Mar 22, 2009

Friday the 13th (2009): D-

Of all the remakes one might have thought capable of improving on the original, the newly revamped Friday the 13th stands as an ultimate case of upended expectations. The 1981 film, taken entirely, is downright lousy, although a standout climax in which overwrought camp reaches an almost profound - if poorly justified - level of absurdity does make it something of a modern horror classic (my favorite of the series: the parade of retarded sci-fi cliches that is Jason X). Onscreen gore usually makes my cringe (in a good way, when it's with bravura and purpose), but that of Friday the 13th '09 reaches a nadir of emptiness in its cynical provocations; only the ostentatious psychical/psychological orchestrations of the Saw films surpass it for poseur nihilism. Forget the plot - a dead-end dump bin of dusty conventions employed without humor, style or imagination - and focus on the ultra-regressive demeanor in which the film's cattle-for-the-slaughter are punished for their hedonistic ways. If nothing else, the film can be noted as self-aware, deliberately upending the expectations countless films of similar ilk have employed since the original misadventures at Camp Crystal Lake seemingly lowered the genre's standards for all time. Barely watchable, this thing is never so much scary as it is outright abusive. The remade Jason comes to us feeling like a ripoff of Rob Zombie's buffed-up re-imagination of Michael Myers (a film I somewhat panned initially, but one I've since come around on as one of the finer horror remakes), just another indication that Mr. Vorhees has always been a third-rate cousin of Halloween's chilling embodiment of evil. The year is young and we already have a contender for worst film.


  1. Anonymous12:54 PM

    This film was a complete bore.

  2. Anonymous4:22 PM

    I thought the film was good.