Friday the 13th (2009) Preview

Huge week for BMT as we finish up our adventure through the Friday the 13th series. I’m actually getting a little emotional as I relive our journey from F13 n00bs to veterans of the series and big enough fans to be legitimately disappointed when they scrapped the planned reboot this year. The 11th movie in the series, Freddy vs. Jason, pitted two of the most famous film slashers against each other and earned enough goodwill to not qualify for BMT, so that’s just a bonus this week. As for the Bring A Friend for Friday the 13th we went with Black Friday the 13th, pairing a Bargain Bin C-list Gary Daniels martial arts film, Black Friday, with the conclusion of the horror franchise. There had been some questions for as as to what qualified for “Bargain Bin,” but this certainly does: stars a C-list actions star, does not have a trailer, and was directed by the same guy who made Saving Christmas. That is legit lower than Direct-to-DVD… that’s like Might-not-ever-be-on-DVD level. But of course my local public library had a copy ready to rent (my library is amazing). All things considered I’m willing to bet watching Black Friday will be a more horrifying experience than finishing up Friday the 13th. Let’s go!

Friday the 13th (2009) – BMeTric: 46.6

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Fridaythe13th_RV

(Nice. Opened high with the horror fans hitting the ratings hard, and they it goes a-tumblin’ down to the “mean”. The idea of an average rating is actually quite fascinating. The mean rating for IMDb as a whole is something like 7.0 (weighted by number of votes). For the top 10 thousand films (by popularity) it is closer to 6.4 instead. And I think if you were to postulate a limit, the mean rating a movie would hit if it was (1) perfectly average, and (2) an infinite number of people rated it, I think it would be around 5.8 all said and done. What does it say about BMT that so many of our movies approach this 5.8 limit like clockwork? I think it tells you a bit about how bad the “average” movie is, but this could also all be horseshit. Only deep diving data-analysis can tell the tale. Stay tuned.)

Leonard Maltin – 1.5 stars –  The 12th Friday isn’t a sequel but something like a remake of the 1st and 3rd. As before, some annoying teenagers encounter the silent, murderous Jason, who chops, stabs, and bludgeons his way through the cast, though without as much gore as in previous entries. Plodding, dull, and repetitive, this is only occasionally creepy and never scary. Yes, there’s a setup for a sequel, if anyone cares.

(Leonard loves lists. Although I do like the rhythm created by “chops, stabs and bludgeons” and “Plodding, dull, and repetitive”. Brutal takedown at the end, mainly because yeah, no one cared and Paramount cancelled the sequel mere months ago. Sigh.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NVsVKn-MS14

(As far as a remake is concerned this is probably the best storyline available. Use the hiker looking for his sister conceit. Replace Mama Voorhees with Jason. And give a few call backs (like the bag over the head). I like the idea of him being a weirdo protecting his territory as well. I am genuinely interested in seeing how they screw it up. Although judging by how much Camp Crystal Lake there is in the trailer, they might have caught a case of over-explainitis.)

Directors – Marcus Nispel – (Future BMT: Conan the Barbarian; The Texas Chainsaw Massacre; BMT: Pathfinder; Friday the 13th; Notes: Was originally attached to End of Days as his feature directorial debut, but left due to budget issues. Was originally a commercial and music video director.)

Writers – Damian Shannon and Mark Swift (screenplay & story) – (Known For: Freddy vs. Jason; Future BMT: Baywatch; BMT: Friday the 13th; Notes: True blue writing partners (they even have a joint wiki page). Brought in after Wheaton (and the originally attached director) was fired, having written Freddy vs. Jason.)

Mark Wheaton (story) – (Future BMT: The Messengers; BMT: Friday the 13th; Notes: He wrote for a number of film magazines prior to becoming a screenwriter despite going to school for playwriting. Writes for video games as well, and has had a few crime novels published in the past few years.)

Victor Miller (characters) – (Known For: Friday the 13th; Freddy vs. Jason; Jason Lives: Friday the 13th Part VI; BMT: Jason X; Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan; Friday the 13th: A New Beginning; Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood; Friday the 13th; Friday the 13th Part III; Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter; Friday the 13th Part 2; Notes: Wrote the original film.)

Actors – Jared Padalecki – (Known For: Phantom Boy; Future BMT: House of Wax; Cry_Wolf; Flight of the Phoenix; BMT: New York Minute; Friday the 13th; Cheaper by the Dozen; Notes: His IMDb profile is very details and weirdly focused on his high school academic achievements (like being a Presidential Scholar and an “exceptional” chess player). Played Dean Forester on Gilmore Girls.)

Amanda Righetti – (Known For: Captain America: The First Avenger; Role Models; BMT: Friday the 13th; Notes: Was Hailey Nichol on The O.C.! That’s Kirsten’s little sister for those playing at home. Mainly a television actress she had major parts on The Mentalist and Colony most recently.)

