Friday The 13th 2009 Is A Soft Boot That Leans More As A Sequel

The following in-depth article was written by a huge Friday The 13th that asked to remain anonymous. Enjoy the following argument that the most recent film should be looked at as a Soft Boot.


Years ago I wrote an article debating that Friday the 13Th 2009 should be considered a Sequel instead of a Reboot. My article was published, but many people disagreed with it in the comments. I wanted to defend my point at the time, but also didn’t want to get sucked into petty debates either.

After several years I still feel convinced that Part 12 is not a Reboot. However, I have a better term for it now than Sequel. Friday the 13Th (2009) is actually neither a Reboot or a traditional Sequel; it is a Soft Boot.

So, I think it’s important here to define terms. Because, if I don’t, this can get very confusing.

Remake Defined: A movie that tells the same story (same plot) with the same characters (or main characters at least) all over again.

Remake Example: Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory is a remake compared with Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. It is a remake because it is a retailing of the same plot. In this case, the same plot of the original movie and the book. Some things, even some characters, differ a bit. But, overall, it’s the same story being told again with the same main characters.

Reboot Defined (Also Called a Hard Boot or a Hard Reboot:) A movie that launches a new movie series based on per-established characters. This new movie series may have similar elements to the original; but it is set in its own timeline continuity separate from the timeline continuity of the original film series.

Reboot Example: Batman Begins is a Reboot (Hard Boot) compared with Batman 1989. It sets up a whole new timeline continuity for what would go onto become a trilogy of films. While many key characters return; they are presented in an entirely new way in an entirely new timeline continuity.

Soft Boot Defined: A soft boot is a Sequel that attempts to act as a Reboot. It is a new movie that exists in the same timeline as the previous films, like a Sequel. However, it picks and chooses what it wants to focus on as canon; more or less brushing less popular entries in the franchise mostly under the rug. They officially happened, we just don’t talk about them anymore. It is designed to work as a new launching point to get the story back to a ‘new start,’ like a Reboot. What separates a Soft Boot from a Reboot (a Hard Reboot) is that in the process of creating this ‘new start’ they are still working in and continuing forward the original timeline continuity instead of leaving the original timeline continuity behind.

Soft Boot Example: Star Wars Episode 7 The Force Awakens. This movie is a Soft Boot because it doesn’t erase Episodes 1 though 6 from continuity. However, it very clearly leans heavily on Episodes 4 through 6; mostly ignoring Episodes 1 through 3. Episodes 1 through 3 still technically happened; we just don’t talk that much all about them anymore. It’s a way to create a ‘new start’ for a new trilogy that doesn’t delete the original timeline continuity. However, it does play fast and loose with what it decides to spotlight from the originals and what it decides to leave behind. Not delete; but leave behind by choosing not to spotlight it.

So, defined this way, to me at least; Friday the 13Th 2009 is clearly a Soft Boot. A Soft Boot is what happens when a Reboot and a Sequel have a Love Child. It’s a way for a franchise to half-hit the reset button. It’s a ‘new start’ without entirely erasing the past.

I see absolutely nothing, not one single thing, about Friday the 13Th 2009 that proves to me beyond a shadow of a doubt that it’s a Hard Reboot. In fact, there is a laundry list of easter eggs in the film, as well as careful handling of dates in the film, that specifically point to the film not being a Hard Reboot.

When the writers were being interviewed for the Bonus Disc of Crystal Lake Memories; they struggled hard on what to call the film. They batted back and forth quite a lot, before eventually landing on Sequel. Yet, to spite the writers themselves and the back of the 2013 Box Set calling it a Sequel; most fans still call the movie a Reboot to this very day.

There is clearly a disconnect. The writers and the publishers clearly see it as a sequel and the fans mostly see it as a Reboot. What happened here?

I personally think what happened here was the reputation of Platinum Dunes in the public’s eye colored the general public’s perception of the film by that fact alone. Platinum Dunes did just Remake The Texas Chainsaw Massacre before Friday the 13Th. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre Remake itself kind of morphed into a Reboot when it eventually got a Prequel; thus making it not only a retelling of the original story but also now a new film series with a new timeline continuity. Platinum Dunes then went on to Remake A Nightmare on Elm Street after Friday the 13Th.

As a consequence of Platinum Dunes being known as the horror Remake company, and Friday the 13Th being sandwiched between two major Remakes being released from the same studio, most people just went with calling Friday the 13Th 2009 a Remake because that’s just what they assumed it was out of hand without really thinking about it at all.

It also didn’t help that the film was simply titled ‘Friday the 13Th’ with no ‘Part Something’ or Subtitle of any type; just like the Remakes were titled.

