Halloween Horror: Friday the 13th (2009)

Happy Halloween. As a fan of the Friday the 13th movies (well, the first four), it was tragic that I didn’t see the “re-launch” in the theatres. However, since I knew it was going to suck, and everyone I knew also knew it was going to suck and wouldn’t go with me, I decided to buy the DVD from the discount bin and save it for Friday, the night before Halloween.

I say I knew it would be horrible because once I knew Michael Bay was attached, it was going to be a brutal rape of the original series.

That being said, there was only one option: Keep running comments while I watched it  and post them here so you don’t have to watch this piece of garbage yourself. By reading this, you’re going to have the movie ruined for you. Then again, by watching it, you’re going to have the series ruined for you by the producers. Better for you to choose me and get 80 minutes of your life back.

I never got around to hooking up my DVD player, so I just popped it into the PlayStation, which doesn’t have a time display, so all times are soccer-style approximate guesses.

4′ – So, one of my favorite movies of all-time (That would be Friday the 13th, the original, or Part I) reduced to the opening credits of a horrible remake. Awesome.

11′ – To be a secondary lead female character in a Friday the 13th movie, you need acting talent or great breasts. Definitely not both, and casting directors probably don’t really care about the first. This chick, “Amanda” (played by America Olivo) is oh-for-two.

14′ – Sister Christian? Really? Did the original score really need work?

15′ – First death. Out of nowhere with zero suspense. Wow. It should HARD to butcher a classic this bad. It’s not like the original series didn’t give you FIVE blueprints on how to make a good Friday the 13th movie.

18′ – Why would Camp Crystal Lake have a carved head board for Jason Vorhees? He did not “live” there.

22′ – Burning someone to death, using a bear trap, stabbing at two people through the floor boards? This is not Jason Vorhees.

22:34 – Guy dragged under the floor boards

22:38 – Jason goes after the chick.

I guess all it takes is being under a cabin to kill someone in four seconds.

He’s tried to kill five people and we haven’t seen the machete?

24′ – Ah. There’s the machete.

24:15 – Wait, more credits?  Ah, that was merely the SECOND preamble. Part II re-made in 20 minutes. I guess we now get the “new” Jason movie. We’re now six weeks later.

30′ – Ah, so the chick from the first party (“Whitney Miller”) has a brother, “Clay Miller,” who will probably be one of two people living at the end. I guess there’s no more plot mystery.

34′ – “Ok Kyle, your character is named ‘Donnie.’ Just give us Michael Rappaport imitating Jay from the Clerks movies.”

38′ – Hey, Jason appears in broad daylight. First time for everything, I guess.

39′ – Oooh, the dramatic first hockey mask donning. Might have been better at night. Why does a everyone in Crystal Lake have hockey equipment at summer camps, or on farms?

43′ – Seriously. Why the hell is Jason showing himself to everyone during the freaking afternoon? He’s walking on a damned pier at 4:15 in the afternoon on a summer day.

46′ – Hmm, two minutes later, it’s dark. I guess the bright light in the last scene must have been–

HOLY FREAKING SR!@$!( WHAT THE #$(!)# WAS THAT!??!?!

I just jumped 10 feet in the air. My pulse is racing, and I am trying to calm down but complete have the fear shakes.

No. Not this crappy movie. My Halloween costume was hanging on my halogen lamp to dry, but it fell at an angle from behind me. I didn’t see/hear it start to go. The pole hit me in the shoulder from behind as the glass top smashed into the wall with an extremely loud and startling crash.

I wish I had video of that for you. That was probably the highlight of the movie.

Ok. Clean pair of shorts and we’re back.

50′ – Booby traps? Jason is setting booby traps. And he has a dungeon?

51′ – No. Seriously. Jason Vorhees. Has. A Dungeon. WHAT THE HELL?!??!?!

52′ – OH MY FREAKING GOD THEY GAVE HIM A F**KING TENDER SIDE!  He has KEPT WHITNEY MILLER FOR SIX WEEKS chained in his dungeon. And. He. DOES. NOT. KILL. HER.

54′ – Yeah, no search party would ever find a room of dead, decaying body parts not being refrigerated in the summer when it’s cleverly hidden two feet underground and natural light is coming in.

67′ – One way to redeem this: Have Lawrence the Token Black Guy be the only person who lives.

70′ – Damn. So much for Larry the Black Guy.

78′ – The second male lead “Trent” (who’s a dick, so you know he’s going to die) has a gun. He better accidentally shoot someone who’s not Jason.

By the way, after the fact, I noticed Trent is played by the same guy who played “Trent” in Transformers. So, same production team. Same character. How he gets from high school in wherever the geographically challenged Transformers movie was based in to a camp in New Jersey is beyond me.

81′ – Ok, Jason making quick work of the cop was pretty good.

