel more like a ride rather than a movie. Watching a horror movie on the big screen is quite a different experience, you can?t pause it, turn it off or lower the volume. In my opinion you can?t get the full effect of a true horror movie until you?ve seen it in theaters.
When I got the news of a Friday the 13th movie, I was ecstatic. I have been a fan of the originals since I was a child, however I was never able to watch any in the theaters because they were made before my time. Granted, I was able to see Freddy vs Jason (which I loved) in theaters, but that just wasn?t the same.
I had first heard rumors about the reboot (no, I am not going to say remake) of Friday the 13th about two years ago, however my interest kind of died when the updates did. Then a screenshot emerged, and casting was beginning to spill out, I realized yes this is actually going to happen, it?s not just whispering anymore, it?s confirmed. Then finally there was a set date, February 13th. When this was announced, it seemed so far away, but then it slowly crept up on us and at last I was able to watch my most anticipated movie of 2009.
Now my expectations were ranging, when Marcus Nispel was named as director my expectations went up. I love The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2003) and thought he had made one of the best slashers in years. However my expectations lowered when Derek Mears was cast as Jason, I didn?t know much about him and didn?t know what to expect. By now I was expecting something average, but not terrible.
Now let?s get to the film, I went to the midnight screening, it was sold out and absolutely packed. Going to see a scary movie with a full audience is always fun, I might add. Anyways, the film starts out recapping a bit of the original, while scrolling through the opening credits we see a young camp counselor trying to fight off Pamela Voorhees, Jason?s mother. Anyone who has seen the original Friday the 13th knows that Jason?s mother seeks revenge after her son drowns because of neglectful camp counselors. The opening sequence was exactly what I was looking for, something new yet familiar.
Now the audience is introduced to 5 young adults who are on the hunt for marijuana suspected to be growing near Camp Crystal Lake. Their plan is to harvest the plants and sell them for a profit, of course. I wasn?t sure if I entirely keen on this new plot idea, but it was something new for the series, and drug material always had its place in the F13 films. As anyone can guess the young adults run into some trouble once they set up camp, and well I am not going to spoil the outcome.
6 weeks later we meet Clay Miller, who is searching for his sister Whitney, who was one of the four that disappeared. Clay?s character, portrayed by Jared Padalecki is the typical nice guy, although he?s very stereotypical, he?s quite likeable.
The unlikable characters are introduced as well, a new group of kids on their way to stay at their friend Trent?s parent?s fancy cabin. On the way they stop at a gas station to fill up, and run into Clay who is handing out posters for his missing sister. The run in doesn?t go so well as Jenna, Trent?s girlfriend, has to break up an argument. The spoiled kids go on their way and arrive at a beautiful cabin by Crystal Lake. Of course their intention of going to the lake is to get high, drink and fool around.
I suppose I should reveal a little detail on the main characters here, even though they are quite predictable. We have Trent, the spoiled kid driving his parent?s Cadillac Escalade. There is Jenna, Trent?s girlfriend who seems quiet and cautious, much like Clay. Chewie is the Asian party guy, and Lawrence is the ever essential black character. Chelsea and Nolan are the frisky, attractive couple, and Bree is the vixen of the movie.
Now that I?ve gone through the standard Friday The 13th characters, I can dive a bit into the story. Clay goes around to several properties to hand out the missing posters of his sister Whitney, and after a creepy encounter with an older lady who informs him to quit looking, he comes upon the cabin the party people are occupying. Jenna invites Clay inside for a drink and questions him about his sister, as to be expected Trent is not happy with Clay being invited inside and demands that he leave, upset by this, Jenna leaves with him.
Jenna helps Clay continue his search and they decide to explore the abandoned camp, where they discover unsettling clues as to what happened to those 5 people 6 weeks prior.
Not to mention Clay and Jenna run into Jason, who just happens to be transporting a dead body back to his cabin. Luckily they avoid him and are able to run back to Jenna?s friends to warn them that someone is lurking around and has been killing.
The others are at first unconvinced, but then terrified as Jason discovers the cabin and begins picking them off. I don?t want to spoil any deaths here, but I will add some are quite satisfying. Now everyone?s running for their lives, trying to avoid Jason, who is smarter and quicker this time around. Clay and Jenna escape back to the abandoned cabins of the camp, where they soon discover Jason?s secret down beneath.
Friday the 13th was just so entertaining when it really got going, I enjoyed almost every minute of it. Derek Mears as the new, revamped Jason was excellent. He portrayed the famous character in a way that hasn?t been done before, and perhaps just what was needed to make this icon terrifying again.
I truly felt this was a true slasher, it was like watching those classics with a modern twist to it. The acting was cheesy at parts, but other wise good. The gore wasn?t excessive but it was still hard enough to make you cringe. To me it felt like a Friday the 13th film, like it belonged in the series I?ve come to know and love.
I know not all fans of the series are going to appreciate the new Jason or the new take on the classics, but I had an open mind and I felt we needed something new if there was going to be another film made, not just a remake. I am going to say I loved this film. I was entertained, I enjoyed this movie, and am going to watch it again and again. Isn?t that what these kinds of movies are for?