2.21.2009

Jason Does Not Need An Underground Lair

Friday the 13th is an interesting animal, when you think about it. No series has met with more derision and, at the same time, more die hard loyalty than the exploits of one Jason Voorhees. Everyone knows who Jason is, even if they do not know that much about the character. In fact, if it wasn't for the first Scream film, there would probably still be people out there that did not know that Jason's mother was the killer in the first film. I am sure there are still people that aren't aware that Jason did not get the iconic hockey mask until part 3. Yet here he is, in our psyches and our daily lives, the literal poster boy for the slasher film. In all honesty, making a new Friday film should have been the easiest thing in the world. The sequels did not set the bar high and the character has only the barest of bones when it comes to a back story. So I ask what other reviewers and fans of this series have been asking for the last week, now; how the hell do you fuck up Jason?

Do not get me wrong, I did not hate the new Friday the 13th. There were a lot of shining moments that I will forever remember. There are select bits of dialogue that were awesome and specific scenes that really hit the mark. Overall, though, the whole thing felt like a mish mash of previous Friday films and it never seemed to decide what kind of slasher it wanted to be. Did it want to be funny like Jason X and Freddy Vs Jason or did it want to be scary like the first four Friday films were? It wasn't really either of those things, but it tried to be both and just kept falling flat on it's face at every turn. I had the same problem with the much hyped Hatchet. The comedy was mostly not funny and the movie was never genuinely scary.

One of the reasons Jason worked in the early films, in my opinion, is they showed him sparingly and they never kept him on screen for any extended length of time. Someone on Bloody Good Horror said it best when they said Jason is a force of nature. In the first four films, he was still very much alive, but he never felt human. When you saw him, it was usually about 5 seconds before someone was going to get grotesquely fucked up and then he disappeared into the wind, again, like some kind of redneck ninja with a machete fetish. Let's focus on that for a second, shall we? Did someone forget to tell Platinum Dunes that one of the major draws for the other Friday films was the gore and the kills? There is not one moment in this new movie that can compare to the arrow through the throat from the first or the machete to the face (of the guy in the fucking wheelchair, no less) from the second. I didn't even really like the dock kill everyone else seems to like. It made me laugh uncomfortably, to be honest.

Ok, fine, so we didn't get much gore to speak of, but did we get tits? Oh yea, we got scary fake tits. First we get orange fake baked "enhanced" tits (I think it was at least a real woman, though). Second, we get mannequin tits while some dude talks about her taking his virginity?? Yea, weird. Next up, we have naked wake boarding. Wait, what? Have you ever been skiing? I have not. However, I have been tubing on many, many occasions. To say it was a jarring experience would be an understatement. You get jostled around, a lot. Somehow, though, Willa Ford's knockers never moved. They sat stone still like someone had glued rocks to her chest and painted on nipples. My assumption is that the skiing scene was partially digital effects since no woman in her right mind would ski naked. Ouch. When we do finally get a nice pair of non-freakish breasts, they are accompanied by some of the most insulting comments I have ever heard in my life. "Stupendous"? "Perfect nipple placement, baby"? Are you kidding me?

This has to stop at some point, so I will just mention there was no suspense, either. Jump scares, sure, but no tension. What I did like was two separate lines in the movie; "You almost hit the start button on a whoop-ass machine" and "Where the fuck are you gun". I also laughed at Trent randomly shooting at everything that sorta made a noise. "Ah, shoes! Get em!" I thought Aaron Yoo was hilarious as Chewie and Arlen Escepeta did a good job toying with conventions as the token black guy that was painfully aware that he was the token black guy. Last but not least, I found Jared Padalecki to once again be immensely charming and likable, just like I do when I watch Supernatural. Everyone else in this movie was completely forgettable because there were too many characters involved to build up more than Jason and Clay. Truth be told, they spent to much time building them up, too.

4 comments:

  1. Where was my music?? Where was it?? Why did Jason stalk and kill during the day?? *sigh* I remember the good old days when my friends use to brag about seeing these movies and the interesting, nasty ways Jason would kill his victims. The whole bending the guy in half backwards really use to mess with me. Fuck you Platinum Dunes!!! "You are what's wrong with America"

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  2. That's a shame to hear, as it did look like it had promise. I'm still going to see it, and even if I don't like, I'll probably own it. Yes, I am that hardcore geek about the series. Ever read the wildstrom or Idw comics? How bout the Topps 3-d Jason Goes To Hell? Great stuff, except not.

    I guess I'm glad it made money, as now we'll get Friday The 13th Part 2 and I won't have to worry as much about getting big enough to walk into the studio and say "here's what I wanna do" and toss down my Script for Friday The 13 Part 13 (no subtitle, aka back to basics).

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  3. Yea, man, I'll buy the DVD, if only in hopes that there will be more gore in that version.

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  4. I tried my damndest to go into this movie with an open mind. But yeah, while I enjoyed it as a basic/slasher flick, which is all it was really, I do agree with all your points. The beauty of Jason was the unique kills and otherwordly charcteristics that he displayed. He was just a crazy isolated country thing. I think this movie would have gone over a lot better if they just gave it a different name and maybe called the killer "Ray" or something. While I enjoyed this movie, I refuse to compare or relate it to any other Friday the 13th movie.

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