I’m a huge Friday the 13th fan. Almost everyone reading this review knows this. I have a hockey mask hanging on my wall, I have a Jason Takes Manhattan poster signed by Kane Hodder, and I own several models in the image of the famous slasher. Needless to say, I’m a junkie for all things Voorhees. So as a fan, I approached this recent film with a degree of skepticism. I didn’t want my favorite franchise to be butchered.
On that note, it should be noted that I also hated Marcus Nispel’s takes on both Frankenstein and the Texas Chainsaw Massacre. So yeah, I was very, very, VERY cautious when sitting down for this flick. Thankfully I was pleasantly surprised. Eschewing both the campy trappings of the previous two entries and the nihilistic leanings of the “torture porn” genre, this reboot offers good, no-frills horror. It’s gory, spooky, and above all fun.
The movie isn’t a remake in the traditional sense. It’s more a reinvention of the pop-mythology created by the original series. So, we get a brief look at Mama Voorhees in a short origin tale over the credits sequence. This bit throws in one of the more interesting additions to the concept – Jason’s famous machete is the same weapon used to slice off his mom’s head. Any shrink would love to get the deformed hillbilly on the couch.
Not much more about this set off my purist buttons. Jason is a little too smart at points, but then they’re starting the character over from scratch. I know the screenwriters used Rambo as an influence and it shows in how Jason stalks his victims. To this end they explain some stuff that probably didn’t need explaining. (IE: Jason is “everywhere” because he has a series of tunnels.) but nothing about it was enough to turn me off the movie.
Derek Mears is in fine form as the man behind the mask. His Jason reminded me a lot of Kane Hodder’s, although this new Jason is a bit of a speed demon. I’d welcome him back if a sequel is made.
If I have one major complaint about the movie it would be the overuse of pop and rock music. It’s hard to build tension when your trendy soundtrack is blaring every five seconds. It wasn’t enough to ruin the movie, but it was just enough to annoy me.
All in all, I’d say this gets a unexpected thumbs up from me. Most of my friends were expecting me to hate it. Hell, I was expecting to hate it. Sometimes life hands you a little cinematic surprise. So there you have it, rent(or buy) Friday the 13th and watch Jason do his thing.