The original 1980 Friday the 13th achieved massive success by ripping off elements from Halloween, Psycho and Carrie, and throwing in some inventive makeup effects courtesy of Tom Savini. The results were crude but effective, and at least the filmmakers were stealing from the best. The new Friday the 13th seems content to merely cannibalize itself.
- Top 10 reasons a Friday the 13th remake is necessary
- Friday the 13th
For those who’ve lost count (they stopped using numbers in the titles after Part 8), this is the 12th film in the horror franchise. The title implies a remake, or a reimagining—the current preferred term—but the bottom line is that Paramount and New Line are selling the latest edition of a name-brand product. The end result plays more like a compilation of Parts 1 through 4—Jason’s greatest hits, as it were.
The entire back story from Part 1 involving Pamela Voorhees (Jason’s mother) is quickly summed up in the opening credits, apparently so we can get straight to Jason slicing and dicing. It’s amazing how many people forget (even after being reminded in Scream) that Jason wasn’t the killer in the first Friday, and this movie (using the same title) will only add to that confusion.
Director Nispel (who also helmed the remake of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre) and the screenwriting team from Freddy vs. Jason then proceed to whisk us through the landmarks of Parts 2 and 3. Jason starts out wearing the burlap sack from Part 2, before finding his trademark hockey mask from Part 3 and stopping to admire his newly acquired visage in the mirror. The filmmakers’ idea of being clever is to drop in set pieces from the different films—watch for the wheelchair from Part 2, the barn from Part 3 and the broken TV from Part 4.
Ultimately fans of the series (not exactly the most demanding bunch) seem to want just two things: girls and gore. There are plenty of exposed breasts onscreen, but despite the body count conveniently reaching 13, fright fans may be disappointed. Nispel’s idea of a good scare is to just pump as much volume through the speakers as possible