review: Friday the 13th (2009)

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I don’t know if this film, imaginatively titled Friday the 13th, is meant to be a “reboot” of the franchise or what, but I can tell you this. It’s the worst Friday the 13th film that I’ve seen. I’m gonna dispense with my no spoilers rule for once. This movie deserves to be spoiled, anything to stop people from watching it.

I was looking forward to it. I like Jared Padalecki and having seen his Supernatural other half, Jensen Ackles, in the vastly superior My Bloody Valentine recently, I had reasonable hopes for Jared’s horror outing. I wouldn’t call them high hopes though, I mean it was still a slasher flick after all.

Anyway, as usual I hadn’t really read any reviews before heading to the film. I had skimmed one though – it said it was crap but since most reviewers say all slasher films are crap, this did not unduly disturb me. The one thing that did catch my eye was the mention of a wood chipper. Sounded promising. Nary did I suspect that this little detail would be the film’s folly.

It started off with some particularly annoying kids looking for weed in the forest. They were quickly dispensed with, but not without the poor unsuspecting audience being subjected to a horrible pair of boobs. Nasty. I did not need to see that.

Soonly we meet the real cast of the film. A group of similarly annoying kids except that they’re richer and have access to a beautiful lakeside house. Actually that’s not fair, two of them were barely annoying at all, they may as well have not been there. On the other hand, the rich jock, Trent, whose father owns the house was annoying enough for the three of them so we’ll call it even. This group meets our hero, Clay (Padalecki), who is searching for his sister, who went missing with the first group. As Clay is an attractive man and Trent is an immature paranoid sterotype of a character, friction erupts. Nothing interesting happens for a while but it culminates in Trent’s girlfriend going off with Clay to help him search for his sister.

In the meantime Jason’s abound. He’s not really moving quick enough though because there’s a lot of people still alive. Over the next while he pops up here and there killing people, nothing spectacular. Night falls. I forget exactly what happens but at one point they’re all trapped in the house. Eventually Trent is killed, but not before he has a chance to cheat on his girlfriend for no apparent reason apart from the fact that she was out for the day. Actually there’s a decent scene in the shed. That was a good killing… since I don’t remember any of the others I have to assume they weren’t particularly notable.

So in the end it’s Jason, Clay, Trent’s girlfriend and Clay’s sister. What? She’s still alive months later? Jason’s slipping. Anyway it’s showdown time. Where’s that wood chipper? Oh, there it is! Clay and Jason fight and they get ever closer to the wood chipper… in a film that has only managed to keep its body count up due to the earlier scene with first group, this wood chipper could be a bright splattery highlight…. closer… closer… oh he’s got Jason on the back foot… he’s going in! Oh wait. No, he’s not. Unbelievable.

What a complete waste of my time. Also it annoyed me that Jason just didn’t seem as terrifying as he has in other films. That was always the thing about Jason, he was this great hulking unstoppable figure. With this… mercy… for Clay’s sister, it just didn’t work. Not only was this an awful, boring, tensionless film. It was an insult to Jason and to the whole Friday the 13th series. And it wasn’t even 3D, all slasher films should be done in 3D by now.

We’d all be better off if we just imagined this film never happened. Jason X and particularly Freddy vs. Jason were right laughs, Friday the 13th part 13 better not disappoint.

Despite all that, I’m gonna give it a few points. I mean there was a story, there were characters, the lake looked good… It wasn’t the worst film I’ve ever seen. I mean it wasn’t Jeepers Creepers.


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