Bullet Point Review: Friday the 13th
The movie starts like you expect it might: with five obnoxious teenagers on their way to Crystal Lake for sex and pot (and a hilariously paraphrased version of an exchange from Blue Velvet). But once Jason had dispatched four of them in about fifteen minutes, I began to wonder, "How long is this movie, anyway?" Just then the movie started all over again with a new group of kids. Goddammit. Just because Hitchcock did it in Psycho, it doesn't mean it's a good idea. Not for you, Death Proof, and not for you, Friday the 13th. I was totally detached from the movie as they introduced the next batch of Jason fodder. It was like, "Aww man, I just did this."
Speaking of Jason fodder, watching this movie gave me another of my "I'm getting old" revelations. I realized that I used to like watching these movies because they have everything that a dumb teenage boy likes to see: namely gore and tits. Now I like watching them because they're full of spoiled, petulant children getting what they've got coming to them. These films work on so many levels. They're like an old friend you can grow old with. And old, retarded, homicidal friend.
Speaking of being old: I spent the whole movie looking at Danielle Panabaker and thinking, "I hope that little girl doesn't take her shirt off. That would be creepy."
The other ladies in the film, however... nice work, everybody. You know how to give the audience what they pay for.
There was this one character, Trent, who was such a tremendous a-hole that you just couldn't wait for him to die in a horrible way (which sounds like a line out of a review for The Oblivion Society). I mean, they really do a great job building this guy up for an excruciatingly creative death that will have the audience on its feet, cheering. I don't want to spoiler it up, but I will say that he gets off disappointingly easy. On the other hand, some of the more likable characters suffer some truly horrific fates. Come on, Friday, there's a very simple formula: the prickitude of the character should be directly proportional to the gruesomitude of the death.
And some of the deaths were truly gruesome. Traditionally Jason's modus operandi has been "slow... slow... slow... approach, quickrippingoffaBandAidkill!" In this movie he was a vicious, sprinting maniac in the pursuits, and then a slow, methodical monster in (some of) the kills. In places, this movie rode right up to the edge of becoming torture porn, which I can't stand and don't watch. As a personal preference, I like my horror to fall more on the cartoony side. I like the kind of movie-murder where you simultaneously wince and giggle because it's violent but ridiculous at the same time. Like when Jason killed that dude by folding him up in a bed in Freddy vs. Jason. But this movie did still have a few classic "funny kills," at least one of which involved boobs.
All in all, this new Friday the 13th works. To me, it feels like what the original few films would have been like had they been made for the first time in 2008. Of course there's no reason to remake another movie that was perfectly good to begin with, but I don't think there's any stopping that train now...