Derek Mears – (Known For: Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters; Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping; I Don’t Feel at Home in This World Anymore.; Predators; Signs; Zathura: A Space Adventure; Død snø 2; Hatchet III; MacGruber; Future BMT: Wild Wild West; The Haunted Mansion; The Hills Have Eyes II; Cursed; Men in Black II; Live by Night; Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides; The Demolitionist; Gangster Squad; BMT: Dragon Wars; Friday the 13th; Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles; Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters; Notes: Known for his “towering height”. Makes sense he would take over as Jason. I don’t have issues with not having Hodder return in the remake, if they had planned on making it a series I think you try out a few people to find someone who can bring something new and fresh to the part.)

Budget/Gross – $19 million / Domestic: $65,002,019 (Worldwide: $91,379,051)

(I mean, that’s a hit. $65 million is nothing to scoff at for a horror. They probably expected more, but none of these films made money, so I don’t know why they would. I am actually stunned they cancelled the sequel. The only plausible explanation is that they are rebooting it again to give it back that microbudget feel with a Blumhouse Pictures deal, but who could possibly know. Perhaps the cut they saw was so bad it would have killed the franchise forever.)

#7 for the Horror – Slasher genre

fridaythe13th09_slasher

(Second best of the remakes of classic horror franchises, beaten only by Texas Chainsaw Massacre. This franchise died with the remake wave. Is there no novel ways to make a slasher? Is the genre too narrow and self-aware. Possibly. Only time will tell. Would make me sad if true, but I have to imagine someone will come up with a twist and revive it, even if the glory of practical effects fueled 80s slashers are dead and gone.)

#7 for the Horror Remake genre

fridaythe13th09_horrorremake

(You can kind of see how the slasher died at the same time the remake boom died. There aren’t really any 90s horrors worth rebooting, so possibly they are just waiting a bit before delving back into more recent films? Unclear. Horror is experiencing a renaissance at the moment, so remakes don’t seem like the are entirely wanted or needed.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 25% (42/166): Though technically well-constructed, Friday the 13th is a series rehash that features little to distinguish it from its predecessors.

(Yeah … well I’m not sure going the other way would have worked out very well either. Honestly, I’m hard pressed to think how you could reboot a horror franchise like this without rehashing quite a bit. Any type of “innovation” I don’t think comes across as anything but gimmicky. Maybe set it after all of films (besides Jason X …) and don’t explain his resurrection? Soft reboot into Jason as a ghost story in the woods around Crystal Lake, something everyone forgot about.)

Poster – Friday the 13th (B-)

friday_the_thirteenth_ver2

(I like it! Some similarities to the original, although less artistic and more generic. Like the spacing, Jason-centric nature of it, and the coloring is dark but nice. Biggest flaw is they took a series with unique font and made it boring as shit.)

Tagline(s) – Welcome to Crystal Lake (B-)

(Concise and to the point, hinting at what’s to come (hopefully): a Friday the 13th film. Not clever in the least bit though.)

Keyword(s) – camp; Top Ten by BMeTric: 94.5 Batman & Robin (1997); 85.3 Troll 2 (1990); 81.3 Plan 9 from Outer Space (1959); 78.4 Pledge This! (2006); 75.9 Freddy Got Fingered (2001); 69.8 Year One (2009); 64.0 Seed of Chucky (2004); 60.5 Shrooms (2007); 53.6 Exit to Eden (1994); 50.8 Silent Night, Deadly Night 2 (1987);

(Booooooo, unless … does camp mean like a camp … or like campy? Because then Batman & Robin makes sense. Seems like a mix to be honest, which would make this list an absolutely bonkers marathon.)

Notes – The first time Paramount has any association with the “Friday the 13th” series since 1989.

Producer Michael Bay walked out in the movie premiere, stating that the movie featured too much sex. (Ha! Just too much for him)

Adrienne King, star of the original 1980 film, was approached by producers Andrew Form and Bradley Fuller to do a cameo appearance during preproduction. A few days later, the producers called her back and told her they didn’t want anyone from the original film to appear in the remake. (This production sounds organized).

The first film in the series released by both New Line Cinema and Paramount Pictures. Originally, Paramount owned the rights to the series after the original was released in 1980 but sold the rights to New Line Cinema in the early 1990’s after poor box office returns of Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan (1989). New Line bought the rights to the characters of Jason Voorhees and Pamela Voorhees, the Crystal Lake name, and the trademark for the title “Friday the 13th”. All footage from the first eight films and the remake rights for the first film remained the property of Paramount. New Line Cinema released Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday (1993), Jason X (2001) and Freddy vs. Jason (2003). When Platinum Dunes came aboard to develop the new film, they wanted the freedom to use scenarios and characters from the films still owned by Paramount. After a legal dispute, the companies decided to co-produce the 2009 film.

In this movie Jason wears both the legendary hockey mask and the burlap sac, although neither of those appeared in the original Friday the 13th (1980). (Hmmmm, that’s a lot of fan service)

With $42.2 mil, had the biggest opening weekend of a horror-remake beating out former record holder The Grudge (2004) ($39.1 mil).