Truth be told, here is what I think really happened. The writers wrote the movie as a Sequel, which is why that’s what they call it. Then, someone in distribution thought that the film would better be served financially if it were titled and marketed as a Remake.

So, we wound up with a film that has the dates in the script and visual eater eggs of a Sequel that was originally marketed and mostly counted by the fans as a reboot. A sort of misdirection. When it came time for home release of all twelve films in a box set; they decided to finally just call it what it was all along; a Sequel. But, by then the damage was done and to this day people still call it a Reboot for no real good reason; to spite the writers and the back of the box calling it a Sequel.

The term Soft Boot wasn’t really popularized, wasn’t really ‘a thing’ in mainstream popular culture, until Star Wars Episode 7 The Force Awakens. I think that’s the reason the writers fumbled around so long in the interview trying to decide what to call Friday the 13Th 2009 before eventually landing on Sequel. Had the term existed back then, I think the writers would have called Friday the 13Th 2009 a Soft Boot; because that’s what it really is.

It’s a back to basics movie that doesn’t go out of its way to erase the timeline of the previous films. In fact, it actually goes out of its way to keep the original timeline in tact. Think about that. If it were really a Reboot, why not shift the timeline to more modern times like the IT Remake did by moving the story from what I think was the 1950’s to the 1980’s. The opening date text with Pamela goes out of its way to state 1980. The story told at the camp fire goes out of its way to portray the original date and events; with the rest of the movie being set in the ‘present day.’

Why do this if you’re not going out of your way to preserve the original timeline continuity? Why not just shift Pamela’s death from 1980 to let’s say 2004 or something? Then set the modern movie in the ‘present day?’ If you really meant for the new movie to be a Reboot that worked kind of like a Remake of Parts 2, 3, and 4; why wouldn’t you do this? Part 2 happens 5 years after Part 1. Five years before the ‘present day’ of 2009 would be 2004; not 1980.

This actually creates a massive problem for anyone who wants to try to defend the stance that the 2009 film is a Reboot set in its own continuity timeline that is completely separate from the continuity timeline of the original films. What the Hell did Jason do for the 29 years between 1980 and 2009?

I mean, seriously, think about that. Really think about that. Did he just live out in the woods, in his shack, and sit there twiddling his thumbs for 29 years? ‘Man, this mean woman killed my Mom. But, you know, revenge is a dish best served cold. I think I’ll live out here in the woods as a complete hermit and do nothing for 29 years. Then, out of nowhere, I’ll start killing people.’

Because, honestly, that’s the stance you have to take to defend the 2009 film being a Reboot over a Soft Boot. Jason Voorhees, the madman driven to rage and revenge, had the calm to sit there with him thumb up his ass for 29 years before doing a damn thing about his Mother’s beheading. Good luck defending that in any way that makes any logical sense.

This is why it would have made much better sense for the 2009 film to have Pamela’s death be set in 2004 or so if they cared nothing for the original timeline continuity and wanted this to be a Hard Reboot. But, that’s not the movie they gave us.

We are told that, “When people go missing around here; they’re gone for good.” This tells me that Jason has a reputation around these parts. A reputation that he’s made in the 29 years between 1980 and 2009. It turns out that he didn’t just sit with his thumb up his ass for 29 years.

So, as the audience, we’re asked to do some critical thinking here. Jason Voorhees, vengeful man filled with rage, earned a reputation for making people “go missing for good” between 1980 and 2009.

Let’s imagine what he might have done in those 29 years to earn this reputation. Why, I’ll hazard a guess and say maybe this Jason fellow killed some people between 1980 and 2009. I’d imagine that first on his list of people to kill might even be that mean girl who chopped his Mother’s head off. Yeah, I think he’d hunt her down and kill her first. Then, why, maybe he’d make his way back to the Crystal Lake Camp ground where it happened. Maybe he’d run into some folks around those parts setting up another camp. Maybe that would bring back some bad memories; with them trespassing in the wilderness where his Mom was killed. Where he was bullied (and depending on if you believe he drowned was killed.) Why, that might just enrage this man into killing even more people. Then, even more people might keep coming out there into his woods. I’d imagine one might even stand up to him and smack his ass around with a machete. Maybe being such an iconic serial killer in such a small town, he might even have a copy cat killer kill use his M.O. Why, perhaps there’s something supernatural going on here with how he’s able to kill some many people and survive being attacked when they fight back. Maybe he’d even come back from the dead if struck by lightening or something and try to hunt down that person who stood up to him with his own machete and put him in the grave for a while. Then, maybe this other serial killer who also has supernatural powers might even wake him up and send him to a new place to kill teenagers, if he looked him his Mom or something to trick him. But, when he found out he was tricked, he’d fight back against this bad man. He’d be pretty beat up from the fight, but he’s survived and regenerated before; even after being put into the grave by the kid with the machete.

