Ok, I wanted to throw a little Alice Cooper into this review, is that so bad?
The best thing I can say about the Friday the 13th remake/sequel is that Jason Voorhees is on the screen doing what he does best. On screen being an advocate for not doing drugs or alcohol and saving yourself for marriage.
The worst thing I can say is that the movie is just so overly generic. It’s just there, and that’s it. Truth be told Jason’s name sold this film - because if he weren’t in this it would just seem like some stereotypical slasher movie and it wouldn‘t have gotten half the publicity it has.
There is no real plot in this movie, as in all the other Friday the 13ths. The stereotypical cast of kids (rich kid, slutty girl, good girl, black guy, Asian guy, jock type, etc) go to the woods for a weekend of fun and debauchery and they all start dying. There is a sub-story of Jared “Sam Winchester” Padalecki looking for his sister, but it really doesn’t add anything to the overall story. It’s just a way to get Hero Guy and Survivor Girl to the final act. No one grows as a character, there is no self discovery. There is just a line from Point A to Point B that is littered with bodies.
The only character that radically changes is Jason and it comes during the biggest missed opportunity of the film: when Jason dons his infamous hockey mask. He does it in the same way someone running out of the house would don a baseball cap. He finds it, tosses it on and that’s it. No dramatic build up, no music swell, no “Now you’re a man! A man man man!”, nothing. Now if you call that a ‘radical change’ you can see where the movie is falling short.
The writers of the movie wanted to keep a campy, cheesy 80s movie feel to this but just update it with rap music, Escalades and GPS systems. The bad thing is that the melding of two eras doesn’t work. The dialogue might end up making you wonder why hasn’t natural selection ended some of these teens were are seeing on the screen.
But no one cares about the plot right? They care about the kills! It’s what Jason is all about. Well, the kills are there but they are all just as generic as the movie itself. People die by all sorts of means, but there’s nothing special about them, especially since they are ‘re-envisioned’ versions of kills from other F13 movies. But there is one kill by Jason that nearly took me out of the movie all together as it totally broke Jason’s normal killing MO. You will know it when you see it, and if you don’t just ask someone “which kill didn’t seem Jason-like?”
When Jason isn’t killing hapless teens he is hunting, or trapping, or digging/bracing tunnels, running electrical cables, moving abandoned vehicles into a specific position and all sorts of other things. While we don’t see mush of this during the movie it has to happen some time. Jason is supposed to be a ‘mongoloid retard’ as the film states, but I don’t know how many people with severe mental issues can survive in the wilderness like Daniel Boone.
The saddest part of this new F13 is that it’s really not fun. That was always the charm with the F13 movies - they were mindless fun. They tried to make Jason dark, gritty and serious, and it didn't work.
When you look at all the things that happened in the movie, F13 really feels like the Texas Chainsaw Massacre remake just altered slightly.
The movie ultimately lacks any real staying power. There’s nothing new or inventive with it, there’s nothing that will be etched in your mind for weeks to come because it‘s all things you‘ve seen before, and you‘ve seen it better.
The film had a beginning, a middle and an end. It consumed time and space. It was merely there.