The title card of the movie isn’t displayed until the end of the opening segment, nearly 25 minutes into the film, which is one of the longest prologues for a horror film ever. (Holy shit, that is ridiculous)

Tommy Jarvis, a character that appeared in Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter (1984), Friday the 13th: A New Beginning (1985), and Jason Lives: Friday the 13th Part VI (1986) was at one point confirmed by producers Bradley Fuller and Andrew Form of Platinum Dunes to be returning as Jason’s nemesis. (That would have actually been cool maybe, set them up in a trilogy or something to battle it out. I could have gotten behind that).

According to co-writer Damian Shannon, the character of Jason Voorhees was re-envisioned as more territorial, like a hunter, someone who doesn’t kill people at random but will defend his territory from anyone invading it, and this in the most horrible manner. Director Marcus Nispel similarly claims the film shows new aspects of Jason’s personality. Derek Mears says his portrayal of Jason as a survivalist defending his territory is partially inspired by the character of John Rambo in First Blood (1982). (That makes a lot of sense)

Despite the title, the date the events supposedly take place on, Friday the 13th, is only mentioned once. The date can be seen on a tear-away type calendar in the police station, as the officers leave to investigate towards the end of the movie.

One of the victims was originally supposed to drown due to exhaustion as Jason waited her out from the shore of the lake.

Travis Van Winkle portrayed the same character from Transformers (2007) which was directed by Michael Bay.

The film’s setting (New Jersey) is an homage to the original film being filmed in New Jersey. (Wellllll … Crystal Lake is in New Jersey so easy peasy).

Jason just randomly appearing out of thin air as in the earlier films wouldn’t fly this time around. So, they decided he traveled via a series of underground tunnels. That concept was in Mark Wheaton’s original script, but Mark Swift and Damian Shannon claimed to have never read Wheaton’s script until the film was finished, having come up with the same idea about the tunnels on their own. As for the marijuana plant farm which Jason appears to use to lure teenagers into traps, apparently no writer can claim that as their own. According to Swift and Shannon, that was actually director Marcus Nispel’s idea from early on in the development process, and it was their job to work it into the script. (Huh, that could work, but it sounds a bit too over-explainy to me).

The character of Sheriff Bracke, played by Richard Burgi, is named after author Peter Bracke, who wrote the book “Crystal Lake Memories: The Complete History of Friday the 13th”.

Screenwriters Mark Swift and Damian Shannon wanted Jason’s body count in the film to be just 13 as an easter egg for fans. It was surprising how much work it was to kill thirteen people.” Friday the 13th Part IV: The Final Chapter pulled off the “just 13 kills” thing as well, and Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives writer/director Tom McLoughlin originally turned in a film featuring just 13 kills. Executive Producer Frank Mancuso, Jr. forced him to perform re-shoots to up the body count to 18. (Ha, yeah, 13 is pretty close to typical for Friday the 13th, 18 is a lot).

A follow up to 2009’s Friday the 13th was slated for release on October 13, 2017, and was all set to go into production in a matter of weeks. But in February 2017 it was announced that paramount had pulled the plug on the project. (Sigh, yep, this is why we were doing this entire thing)

The film takes place on June 13, 1980 and in 2009.

It shares screenwriters with Freddy Vs. Jason, who had previously turned down the chance to do a Freddy Vs. Jason sequel. Damian Shannon and Mark Swift, as a result of the legal delays, Friday the 13th lost its original director (Jonathan Liebesman) and screenwriter (Mark Wheaton). Freddy Vs. Jason writers Mark Swift and Damian Shannon, who had earned their first writing credit with Freddy Vs. Jason but had yet to get another script onto the screen, were brought in to replace Wheaton. Both grew up huge Jason/Freddy fans, but their Freddy Vs. Jason script was largely re-written by David S. Goyer, who went uncredited, and the far campier film that came out of that was not to their liking. Still, New Line actually offered them the chance to pitch ideas for a Freddy Vs. Jason 2, which they turned down, according to Shannon, because “we thought maybe somebody else should tackle it because we shot our wad so to speak. Every idea we had about that was in the first. I don’t know what we could have done with a second one.”

Mark Wheaton’s original pitch to New Line was to reboot the series with “a new Part V,” ignoring the original “New Beginning” and everything that happened after while featuring a prologue showing Jason Voorhees witnessing the murder of his mother. The characters who come to Crystal Lake then know of Jason as they did in Friday the 13th Parts 2, 3-D, and IV, but Voorhees is not yet supernatural as he is beginning with Part VI (or is a demon worm, or has gone to space, etc.). To further suit the needs of a reboot, Wheaton had Voorhees in first the canvas bag as he was in Part 2 only to replace it with the hockey mask halfway through the film.

The character Richie was one of a few characters to have CGI effects added into his death. Derek Mears (Jason) was holding only the handle with half the blade of the fake machete, making it look like it impaled Richie’s (Ben Feldman’s) head. The visual effects crew digitally superimposed the fake machete to look like it was a completely bladed weapon in the final film. Director Marcus Nispel usually allowed minimal use of CGI effects into his films.

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