Monday, February 23, 2009


Reboots, remixes and reduxes. Hollywood is full of them, and there are more on the way. The last serious horror franchise that caught the reboot in the ass was HALLOWEEN. HALLOWEEN was directed by an individual who supposedly knows and breathes horror films. That person just couldn't deliver the Michael Myers that we needed. Nor could he direct real actors or piece together a story that topped the John Carpenter original. He'd directed two relatively mediocre horror films beforehand, and then he was entrusted with something sacred. He failed miserably.

In the case of the Friday the 13th reboot, the director, Marcus Nispel, is already deep into reboot philosophy. He previously directed the TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE that came out in 2003. Marcus knows a thing or two about reboots, unlike that sorry director who tried to reboot HALLOWEEN.

What Marcus presents to us is polished trash. The Friday the 13th movies have always been trash; there is no denying this fact. But the way that trash is heightened in this version makes the film topple its predecessor. It seems that the trashy angles of the FT13 series are what Marcus has fixated on, and he does it well.

Marcus Nispel fast forwards us through the first three FT13 movies by telling the story of Jason's bent mother in the opening credits and having Jason change out the STRANGERS potato sack for the hockey mask halfway through the film. Once that hockey mask is in place, the killing machine really puts in work.

All of the things that you know about the Friday the 13th series are pushed at you 2009 style. Breasts? Check. Machete swipes? Check. Arterial spray? Check. Some new killing themes emerge too. One is the fact that the machete needs to be pulled out of the skull or foot or top of the head. For example, Jason swings his machete into this guy's face, and he uses his boot to push the head away and free the blade.

The film does miss in a number of ways, however. Jason now takes prisoners (?). Sexual tension has always been an element in these films, but the fact that Jason has kept a female prisoner for 6 weeks is completely new, disturbing and not explored properly. Jason also lets a key victim survive, which is completely unlike his merciless 80s incarnation.

This is a Friday the 13th movie, with polish. It has unanswered questions and ridiculous gore. It isn't anything special, but it is better than the original cloth that it was cut from.

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