Why, I’d say an awful lot could happen in those 29 years. Too bad we don’t have an entire series of classic horror movies to help us fill in that gap in the timeline. Oh well, maybe he killed like three people or something and just sat with his thumb up his as for the rest of the 29 years and then started killing again in 2009. Yeah, that sounds a lot more fun to think about…

Let’s read between the lines together here, shall we? The timeline is set up this way in the 2009 film to serve as a Soft Boot. It doesn’t require you to have watched the previous films to understand what is going on in the new movie. Thus, a ‘new start.’ Yet, by cleverly leveraging the timeline the way that they did; they leave the door open for people who want to still count the original films to still be able to see them having had happened in that extremely large 29 year gap between 1980 and 2009. So, we get a ‘new start’ while also preserving the original timeline. That’s exactly what a Soft Boot is supposed to do.

The only stretch here is to think that Jason could regenerate back to being fully alive and able to run. Yet, we’re told that Jason can never die and has the ability to regenerate lost and damaged tissue. So, if left alone, why wouldn’t he be able to regenerate back to life completely? In most cases, between films, Jason is left in the ground or chained under water for years at a time. Or, with toxic waste thrown in his face. There is around a 6 year period (if you assume Freddy VS Jason takes place in the year it was released in) where Jason wasn’t chained under water or buried under ground. Or, alternatively, if you choose to count the FVJVA Comics as canon, Jason is outright regenerated to being fully alive again in the second series of comics. So, there, problem solved.

I think assuming his regeneration abilities kicked in is far less of a stretch when you think about it than tossing out all of the original films and then in turn imagining similar but somehow different events took place between 1980 and 2009. Why not choose the more fun option and assume the movies we have and love took place in that time slot? Rather than just assuming he killed Alice, maybe a few other people, and then nothing else majorly fun or exciting happened (such as the rest of the movies) in the same time slot that the rest of the movies could easily fit into?

I just don’t understand why so many people want to throw the original timeline of movies we love out the window by calling the 2009 film a Reboot when the writers and film makers went out of their way to leave the timeline open for us to slot the original films into and consider the 2009 film a Soft Boot. They did this as a favor to the fans; and most of the fans just don’t get it, ignore it, and consider the 2009 film a Reboot anyway. When pressed for a reason for this, I mostly ever just get “because.” As if it’s somehow so obvious; just out of hand like that. I implore you, be a detective, and actually look at the film they gave us here. The franchise is served better if you do.

Also, as a fun aside, people often ask where Part 10 fits into all of this. I have a theory for that too. However, this Part 10 theory is not my own. Whoever came up with it, please come forward, as it’s the best theory I ever heard for Part 10 and you deserve all the credit. Someone told me this theory in a Friday the 13Th Forum years ago. It goes like this.

Part 10 is actually a dream. There. Simple. But, let me explain. The Franchise has many dream sequences, like at the end up Parts 3 and 5. Freddy pulls Jason’s mask down into Hell at the end of Part 9. We see Freddy find Jason at Camp Crystal Lake in Part 11. There, he’s in his ‘death dream’ and is still killing dream people before Freddy tricks him looking like Pamela to wake up from his death.

What if the entirely of Part 10 is actually a death dream like the opening of Part 11 is? After all, it happens between Freddy pulling Jason’s mask into Hell and Freddy waking Jason up from a death dream in the opening of Part 11; in film release order.

Also, think of this, Part 10 is the first film we see Jason with a jacket. Then, when he’s in the death dream of Part 11’s opening, he’s wearing a jacket still. Then, he wakes up with a jacket; which he keeps into Part 12. (Granted the jacket changes throughout these films. But, so does the Hockey Mask and the make up. So, I still see it as the ‘same jacket.’) He didn’t go into the ground in Part 9 with a jacket.

A Nightmare on Elm Street (and Part 11) establishes that people holding onto objects in a Freddy dream can manifest them and pull them out of the dream. What if Jason pulled out the dream jacket from Part 10 into Part 11 when Freddy woke him up from death? That’s where he got the jacket from!

What is Part 10 about, actually? It’s about Jason feeling trapped, frozen still in time. Being woken up far into the future. Isn’t that what happened? Jason was dragged to Hell, frozen in time, and woken up ‘far’ into the future between Part 9 and Part 11. Jason, in his death dream, dreamed of being frozen in time and woken up in the future; he was living out his situation in his death dream; symbolically.

