A group of teenage camp counselors raises the ire of Jason Voorhees, a masked, homicidal maniac, in this remake of the classic slasher flick.
Runtime: 1hr 38m
Director: Marcus Nispel
Starring: Jared Padalecki, Danielle Panabaker, Amanda Righetti, Travis Van Winkle, Aaron Yoo, Derek Mears, Jonathan Sadowski, Julianna Guill, Ben Feldman, Arlen Escarpeta, Ryan Hansen
Information Page: https://www.newonnetflix.info/info/70104894
I’ve been a big fan of both the “Friday the 13th” and “Nightmare on Elm Street” franchises since I was way too young to watch them with my brother back in the mid 90s. “Nightmare on Elm Street” used to scare me more but I always found the “Friday the 13th” films to be a bit more tongue-in-cheek and both the numbers of killings and the way they happened, especially in the later films, just made them more fun to watch. So when the remake was released back in 2009 I had my doubts about it and never ended up watching it. I’ve even owned the DVD for a number of years and still haven’t watched it for fear of it not being ‘up to standard’. However, when it was recently added to Netflix UK I finally decided to face my fears…
It’s going to be difficult to write this review as I have such a vested interest in the original ten films (plus Freddy Vs Jason is a lot of fun too) so I need to try and see it for what it is – a remake, a ‘fresh start’ so to speak, and not something I need to be comparing… However, I can’t be the only one who has seen all the originals and wants to compare them with the new one. But equally, there will be people who have never seen any of the earlier films and will be coming to this with a fresh pair of eyes. Anyway, I digress. Let’s ‘cut’ to the review…
The film starts at a lakeside in 1980 where a teenage girl is arguing with a woman. The teen is being told that it’s her fault and the her poor little boy Jason shouldn’t have gone through whatever it was he went through. The teen is holding a machete which she then uses to chop off the older lady’s head before running away. A young boy walks up to the decapitated body and picks up her necklace and locket while we hear the voice of the older lady saying “Kill them Jason, kill them for momma”. Now, for those who are familiar with the original films that scene will make sense but I can’t help feeling that for any newcomers that scene would come across as a bit random without much explanation – why does the girl have a machete? Why is she bedraggled and soaked? What happened to Jason? Spoiler alert (for a 40 year old film) the opening scenes of the 2009 remake essentially re-tell the final scene and ‘big reveal’ of the original “Friday the 13th” film.
Jump ahead nearly 30 years and a group of teens are heading out on a camping trip in search of a massive plantation of weed that they intend to harvest, sell on and make a bit of money. When they arrive and set up camp one of the teens tells the story of how the nearby campsite was where a series of gruesome murders happened back in 1980 and that the child saw his mum beheaded and grew up to be a serial killer. But it’s all just campfire scary stories… right?
As I’ve said, this is a remake of “Friday the 13th” – although more like the first two films merged together – and, as with most slashers, you kind of know what’s going to happen. A group of friends gets picked off one by one until there’s one left over to tell the tale that no one believes. It is a predictable film – even going as far as recreating the naked breasts and badly acted sex scenes that are prevalent in 80’s slashers.
Only it isn’t quite as predictable as you might expect… Now, we don’t normally do spoilers in our reviews but this is a difficult thing to mention without giving away a potential spoiler – so if you want to know what story writing ‘trick’ made things less predictable then click below – if not then skip it and continue! Also, please note, there are a lot of things in the film that are purposefully not being mentioned too!
As the campers are gradually whittled down in numbers they inevitably realise that the stories about Jason are obviously true. They are being hunted by a maniacal serial killer who is highly skilled with all things sharp: machetes, hooks, spikes and longbows to name a few. While the incoming deaths are a given, there are still a few surprises and some fairly decent jump scares. Jason hunts, Jason kills, the kids try to fight back, will they survive etc etc.
“Friday the 13th” actually has a fairly decent plot (for a slasher film) and, really, my only issue with the film was how Jason was portrayed. In this remake they seem to be trying to humanise the character – we see him making decisions and re-thinking his plans – he also runs. One thing I like about the originals is that our hockey-masked killer comes across as an automated, unthinking killing machine that just wants blood. He also tends not to run, instead simply managing to keep up with his victims by walking.
All in all, I prefer the original franchise but that isn’t to say that the remake isn’t worth a watch – so give it a try whether you’re a long-term fan or a complete newcomer.
Have you seen this film? Let us know your opinions in the comments below and of course if there are any films on Netflix UK you want us to review let us know!