“A group of young adults visit a boarded up campsite named Crystal Lake where they soon encounter the mysterious Jason Voorhees and his deadly intentions.”

Director: Marcus Nispel
Writers: Victor Miller, Damian Shannon, Mark Swift, Meak Wheaton
Staring: Jared Padalecki, Derek Mears, Danielle Panabaker, Amanda Righetti
Streaming: HBO Max
Release Date: February 13, 2009

Let’s get this out of the way right at the jump. This rendition of Friday The 13th (2009) is not a good movie. It is a piece of slop. It is a horror story that is not scary in the slightest. It’s most frightening aspects come from how horrifically it abides by the classic horror movie tropes of overly exposed super attractive young adults isolated in the woods making stupid decisions and behaving like adolescent children. Friday The 13th can not hold a candle up to the original Camp Crystal Lake adventure in 1980, but it can light a flicker a few moments of brain-numbing entertainment.

Clay Miller (Jared Padalecki) is on a desperate search for his lost sister Whitney (Amanda Righetti) after she never returned from a camping expedition with her friends. While on his lost & found quest, Clay runs into a group of young adults who are residing at lofty cabin right on Crystal Lake. While their personalities do not match, all become intertwined with one another when the mythical and thought-deceased Jason Voorhees (Derek Mears) begins tormenting and murdering the inhabitants encroaching on his land.

I have many questions about this movie, the first being what should be an obvious one. Is this Friday The 13th a remake? A reboot? A sequel? There are references to the original movie/story throughout. Maybe this was meant to be a hard reboot like Halloween (2018)? Get rid of the clunky sequels type of thing? The only issue with that is that the original Friday The 13th had the ultimate twist of the mother being the killer. It is hard to create a reboot/sequel type of thing with a different killer if people haven’t seen the first movie this movie was meant to follow and emulate? It is a confusing storyline of storytelling. I am almost definitely overthinking it.

It should be touched upon that the opening for Friday The 13th is best made part of this movie, and it is crazy how long it takes to get to the opening title and credits. 23 minutes pass before we get to see “Friday The 13th” and get to hear the iconic score, for maybe the only time? When else does it come out in the movie? I just don’t remember. If you are looking for a shot-for-shot, or vibe-for-vibe remake of a classic 1980s slasher, than watch the opening 20 minutes of Friday The 13th.

Once we get to the main storyline, things get predictable, and not in the fun way. I was able to call literally everything that happened in the first 20 minutes and it was magical and fun. When Clay gets into the storyline, everything becomes less fun. Friday The 13th becomes a showcase of beautiful people contrasted against the ugliness of Jason. The vibes of a slasher are stripped away. The kills aren’t even that original or creative. It becomes a chore and a waiting game to see who will survive. Personally, I wish I was in the epicenter of the manipulating forces in Cabin In The Woods (2011) to place bets on how everyone would die.

Another major con to this rendition of Friday The 13th is the unveiling of the hockey mask…and the actual unmasking of Jason. None of that scene in attic added to the mystique of the Jason’s character or legacy, so why have a truly fan-service moment happen after the slaying of a character that is ultimately meaningless? It was a wasted opportunity. With the way this screenplay doles itself out, there may not have been an actual good moment to have this masking take place, but it can be said with certainty that the moments in the attic lack any heft.

Speaking of the screenplay, I love how the dialogue in Friday The 13th dictates exactly what is to follow. Lines like “go to the toolshed” act like a lighthouse to the audience to prepare for what is to come. This movie is as easy to understand in its plotting as a table of contents.

It is amazing how many people are in this movie, and a lot with CW and WB connections.

  • Jared Padalecki from Superanatural TV show
  • Danielle Panabaker from The Flash TV show
  • Ryan Hansen from Veronica Mars TV show
  • Ben Feldman from Cloverfield (2008), Mad Men TV show, and the underrated As Above, So Below (2014)

I want to say this unequivocally. Friday The 13th is not good, but with that being said, it is also well worth watching. You can shut your brain off, yell at Michael Bay’s objectification of women, predict every move that’s happening and roll your eyes once the credits start rolling asking “why did I do this to myself?”

STANKO RATING: C- (1.5/5 Stars)


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