85′ – So help me God, I cannot think of a single thing to make a worse Friday the 13th movie than Jason Vorhees holding hostages in his basement dungeon for six weeks.

87′ – Ok, it could be worse if they pulled a Tom & Jerry movie and had Jason talk. But short of that, keeping a hostage for six weeks, is still the ultimate crappy plot and ending.

91′ – Dropping the gun in water. I did not see that coming. Ok, I totally saw that coming.

105′ – Did she really need to add “… in hell” ? And boy did that machete go in and out easily. It’s not a sword. It’s not a stabbing weapon, it’s a chopping weapon.

107′ – And the rip off of the first ending, done horribly. Not to mention that his mask comes off and sinks to the bottom separate from his corpse. And he puts it back on without making a single splash in about seven seconds (plus, you know, coming back to life!).

That was absolutely brutal. Once again, Michael Bay has produced a movie which ruins a fond memory from my child hood. My parents should have just invited him over every Christmas morning to break my presents in front of me a hurl baby fetuses at the dinner table.

In general, I feel like projects such as this, or seasons of 24, needs to have a big time fan on the set or in the writer’s room. A guy who’s sole job it is to be the voice of reason and say “wait a minute. No. Just no. You CAN NOT DO THIS. I know these characters, I like or love these characters; they can not act this way.” or “Hey, isn’t that a big gigantic plot hole?” Someone for quality control. So when I watch the bonus features with the actors and writers talking about how much they love the Jason character, they should not add “This script was so good” or allow this abortion to happen.

I also checked out IMDB.com to read the trivia, the FAQ, etc, and I notice one of the FAQs is “Did I miss something? I mean, since when did Jason take prisoners?”  I would like to have the person who wrote the answer killed. The answer says that since the chick resembled Jason’s mother and…

“Throughout the franchise, it is established that his mother is his one weakness and the only person he feels any real emotional connection to, so it’s really not a major departure for the character.”

Bullshit. It is a major departure. Everyone else has either been killed or killed Jason and gotten away until the next sequel.

Not only is it just simply WRONG and a slap in the face of the entire plot of 11 previous movies, but the entire movie was then completely obvious after 50 minutes of setup. Not that any of the others weren’t, but still. If you’re going to establish a stupid plot we see coming, then give us what we really want:

1. Suspense

This would be done with the excellent Henry Mancini soundtrack the first ones had. Throw in some misdirection where you think someone will die and keep us guessing.

2. Jason Vorhees killing people when they are alone.

None of this killing people while others are so close. Because multiple times they had Jason kill someone a few feet from other characters in methods that wouldn’t be quick and deadly, and definitely wouldn’t be silent.

3. Jason Vorhees being a badass.

Not keeping women alive for SIX WEEKS. I went about 20-30 minutes thinking it was a different character he was keeping alive, because the scene in which they establish he’s got a dungeon and this broad chained up, is basically had the “first time she wakes up in the dungeon” scene, which should have taken place six months earlier. She doesn’t look ragged, malnourished, and acts like it’s the first time he’s come up to her. Which couldn’t happen or she’d have died of starvation/dehydration. If he’s been feeding her for six weeks, she doesn’t have that reaction to him like it’s the first time she’s seen him.

4. Give us some “That was awesome” moments.

Like in Part VII, when after beating someone in a sleeping bag to death by grabbing it and slamming the bag against the tree, he kicks the corpse.

This movie had nothing like that.

How about this for a re-launch: Tell the back story, re-establish that he’s alive and killing people. Keep us guessing at “who’s going to live at the end.” Keep him true to character (in the killing everyone who comes to that site, sense). Go ahead an make him smarter, more agile, territorial like a hunter; which is what they SAID they were trying to do with him. Have him be a complete and total bad ass. The coolest and most awesome Jason we’ve ever seen, while remaining the Jason character we do want to see. And don’t have him deviate so drastically by keeping people alive in a dungeon. And at the end… KILL EVERYONE and end it there. That’s all we really want. Throw in some new and innovative deaths and the same awesome score and you’ll be called a genius.

That’s how you bring in new fans and make more money for future sequels. Look at the numbers. $65 million at the box office. The original pulled in $40 million in 1980. So the only people who went to see the new one was diehard fans like me.

If you make the re-launch completely awesome and give us what we want, we’ll drag our friends to go see it again and you’ll make money. You’ll get new fans. When you make a mediocre version that’s nowhere close to the original (hey, Jason revealing himself in the daylight!), you lose the fans who’ve followed for decades. Friday the 13th Part II (again. Why the hell are they calling a sequel to the remake Part II. Especially when Part I-III was covered in the first remake?) is going to do horribly at the box office, because people like me won’t go see it.

They count 13 kills for Jason in this movie. They should add all the die-hard fans of the series to the list.

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