Film Review: Friday The 13th (2009) And Just Another Film Critic

Just Another Film Critic’s Review of “Friday The 13th” (2009)

The remake/reboot/refranchise of “Friday The 13th” came out in 2009, when I was JUST getting into the old movies.  I was too young to see it in theatres but I wanted to SO badly.  “Friday The 13th” was about the coolest thing to me at the time and for all the obvious reasons a 12-year-old would love them: boobs, blood and an iconic main antagonist: Jason Voorhees!

So, fast-forward to 2014 after I’ve seen the movie several times and… I still don’t know how I feel.

“Friday The 13th” (2009) is a “bad” movie.  In fact, from a filmmaking standpoint, it IS the best in the series.  The acting, camerawork and production value of this film is GREAT!  The best in the series by a long shot!  However, this doesn't always work in the film’s favor.  Much like “Jason X” (2002) and “Freddy vs. Jason” (2003) the newest addition to the franchise suffers from being over-produced by Jason movie standards.  It lacks the grit and low-budget feel of the original films.  Some may feel this is an improvement over the originals, since it is more technically well-made then the originals.  However, I feel that this makes the movie less enjoyable and less scary.

The film’s acting, like I said, was the best in the series, especially our leads played by Jared Padalecki and Danielle Panabaker, who share convincing chemistry and make for very likeable protagonists.  There were times were I was rooting for them MORE then Jason (which is saying a lot when you’re talking about a movie like this.)  As for the rest of the cast, as good as their acting was, they played such unlikeable characters.

Say what you will about the acting in the older films, but at least the majority of the characters in them were likeable.  What we have here, instead of bad actors playing good characters, are good actors playing bad characters.  Granted, one could argue that makes their death scenes more rewarding.  HOWEVER, I prefer my Friday The 13th deaths to be more tragic then fun.  The first film from 1980 presented the deaths in a shocking way as opposite to a “YEAH!  THIS IS AWESOME!” kinda way.

Many of this film’s false can also be blamed on the writing.  Now before I move forward, let me just say that I think Damian Shannon and Mark Swift, who also wrote “Freddy vs. Jason” are very capable writers.  But, LIKE “Freddy vs. Jason”, their script for this “Friday The 13th” suffers from rewrites.  I’d love to see a script by them made WITHOUT THOSE REWRITES, because they seem like they know what they’re doing.  It’s because of these rewrites that the story gets messy and the dialogue gets changed… for the worst.

Dat last line… ugh…

If there is one thing I LOVE about this movie, it is its presentation of Jason Voorhees himself. Other than that very awkward-looking design, Derek Mears gives the best portrayal of Jason we've seen yet.  He was intimidating, sympathetic and angry all at once.  I hope he plays Jason in future films because Derek knows how to play this character and knows how to play him right.

Bottom line, this is Hollywood’s glossed-over “Friday The 13th”: a welcome change in taste but a negative example for the rest of the series.  In this fan’s opinion, Jason belongs in the time he came from.  If future Jason movies can capture that low-budget ‘80’s B-movie feel, then THOSE should be getting made NOW!  Otherwise, I see no reason for Jason to ever be resurrected again.

(but who am I kidding?  I’ll be watching the new film opening day)

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Rating:  2 Out of 5 Machetes

Review By: Just Another Film Critic

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