Friday the 13th 2009 Is A Good Franchise Reboot

When rumblings of a new Friday the 13th movie were thrown out into the World Wide Web back in 2006, every single fan was excited that a new Jason Voorhees adventure was in the works. However, that excitement turned to fear as the dreaded "remake" tag was eventually associated with the new film. Fans despised the idea of a re-imagining of the character and the series.

The newest Friday the 13th film was already facing an uphill battle because of the remake tag and couple that with tremendously high fan expectation and the makers of the new film had a tall task to deliver an exceptional Crystal Lake tale. After the film's release in theaters, it received some of the harshest critiques that any of the films in the franchise have ever experienced. We're not talking about those Siskel and Ebert bashings that the earlier films experienced. No, the harshest critiques came from the fans themselves. There was a magnitude of venomous feelings spewed on the net.

The main problems that were conveyed in countless blogs and message forums were the following:
1. Debates on if film is a remake, reboot or sequel
2. Too much sex and nudity
3. Unlikable, stereotyped characters
4. The music did not sound like a Friday the 13th score.
5. Too much like a Texas Chainsaw Massacre film
6. Jason Is Not A Weed Farmer

Remake, Reboot, Sequel?
Lets just start off with point number 1. Friday the 13th 2009 is not a remake. When you remake a film, you are remaking a singular film. The new movie is definitely not remaking a singular film. It is taking concepts introduced in the earlier Paramount films from the 1980's and creating an homage and re-introduction to the series and the main characters, Mrs. Voorhees and Jason Voorhees. Because of this fact, you are starting anew and that eliminates the possibility of Friday the 13th 2009 from being a remake, and as such, also a sequel.

Sequel determination is really in the eyes of each individual person's perception and education in film. That being said, this writer's view of a true sequel in film takes what happened in a previous film and continues it's plotline, story, or characters development. Since the 2009 film is re-introducing two main characters and their backstory and then introducing new characters, there is no continuation of a plotline or story from any of the previous films. Add this all up and what you are looking at in the latest Friday the 13th film is a reboot for a new franchise.

Too Much Sex And Nudity
I respect everyone's opinion, but this complaint is a complete mystery to me. Now, if you saw the movie in theater, you saw far less sex and nudity as opposed to the Extreme edition released on DVD and Blu-Ray. Depending on how you first viewed the film will more than likely skew your opinion one way or another. That being said, growing up in the 80's and waiting to see sex and nudity in a Friday the 13th film was one of the unofficial marketing ploys of the franchise. That along with the creative deaths and the accompanying gore were the main reasons you went to see these films.

Perhaps times have changed and the newer generation of filmgoers aren't as interested in seeing naked girls or sexual situations? Maybe, the people that grew up with these films are older now, with kids of their own, and were embarrassed when they took them to see this movie with all of the accompanying nude bodies and sex? This one complaint is still the biggest mystery of all.

Unlikable, Stereotyped Characters
Another sore spot for fans in the newest Friday the 13th were, well, all of the characters. Actually, the only two that were truly liked were Clay (Jared Padelecki) and Jenna (Danielle Panabaker). As for the fans anger towards the blatant stereotypes, this is nothing new in the franchise. Stereotypes follow the era that a film is made in. Stoners were the biggest stereotype of all in the 1980's.

Look at Friday the 13th Part 3 and to a lesser extent, Friday the 13th Part 7: The New Blood. Both films featured stoner characters that basically spend the whole film either smoking dope or talking about it. How about another stereotype, the mentally challenged obese kid. That was portrayed basically twice in Friday the 13th: A New Beginning. Joey, the lovable, but naive halfway house resident who is eventually hacked to pieces for his lack of intelligent conversation. And who can forget Junior, the backwoods overweight hick who was a momma's boy through and through, who all he knew how to do was repeat what his momma said and eat her food.

There are so many examples that it's easy to see that the new Friday the13th film offered nothing out of the ordinary compared to its own franchise movies or other genres as a whole. If the complaint here is racially motivated, i.e. why is it that only the token Asian and Black guy are drinking and doing drugs, then I say go watch Not Another Teen Movie and all will be explained.

The characters presented in Friday the 13th 2009 were cardboard cutouts to be sure, but this is nothing different than what has been offered up in previous films.

The Score Is Not Friday the 13th
The one gripe put out there by fans that I completely agree with. There are moments of the score that could become something great, but overall, I was very surprised that Steve Jablonsky did not do more with this. He's a great composer, but really left a lot to be desired for this film.

Too Much Like A Texas Chainsaw Film
If the 2009 film was not known to be filmed in Texas and made by the same people that made the Texas Chainsaw Massacre film, then this statement would have probably been made by only 10% of fans.I view this statement as a pretty weak point of argument when someone is in a debate about this quality of the new Friday the 13th film. Would the new movie look more authentic if filmed in the New England area, I would surely agree with that. However, to say the movie sucks because it was filmed in Texas is just crazy.

Jason Is Not A Weed Farmer
I am in complete agreement with this. Jason is not a weed farmer. I do blame the filmmakers for creating this misconception. The changing of Donnie's death scene really was the capper to the false realization that Jason only killed people that got near to or took weed growing in his woods. Of course Jason does not kill people because of the weed. My question to people who think this is, did you even watch the beginning of this film or the entire previous series of films?

If Donnie's original death was left intact, where he comes back to the barn to confront Jason taking kerosene, for which he then was killed, rather than Donnie coming back with a bag of weed and then Jason killing him, there would have been next to no backlash on this topic. For those that did not know about the changed death scene, maybe now you will change your mind.

My final thoughts on Friday the 13th 2009 is that it is one of the best film franchise reboots put out in theaters in the past 15 years. It delivered a frightening Jason Voorhees for the first time since perhaps Ted White's portrayal in Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter. The characters were no where near as bad as many people remember to them be. The nudity and sex scenes were not as offensive as some fans have mentioned online. This should not be a negative when going to watch a Friday the 13th film. And finally, this is supposed to be a fun time watching Jason Voorhees take out unsuspecting teens. This was accomplished.

For those purists out there who appreciate the backstory and history of the franchise which started over 30 years ago, you're never going to get a film like the earlier years. I am a purist at heart, but I also realize that times change and Platinum Dunes, for all of the ridicule and hatred they are attacked with, created probably the best film they could make for Friday the 13th within a studio system. The only real way to possibly get that Friday the 13th film of old is to get the rights of the franchise back to its independent roots.
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