Wednesday, February 18, 2009

I'm going to assume if you're even thinking of going to see a film like Friday the 13th, then you probably are not expecting an award level film. Therefore let's acknowledge that any use of terms such as "good movie" or the like are relative to the slasher genre and not to films at large, because let's face it Jason is no Hannibal Lecter and Friday the 13th is certainly no Silence of the Lambs.
But in it's own way Friday the 13th is a good movie, it's just that it's a good slasher movie, and that makes all the difference. Because any member of the audience of a slasher flick is there for two main reasons: to be scared and to see teens/early 20-somethings get killed in creative and unsettling ways. And on these conditions the new Friday the 13th delivers.

Now I've liked horror films for a long time. I like being scared and for some bizarre reason I enjoy those crazy deaths. I first really got into horror films with the self-referential Scream series and then discovered others. But the last few years I've stayed away from most horror films, mainly because more and more they've become something other than horror films, they've become torture porn. And as much as I like creative death scenes and being scared, I don't like being grossed out. And that's what most horror films have become, just scenes or torture designed to gross you out more than scare you.

So I was admittedly reluctant to see the new Friday the 13th, because I was worried it would be more torture porn. But I was surprised to find it was far from it. Although there are some amazing death scenes, there was only one time I really thought the gore went a bit to far and it wasn't too over the line and didn't bother me to much. But I know what you really want to know was how was the movie.

As I've said the movie delivers, as long as you're just looking to be frightened or see some good deaths scenes. While some of the actors do a good job, there is some frighteningly bad acting in this film (I'm looking at you Danielle Panabaker, jeez you were bad and you had some facial expressions that were scarier than Jason without his mask on) and some of the lines were just plain cheesy, but it sure was fun overall.

Now the movie is not so much of a remake as it is a relaunch and so it mashes together events from the first few movies while also adding an original plot line. (The original film saw Jason's mother killing people and in the 2nd film he wears a sack on his head not getting the Hockey Mask until part 3) The movie begins with a recreation of the very end of the original Friday the 13th with Ms. Vorhees getting her head lopped off by the loan survivor, all while Jason secretly watches. The movie then picks up 20 years later as a group of 20-something hikers are setting up camp not far from the old seemingly deserted Camp Crystal Lake. Soon after the story of Jason and his mother is told around the camp fire the tension picks up as Jason arrives in his burlap sack and begins to stalk and kill the campers.

These opening 20 minutes are easily the best part of the movie as they are stacked with tension and some great "jump out of your seat" moments. After Jason has taken out all the campers we cut to 6 weeks later and are introduced to Clay (Jared Padalecki) who is searching for his sister, on of the just disposed of campers. Clay runs into a group of, you guessed it, 20-somethings who are on their way to spend a weekend in D-Bag Trent's (Travis Van Winkle {Who?}) rich parents cabin by the lake. And as you can guess they plan on boozing, smoking, and sexing it up for the weekend. Which of course means Jason will be there to pick them off one by one.

ow there's no reason to go into the plot any more as you already know if you want to see the movie, and you know from here on out it's just going to be a game of cat and mouse. What I will tell you is that not only is the movie scary it's genuinely funny. A lot of the jokes come at Trent's expense which is great, because seriously this guy is unlikable and when he finally gets it, you want to stand up and cheer (you knew he was going to die, stop whining about your spoilers)

So if you're looking for a fun, bloody slasher flick to waste some time, I highly recommend this movie. But you should go soon, because in my opinion movies like this are far better seen with a huge audience who you can hear scream in fear, or yell at the screen. Because horror films really should be a communal experience.


jana said...

ooh yeah. Kill Bill, Vol. I. I knew it without even googling!

Lucy said...

And i must say it was surprisingly quite good. I wasn't really expecting anything from it but having seen all the other Friday the 13th movies i thought why not?!. But yeah it was decent.

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