Back to the Slasher: Friday the 13th returns

2.17.2009

By Noah Michelson

Valentine's Day be damned, the number one movie this weekend wasn't about how to find the right guy (or even the right pair of Prada shoes for shopaholics), it was about how to not end up with an axe in your face while weekending in the woods: Friday the 13th is back! Where has Jason been for so long? And why are all the remakes of the classic 80s slasher movies so underwhelming?

This franchise-reboot skips the original Friday the 13th movie, where Jason is never seen and there's no hockey mask, and instead revisits the sequels 2 and 3, taking the whole "green" recycling trend to a new level. All the familiar key ingredients are there: bad acting, shriek-inducing surprises, teens having sex and being killed for it, Jason leisurely walking everywhere but catching up to you anyway. One sign of the new times is that the grounds of Camp Crystal now host several marijuana bushes and apparently Jason doesn't like people messing with his stash.

The neo-Friday the 13th has a couple good kill scenes, but the attempt to add a dramatic storyline hinged on family devotion weakens why the audience shows up. Its too bad they didn't go all the way to make it 3D and collaborate with the remake of My Bloody Valentine released last month to create a Grindhouse-style double-feature event. Slasher movies aren't exactly known for their progressive politics or even redeeming your hope in humanity: they are vehicles of low-brow, satisfying entertainment to cope with dark realities (like, um, the economic depression). Some fellow homo fans even liken Jason Vorhees to Judy Garland.

No surprise here: stick with the original. Here's a clip from the 1980 version starring a young, pretty, and androgynous Kevin Bacon getting taken out during a post-coital smoke:

[NSFW because of blood spurting and high-pitched horror music squeals.]

-- A. RAYMOND JOHNSON

Previously > Five films to kill any relationship

Tags: Popnography
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