In 2003 they rebooted THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE and I thought it was great. In 2006 they rebooted THE HILLS HAVE EYES and I thought it was well made. In 2010 they rebooted A NIGHTMARWE ON ELM STREET with a new actor playing Freddy Krueger and I thought it told a better story than the original (but wasn’t as good, overall). So then you’d think that the year earlier, in 2009, when they rebooted FRIDAY THE 13th, you would think I’d have gotten on board with it, just like the rest.
You’d be wrong.
I can’t stand FRIDAY THE 13th (2009) and it’s a mixture of reasons I can put my finger on, and other reasons that I don’t quite understand. Let’s talk about the knowns first before we talk about the unknowns.
FRIDAY THE 13th (2009) centers around a group of kids that are staying the weekend in a very upscale cabin off of Crystal Lake that become Jason’s victims one at a time. Also, SUPERNATURAL star Jared Padalecki’s looking for his sister, who is missing, but is actually a captive of Jason in his subterranean lair because she bears a slight resemblance to his mother. Along the way we have drugs, sex, and nudity, so at least they got that part right about the FRIDAY THE 13th series.
It’s humorous to think that both stars of SUPERNATURAL, Jensen Ackles and Jared Padalecki, starred in separate film projects in the same year. Jared Padalecki in FRIDAY THE 13th (2009), and Jensen Ackles in the remake, MY BLOODY VALENTINE 3D (2009). Ah, but which of them receives bragging rights for having the better film? It would seem that, going in, Jared Padalecki made the safe bet with FRIDAY THE 13th, because of name recognition and a bigger budget. However, in my view, Ackles made the smarter decision with MY BLOODY VALENTINE 3D (2009). Of course I’m not hailing MY BLOODY VALENTINE 3D (2009) as a brilliant film, but I am saying it’s a lot more fun and entertaining with less overall suck factor than FRIDAY THE 13th (2009).
I was watching a behind-the-scenes special on this film before it came out and I remember the writers saying that it was very important for them to not make the same Jason as was in all the past movies, meaning he was not going to be an omnipotent villain that can be in two places nearly at once, can take any sort of punishment the characters can dish out, that sort of thing. So I went into the movie with that in mind and just saw example after example of how the writers were lying. Like the scene where Jason makes it from the tool shed to the ROOF OF THE CABIN with one camera pan, whaaaaaaaaaaaat? That seems a lot like the old omnipotent Jason to me. So those moments really weighed down this film for me and generally, honestly, had me angry. In the theater, there was a guy in one of the front rows who had apparently had his fill about forty minutes in. He got up, went to the exit and said “Freddy rules!!!” And left through the emergency exit. I remember thinking he was a lucky guy and I would have done the same, except I came with a group of people and I’m annoyingly polite and didn’t want to walk out in case any of them were (gasp) enjoying the film.
Also, the beginning of the film, which plays like a short fan film where a group of oversexed kids are searching for a huge pot farm and fall victim to Jason, is apparently the longest introduction scene to a film ever. Meaning it takes the longest to get to its opening titles. I don’t know if it still holds that record for the last six years, but it had it at the time. Oddly enough, I’m actually a fan of the opening sequence. It is fun, well-paced, follows its own rules, and has one of the nastiest death scenes in the entire franchise. Color me disappointed when everyone died and the ‘real’ movie started.
The whole tri-storyline going on (Jared Padalecki looking for his sister, the kids in the upscale cabin, Jared Padalecki’s sister trying to escape Jason) doesn’t mix well. When they try to mix they start sacrificing mainly the cabin kids plot, screwing up the pacing and offing everyone too quickly. It makes the film feel really uneven when it was the main storyline we were following after the opening titles rolled in the first place.
In the end, the reboot is a poorly written script that was executed equally as poorly. Apparently they’re going to try again in 2016…wait, what? Seriously? Damnation!