Pretty kickass! As far as a Friday the 13th flick goes, it's a hell of a solid entry and it's definetly far and away the best Voorhees outing since Part 6. And I hate to say it, but move over Kane Hodder! There's a new Jason in town and his name is Derek Mears! Jason has never been so menacing and he's never been so, dare I say, likeable a guy.
Now there's no justification for killing hundreds and hundreds of people, but there's a method to Jason's madness and they really kinda make that clear in the remake whereas it's only really hinted at in the earlier installments to the franchise. Jason's just a full grown child/mutant who not only drowned by the hands of shitty camp counselors, but he witnessed his mom get beheaded by one of those counselors! I'd be killing motherfuckers that trespassed on my property too! But all that mushy stuff aside, Mears has made Jason absolutely terrifying once again. He runs. He hunts. He's smart. He's John fucking Rambo, as far as i'm concerned. By the way, I never really realized this until now but looking back, although Kane Hodder is largely considered the be all end all Jason Voorhees, he played the role in arguably the four worst movies in the series. Nothing against the man as i'm a big Hodder fan and he was a terrific Jason, but I really think Mears has trumped him and I also think we're gonna continue to see Mears in the role perhaps even more times than we saw Hodder don the mask. At least I hope so.
While it's certaintly a GOOD movie, there are a couple things that keep it from being a GREAT movie. For one, there's not nearly enough gore. The few gore scenes we see are simple kills that we've seen a million times before. Let's face it, the best thing about these movies are the kills and I felt like they kinda dropped the ball in that department. Take the nudity and cursing out, and you've hardly even got an R rated picture on your hands. Is the film totally lacking in the gore department? Absolutely not and I may just be bitching about the lack thereof because i'm a sick fuck who demands nonstop blood and guts in my horror flicks. But apparently i'm not the only one who's had this complaint. There are some cool throwback kills that will make ya think this is the same Jason we've seen before. I just wanted more of it! Along this same line of thought, his first kill in the movie is not even seen on camera which was a shitty decision in my opinion. I think they really should've taken that time to establish right off the bat that this is the most badass and vicious incarnation of the dude we've seen yet, which it turns out to be. That being said, the first 20 or so minutes are awesome and essentially come off as a really good Friday short film. They pull a Death Proof of sorts, killing off one whole group and then bringing a whole nother group to the camp and I for one loved that. Anyone else like the first set of characters more though?!
Back to Jason being likeable and relatable for one second. One thing i've always disliked about the franchise is Jason killing adults. Doesn't that kinda go against his whole revenge killing thing? I realize that at times they were trespassing on his property and probably deserved the axe, but come on. Keeping it teen makes the whole Jason thing a hell of a lot more powerful. It really looked like they were gonna stick to him killing only when he really needed to for this one, even going so far as to show that old folks living near him we're never harmed by him and explaining that he just wants to be left alone, but then he goes and kills an older dude. Granted, the man had trespassed on his property and stole some of Jason's fine weed, and granted they needed a way to crowbar in Jason finding his hockey mask, but I think they should've left that scene out. Yes, by the way, Jason's a total pothead in this one and it can be argued that all of his killings are simply done as a way of protecting his weed rather than avenging mommy!
As many people have pointed out, this remake is sort of the first several Friday flicks rolled into one and in many ways it felt like they wanted to get all of the establishing stuff out of the way so that they can go on to make better sequels in the future. It kinda felt like it was introing newcomers to the franchise as well as getting us diehards up to speed so they can create a whole new Jason universe. And honestly, I think the sequels are gonna kick even more ass than this one. I think the filmmakers will learn from this one and do bigger and better things in the future. I personally would love to see an entirely new second Friday The 13th franchise built in the years to come. How cool would that be?
So while it's not a great film that blew me out of the water, and while I think they could've done a lot more, I thoroughly enjoyed it. Let's face it, just seeing Jason back on the big screen is enough, isn't it? I had a lot of fun with it and really, what more can ya ask for? Good job once again, Mr. Nispel. Please come back for the sequel! Granted, you did a little bit better of a job with the Chainsaw redux ....
You may have heard that a lot of stuff was cut out of the movie that will be restored for the DVD, essentially creating a whole new movie. I think that version will be a lot better given the one that showed up on the screen definetly felt a bit rushed. A longer running time with more plot driven stuff will only help make it a better more complete movie. I can't wait to get my paws on that one!
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