Sunday, October 22, 2023

Friday the 13th

Movie Name:
Friday the 13th
Year of Release: 2009
Director: Marcus Nispel
Starring: Jared Padalecki, Danielle Panabaker, Amanda Righetti, Travis Van Winkle, Aaron Yoo, Derek Mears, Jonathan Sadowski, Julianna Guill, Ben Feldman, Arlen Escarpeta, Ryan Hansen, Willa Ford, Nick Mennel, America Olivo, Kyle Davis, Richard Burgi
Genre: Horror, Thriller
Score out of ten (whole numbers only): 1
Watch it on Amazon

Synopsis and Review
Director Marcus Nispel has a lengthy career as a music video director (much like Jonas Akerlund), and made his transition to direct feature films with the remake of "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre", which he followed with "Pathfinder", the latter being met with better reviews than his debut. This remake of Sean S. Cunningham's cult classic "Friday the 13th", was produced by Michael Bay, whose fingerprints can be witnessed a bit throughout the entire film. The film focuses on the character of Clay Miller, who is seeking his sister Whitney who has seemingly disappeared in the Crystal Lake area. Clay crosses paths with Trent, alongside his girlfriend Jenna and an array of their friends, as they're staying at Trent's Summer cabin on the shore of Crystal Lake. And while Clay and Trent don't hit it off, Jenna and Clay do, with her helping him out in his search for his sister. In the meantime Jason starts his killing spree, killing each of Trent and Jenna's friends. While Clay and Jenna try to warn them as to what is happening, they minimize what's happening until the corpses start appearing. Eventually police appears, but Jason also swiftly kills the officer, forcing Clay and Jenna to escape to the old Crystal Lake campgrounds, where they uncover Whitney in an underground area where Jason has been keeping her. It's up to them to figure out a way to escape.
Sadly and unlike Wes Craven's "A Nightmare on Elm Street", the mythology of Jason and of the "Friday the 13th" film series has always been a rather limited one. Jason has gone through an array of refined background storylines, in order to somewhat justify the fact that he is a somewhat supernatural entity who just wants to kill people who appear in the Summer Camp where he originally died. There's been a variety of sequels to the original 1980 feature, and coincidentally this remake has the most substantial budget of al those prior features. Sadly, and as is characteristic of any Michael Bay produced or directed feature, it's slim in terms of character substance, and in this case of even character motivation. There simply isn't much to say about a film that doesn't bother itself to minimally showcase characters with motivations that go beyond screaming or running or dying a particularly bloody death (though as a Michael Bay trademark, there is plenty of objectification of women throughout the film). The film essentially tries to bring the premise of the 1980 film to the 21st. century, but forgets humor, characters, and even a remotely fresh take on this killer who is apparently unstoppable (it's a fresh coat of paint on a old house, without looking at the foundations). The cast is rather generic, the same going for the production team. It's an unnecessary remake for a series that has never truly featured a remarkable film in all the ones that have been released thus far.