Friday the 13th (Rated R)
Gavin Grade: F
I like horror movies! I truly do! Not only am I fan of horror movies, but I'm even a fan of re-making horror movies. I think that the classic horrors can always use a touch-up and a sprucing in the story department. However, the re-make of "Friday the 13th" was simply a reminder of why this franchise was always my least favorite. Jason, in comparison with the other big ones (ie: Leatherface, Freddy Kruger and Michael Myers) always seemed so stilted in his folklore. I never even really understood it. Is he alive, dead, a demon...what? And considering that they marketed this as a re-make, they didn't do anything to help explain that. In fact it's not much of a re-make at all. If anything it just felt like another terrible sequel; almost like one last attempt to kick-start a dead franchise. But in the movie's defense, that's all any of these re-makes are. "Texas Chainsaw Massacre," "The Hills Have Eyes," "Halloween" were all trying to squeeze more cash from them, but they all brought something new to the table. "Friday the 13th" not only doesn't bring anything new, they don't even bring anything old. Sure there's still the violence, sex and startles, but it's executed in such a piss-poor manner that it screams "zero effort." It's like they knew this was gonna make them some money, so all they did was hire gorgeous (subpar) actors, whip up a mindless script and then throw lots of money at it to see if it works. Well, it didn't. It didn't scare. It didn't make me laugh. It didn't make me jump. The only thing it did was make me wish that the forthcoming re-makes of "Nightmare on Elm Street," "Hellraiser" and "Last House on the Left" don't follow suit.
I haven't had a chance to see the movie yet but I have to disagree with you on some points.
"Stilted in folklore" - I will agree that Friday the 13th (F13) is extremely convoluted in this department. I think they're using the "curse" or "damned" angle. Simply, he can't die.
As for the remade horror films, I think they've all made an attempt to go and fill in the back story that's been mainly assumed by audiences to date. In the Texas Chainsaw remake, you find out more about Leatherface before he starts killing. In Halloween, you find out why Michael Meyers is so tortured and closed off from the world. I actually thought the Hill Have Eyes remake was scarier that the original which came off as being rather campy to me. With all of these remakes, I think the there is a certain level of grit and polish that wasn't available to film makers in the late 70's and 80's.
I also didn't think that the new F13 was marketed as either a sequel or a re-make but rather a re-imaging similar to Rob Zombie's Halloween. As I mentioned there are a lot of continuity problems with F13 (why the hockey mask, I thought his mom was killed people because Jason died as a boy?) that they aimed to fix. This film was supposed to condense the first three F13 movies into one with the starting point being the end of the original F13 with Ms. Voorhees being decapitated. It stinks that you didn't feel they executed any of this properly.
Go back and watch Nightmare on Elm Street 2 (I did recently) and tell me that was scary with the pool party scene towards the end. It was just stupid but I love it regardless, as with all horror films.