Again, the Part 10 theory is not my own. But, I have adopted it from the person who suggested it to me as my personal head canon for the franchise. It does many great things. First, it keeps the movie continuity in release order instead of flinging Jason X out into the future from its release date. Second, it gets rid of the continuity problem of Roland saying Jason was captured by the government in 2008. This stops that from messing up Part 12 from being set in ‘present day’ 2009. It also stops that from messing up all future Friday the 13Th movies from being set in ‘present day’ when released from here on out. It also stops the timeline problem with Jason X without having to ignore the film entirely and throw it out of canon. Instead, it happens right where it belongs, between Part 9 and Part 11. “You’ve just been sleeping honey. But now it’s time for you to wake up.”

If you take my explanation of Part 12 and pair it with this other person’s theory for Part 10; you now have one cohesive continuity timeline for the most successful horror franchise in history from 1980 to the present day!

Why mess that up by continuing to insist that the 2009 film is a Reboot? I personally hate the idea of rebooting Friday the 13Th. There is no real reason to. The original films are great, why throw them out of continuity? Also, and not to be insulting, but the plot of these films are very simple. You only Reboot a franchise when you need to fix massive story problems. When you’ve written yourself into a corner that you’re not creative enough to write yourself out of. Or, when you want to tell the same story again in a different way for a modern audience. But, Friday the 13Th’s plot is so simple that you don’t need to do this. Jason wakes up from being dead, kills people in the woods around Crystal Lake, Jason gets ‘killed’ at the end. The formula is so repeatable. Why waste the legacy by Rebooting it?

Jason Goes to Hell isn’t hard to ignore if you don’t personally like it. Don’t like body hopping? Well, simple, never completely destroy Jason’s body again like they did in Part 9’s opening. There is no real reason to ever do that again. So, it becomes a canon power that he has but never uses again because it can be written around. Hence, how a Soft Boot can ignore things it doesn’t want to touch again. You simply never spot light them again, never bring that situation up again.

The Friday the 13Th timeline is not as broken as many people think that it is. It’s in far better condition than the Halloween timeline, for instance. Never blow up Jason again, and we can sweep that element of body hopping from Part 9 under the rug. Part 10 was a dream between Freddy pulling Jason’s mask to Hell and him waking up in Part 11? Good, now it no longer messes up the timeline. Part 12 is actually a Soft Boot and not a Hard Reboot? Great, it’s the same old Jason we know and love without throwing all the previous movies out of the timeline. Jason just got a good 6 or so years to heal and he’s back to human again. Simple. Easy as pie. Where do we go from here? More traditional Friday the 13Th movies set around the Camp Crystal Lake wilderness.

Also, if we call Part 12 a Reboot we rob the next movie (assuming we ever get it) from being Friday the 13Th Part 13 (not that I expect it to be called that on the poster.) But, you know what I mean. You’d be making it Part 2 to the 2009 film or a Hard Reboot. Wouldn’t you instead like to see Part 13 as actually be Part 13?

I’m 33 years old and I fell in love with this Franchise in my teenage years. A huge reason I fell in love with it was its rich history of films. I never wanted to see that history thrown out the window for the crassness of thinking that necessary to draw in a new audience. Jason is Jason. The plots for these movies fallow a simple formula. You don’t need to reboot the franchise to draw in new blood.

Or, put another way, I found it a more cool idea to know I fell in love with an ongoing timeline that had a history than the idea of falling in love with a franchise that was rebooted ‘for my generation.’ I don’t need or want the franchise rebooted for my generation. I’m not that self centered. I find the franchise richer when it’s something my parents grew up watching and that I fell into loving also. I find this type of movie making to be more respectful to Friday the 13Th and its legacy. You have an unkillable villain that fallows a repeatable formula, a simple plot, and a has a long and rich heritage. Why the Hell would you want to screw that up by restarting that legacy just to be trendy and hop on the Reboot wagon?

The old films were proud of their heritage; starting each film off with building up the legend of Jason with shots from the previous films. Again, even Part 12 went out of its way to leave the timeline open for us to see it as a Soft Boot if we waned to.

A new movie will eventually come. If we want to stop Friday the 13Th’s timeline from fracturing the way Halloween’s did; I think we need to show the studios that we do see this franchise as one timeline (including Part 12) and that we don’t want a Hard Reboot. Otherwise, if we just keep calling the 2009 film a Reboot then we’re essentially giving the studio the license to Hard Reboot the franchise whenever it feels like it.

We’ve been given a gift here with the timeline of Part 12. A gift that I think the writers wrote that way on purpose. Please don’t squander that gift by pretending it wasn’t given. Please don’t ignore the room they made for the classics in the timeline; just because it’s a Platinum Dunes film so it ‘just must be a Reboot.’ The franchise is better served if we see the 2009 film as a Soft Boot instead of a Hard Reboot. But, I am only one man and this is up to the fans to decide. I just wanted to get it out there that the timeline doesn’t have to die with Part 12. It never did. They made room. People just overlooked it. Please reconsider.

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