Friday the 13th (2009)
Friday the 13th (2009)

Genre: Slasher Running Time: 1 hr. 37 min.

Release Date: February 13th, 2009 MPAA Rating: R

Director: Marcus Nispel Actors: Julianna Guill, America Olivo, Jared Padalecki, Amanda Righetti, Danielle Panabaker




he level of acceptance for the last several horror franchise reboots will determine viewer appreciation for this latest installment in the “Friday the 13th” series. A few ill words from critics won’t likely change minds. But it does appear as if the creators of these slasher revamps have all but run out of new ways to kill people. The gruesome deaths caused by the hockey-masked serial killer (for whom audiences must root for, due to a lack of interesting victims) feel dismally recycled, even if the level of bloody realism has been amplified by today’s improved special effects. Viewers looking for something more than extreme violence and gratuitous nudity will need to look elsewhere, for all that’s present here are a handful of horror movie clichés and stereotypes, mocking the failure of not more quickly recognizing their monotony. But perhaps it’s unreasonable to expect too much from the 12th film based on the same infamous killer.

In one of the longest opening sequences in recent movie history, five unsuspecting campers discover the terrifying truth behind the frightful legend of Crystal Lake as they are ruthlessly butchered by a masked madman brandishing a machete. Over a month later, when the brother of one of the initial vacationers comes looking for his missing sister, he encounters a group of wild college partiers seeking sex, drugs, and… more sex. Little do they know that soon they will be running for their lives from a hulking murderer hell-bent on leaving no witnesses behind.

“Friday the 13th” serves as both a sequel and a remake – and to more than just the original 1980 film. The extremely lengthy pre-title scene basically sums up the events of the first two movies, and as it progresses, the best bits of Parts 3 – 9 also wind up in the mix. Voorhees acquires his signature hockey mask and memorable death scenes keep getting repeated. It’s undeniably a formula that never drastically varies, and as predictable as each victim’s demise has become, there’s entertainment to be had for those who enjoy jumping in their seats and flinching at every loud noise and sudden movement.

The stereotypes have gotten to the point that films like “Scary Movie” don’t even need to parody them – this film mocks its own use of ethnic representation, cheesy dialogue, over-the-top violence, and wanton behavior. Everything that’s foreshadowed takes place, and everything that is supposed to happen inevitably does: the loner lead character steals away the girlfriend of the uptight jerk (who, of course, antagonizes everyone); the girls each take off their clothes, the guys who run off into secluded areas appropriately die, and everyone is quick to explore dangerous locations solo. It seems they wish to die as much as audiences take pleasure in seeing them squirm. This makes the real hero Jason, who is the only character that never disappoints – as evidenced by the expected conclusion. He’s the only one that’s meant to live on.

Like all of the inventive movie villains before and after him, Jason Voorhees is the main reason fans keep coming back. Freddy Krueger, Pinhead, and Michael Myers are no different. At least an unintentional underlying message is facetiously positive: if you engage in sex, drugs, and every other taboo staple of free-spirited teenage thinking, a maniacal machete-wielding mutant will kill you.

– The Massie Twins

  • 5/10