Director – Marcus Nispel
Cast – Jared Padalecki, Derek Mears, Danielle Panabaker, Amanda Righetti, Travis Van Winkle, Aaron Yoo, Arlen Escarpeta, Julianna Guill
Release Year – 2009
Reviewed by John of the Dead
Finally! After almost six years we have a new Jason Vorhees flick. As a true, radical fan of the franchise, I would simply love it if these flicks came out yearly. Of course however, that is too much to ask for.
This new F13(slang duh!) flick is a “re-imaging” of the first THREE Friday the 13th films. Some people seem to believe that this was a redo of the first four films, but that is highly inaccurate due to the absence of character Tommy Jarvis, who was crucial to the fourth installment of the series. In all fairness, the first script in fact WAS a redo of the first four films, but the producers decided to do away with that idea and keep the Tommy Jarvis option around for future sequels.
This film starts off with a group of young people camping out and having the usual fun(sex and drugs) while searching for a field or marijuana plants rumored to be growing in the Crystal Lake area. Thanks to previous F13 films, we know what happens when you mix sex and drugs in the presence of Jason Vorhees…you get HACKED! This section of the film was pretty much a shout out to the old cheesy Jason flicks that drew us into the franchise.
After the hacking sequence is over then the real plot of the film gets going. We are soon introduced to Clay, who is searching and posting flyers in the Crystal Lake area because he believes his sister Amanda went missing on a camping trip there 6 weeks prior. Yes, you got it, she was one of the campers during the hacking sequence at the beginning of the film. However, we are not shown whether she lives or dies due to the scene ending as Jason prepares to machete-slap her. After several hapless attempts of conversing with locals about his sister’s whereabouts, Clay decides to do some searching near the camp area. While he is searching there he meets a group of campers who are staying out on the lake in a lake house(no Jason did not build it while passing the time between dismembering groups of campers) and quickly befriends the sympathetic Jenna, who quickly offers her helping hand to his search.
This film did in fact incorporate some important points from the first three films. For instance(in chronological order during the movie), Mrs. Vorhees kills several young campers(although it happens off-camera) before getting her head chopped off(as in part 1). We witness that Jason in fact did not drown, and witnessed his mother’s beheading(as in part 2). He believes he needs to fulfill his mother’s wish to kill everyone, and keeps her severed head stashed for safe keeping(as in part 2). We then see Jason with a pillow cover/corn sack over his head(as in part 2). A female pretends to be his mother in order to manipulate him(as in part 2) and he inevitably dons a hockey mask(as in part 3). ALSO, we see a nice shout out to the “arrow through the face while in a boat” kill from part 3. :wide grin spreads across handsome face:
Derek Mears did quite a good job portraying Jason in this film. This film called for a Jason similar to the first two films. Jason back then was lean and was much more agile than the infamous Kane Hodder who still remains the only Jason-acting veteran. You may remember Derek Mears as the huge mutant from Alejandre Aja”s “The Hills Have Eyes” remake.
My only complaint however, is the killing in this film. We were not introduced to any awesome or original kills other than the death of the jackass in the film “Trent”. We didn’t see lots or gore or brutality, but we did see enough to keep us gorehounds satisfied until we could get home and pop in “Dead Alive”.
All in all, this is definitely a film that will please the F13 fans who love seeing as much Jason as possible. It’s got sex, it’s got drugs/beer, it’s got a body count, there’s not more we can ask for other than seeing “Ash” battle Jason during the final scene. Please keep in mind this is a “re-imaging”, it is not a “remake”. With a “re-imaging” some things will be changed(ex: Jason taking a hostage) to provide a fresh feel to the franchise. If this was a literal “remake” then everything would be exactly the same from the first three films, and that is just plain BORING. If you are expecting that then you might as well watch the first three films on your own and let those with an open mind and imagination watch this newest F13 flick.