Friday the 13th Redux is a Bloody Mess

Co-Editor-in-Chief Justin Minor

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  Following the trend of remaking horror movies and screwing them up, Friday the 13th retells the already ridiculously retold tale of Jason Voorhees, a bona-fide serial killer/hockey star. While some horror movie remakes, like Rob Zombie’s Halloween, attempt to retell an original story by adding in a certain flavor of modern “zest”, Marcus Nispel’s Friday the 13th stays stubbornly adamant in that absolutely nothing new is brought to the table. Yes, Jason goes on another psychotic rampage, cutting up beautiful teenagers in a flurry of blood, flesh and banality. But that’s nothing new. Jason is just as inhuman as ever, just as violent as ever, and just the same as he was twenty-eight years ago.



  Friday the 13th follows a group of teenagers who schlep on down to Camp Crystal Lake, a rundown campground where a string of murders had once occurred. Searching for his long-lost sister, Clay Miller (Jared Padalecki from Supernatural) seeks help from the crew of rowdy teens, but is turned down when the macho leader thinks he’s hitting on his girlfriend. One by one, the teenagers are then systematically killed in various displays of imaginative murder scenarios via axe, machete, suffocation, fire, bludgeoning, bow and arrow, and even by motorboat. Jason ultimately succeeds in his homicidal rampage and justice is, indeed, served to the jaded and helpless teenagers.



  The story of Friday the 13th is the same old story as it’s always been. Jason Voorhees kills just about every person he can get his hands on. The beginning and end of the movie give little winks to the audience by referencing the original Friday movie. There isn’t really much else to be said about the actual plot.



  Of course, the acting is bad. It’s come to be expected. Unfortunately, remakes of post-modern gore-fests aren’t generally known for winning Academy Awards. Not that this movie should receive an Oscar in any category. Jared Padalecki is semi-believable as the concerned brother searching for his kidnapped sister. But the rest of the cast is chock full of jaded teens playing jaded teens.



  Friday the 13th isn’t completely devoid of entertainment, though. The death scenes are hilariously inventive, but it seems like they are meant to be just to get a laugh from the audience. That might work for your everyday tongue-in-cheek, pseudo-horror, Bruce Campbell movie, but for this movie, it just seems lame. For example, there is a scene in which a topless girl is hiding underneath a dock when Jason’s machete goes through her head and lifts her up just so you can see a final shot of her cleavage before she sinks into the water. Tasteless death scenes don’t offend me, but that was just plain cheeky.



  I know this is going to be a little off the beaten path, but what in the world is with all of the horror movie remakes lately? Have moviemakers really lost ALL of their creativity? If you’re a horror movie buff like myself, then you might have noticed that all of the original horror titles of recent years have gone directly to DVD. All of the remakes and Saw movies get theatrical runs, and darned if we don’t have a new Saw movie to look forward to every Halloween.



  There are plenty more remakes to look forward to in 2009 and 2010, I hear. Of course, remakes are a tad more exciting than another annual rehashing of Saw every single year. But when will we have a brand new, original, wonderful, bloody, gory, intense masterpiece to put on the shelf with Nightmare on Elm Street and Psycho? But, I digress.



  To conclude my review/rant, Friday the 13th is a waste of space in the box office. Try renting one of the millions of other horror remakes that have come out since the beginning of the 21st Century. You’re bound to find one just as mediocre and bland as this bowl of bran flakes.