Don't forget to join in on the month long celebration of horror with #ScaryMovieMonthAtDCM
Friday the 13th is a franchise that was never great. The original film, which I reviewed for last year's #ScaryMovieMonthAtDCM, is nothing special. It's actually one of my least favourites in the franchise, and even then I still enjoy it. As the franchise continues, it just gradually gets more and more ridiculous, each film finding new definitions of the word campy. And then they send him off into outer space. It's a ridiculous franchise and a big guilty pleasure of mine. The remake of Friday the 13th literally cannot be a disappointment because the originals were never good. Because of that, I had fun with this movie. Yep, I enjoyed the Friday the 13th remake. I can feel you judging me.
The remake isn't just a remake of the first installment, but instead a remake of the first three films. Sort of. We very briefly see Jason's mother (Nana Visitor) at the start of the film, only to cut forward a few decades to catch up with the now-adult Jason (Derek Mears). A group of friends are spending the week at one of their dad's cabins by the lake. All is well until Clay (Jared Padalecki) and Jenna (Danielle Panabarker) discover Camp Crystal Lake. And any guesses who lives at Camp Crystal Lake? Yep, it's our good friend Jason, who's grown up to become a deranged serial killer armed with a machete, as well as a few other goodies he finds. So yeah, like the slasher films of old, everybody is pretty much fucked in this modern day retelling of Jason's violent story.
We open on a desaturated looking Camp Crystal Lake. The scene takes place in the 80s and we witness poor Mrs. Voorhees getting her head sliced off with what will soon become Jason's famous machete. We then cut forward in time and witness what I thought was to be the main plot of the movie. A group of campers are hanging out in the woods, having sex and planning weed sales. It was all moving suspiciously fast for a horror movie, and my suspicions were proven true when Jason showed up to murder practically all of them. It's a great scene, but it's way longer than it needs to be.
Now twenty-five minutes into the movie, the title finally appears on screen, and the film's actual plot kicks in. This is a ninety minute film we're talking about, so the fact that it's not until the twenty-five minute mark that the plot kicks in is not a good sign. And as the film goes on, we get to see just how underdeveloped the plot really is. There's a bunch of characters partying and getting killed, and there's really only one character who I remotely cared about. But that's Friday the 13th for you. Same complaints with every movie.
This instalment in the franchise provides us with a better look at the famous killer. He gets a bit more screen time, allowing for his character to get a bit more flesh. He's not just some masked psychopath. He's a masked psychopath with mummy issues and a habit of kidnapping girls for no other reason than a plot device. I guess that counts as depth, right? No? Oh. Well... he's given more screen time so does that count for anything? No? Really? Again? Oh. Well, I mean, he kills more people. That's fun, right? Yeah, thought so.
And fun they are. The murders in this film have never been so brutal. From bear traps to dear antlers to a crossbow, Jason is constantly finding creative ways to brutalise his victims, and brutalising has never been so entertaining. Well, technically it has, but shut up. I'm trying to defend this movie. Right from the (second) opening sequence of the film, you know you're in for a treat. It's got violence. It's got sex. It's got bad acting. It's got cheesy dialogue. It's got one mandatory black guy who will die at some point in the film. It checks off all the requirements of a Friday the 13th movie and the rest of the film follows this exact same path. It's just a lot of fun.
To sum up, Friday the 13th is a bad movie. It really is. But you know what? So is this entire franchise, and I love it. It's campy, it's violent, it's a mess, it's got bad acting, it's written poorly and it's entertaining as hell. I don't care what anyone says, this movie is a lot of fun.