Friday the 13th (2009) Recap

Jamie

Jason is back, Jack! This time he’s been rebooted and he ready to kill afresh. A group of douchey college kids are at Crystal Lake trying to get paid and laid, unfortunately Jason is there to rain on their… parade. Can they take him out before it’s too late? Find out in… Friday the 13th (2009).

How?! In a rare double pre-title sequence we open with a brief recap of the events of the original film. We see Jason’s crazy mom, we see her head being cut off, and we see Jason pick up a locket off her dead body. Flash forward to “Present day” and a bunch of jokesters are hiking through the woods. Most of them think they are just there from some fun in the sun, but secretly two of them have heard of a marijuana stash in the woods and hope to strike it rich a la The Beverly Hillbillies but with weed instead of oil. Sufficed to say they all get brutally murdered by Jason (or do they? Bum bum bum) after enjoying some crisp cold Pabst Blue Ribbon. Flash forward again some time later and we have another group of jokesters heading to the lake for some more fun in the sun (deja vu). On the way they bump into Clay, the brother of one of the girls in the first camping party, who’s searching for his sister. Pretty much from the jump you get the feeling that this dude is actually the main character of the film and everyone else is just there to die. And boy do they! Almost immediately the carnage begins and they are picked off one by one. Clay manages to escape and finds his sister taken prisoner by Jason in tunnels below the decrepit Camp Crystal Lake. In the final showdown they are able to get Jason all twisted up in a woodchipper and send him to the bottom of Crystal Lake for good… except he totally jumps back out of the lake ready for another sequel! Classic, Jason. What a trickster.

Why?! They did add a lot more motivation to this one. While most of the teens are just at the lake to get paid and laid (and killed), the main character actually has a mission. He wants to find his sister. It’s a little fan service to a similar character from Part IV, except this time he’s the main character and actually finds and saves his sister. Additionally, this is the first time we see Jason keep someone alive for an extended period of time. Seems like the motivation for him is that the girl looks a bit like his deceased mother, so he keeps her alive as a comfort or out of confusion. This isn’t wholly out of character for Jason either. Part II is a notable case where Jason is stopped in part because a character pretends to be his mother and confuses him. So seems again to be a little twist on a fan service call back. Other than that he seems like his usual territorial killing machine.

What?! There’s nothing more American than ice cold Pabst Blue Ribbon, camping with your buds, and MURDER. We get all three in the second pre-title sequence. That’s not the only product placement (this is a Michael Bay production after all), but it’s the most fun.

Who?! Aaron Woo plays a Planchet of sorts. A big stoner, loveable loser, and all around jokester, he doesn’t get made fun of enough for my taste in Planchets. No fun cameos either. Cameos don’t work very well in horror. Would just feel a little weird if John Cena showed up in a scene and was like “Oh man, that Jason guy’s even bigger than me, America’s favorite pro wrestler John Cena.” There are two funny “The producers wish to thank” credits, Tony Fussell and Randy V. Michna. From what I can gather from some simple online sleuthing Tony Fussell sells boats in the area of Texas where the film was shot and Randy V. Michna seems to also work and lives there. My guess? They were the guys who donated the use of the sweet lake house and boat for production in exchange for a simple acknowledgment. Bad move, guys. I would hold out until they named a character after me. Wouldn’t even care if he was the biggest bumbling idiot in the whole film. In fact that would be even better.

Where?! I like to imagine Michael Bay saying “Hey, can this be set in Real America™ and not New Jersey,” and then someone punched him in the face. It’s obvious at this point that Crystal Lake is in NJ and we get license plates to back it up. It’s also obvious that it was filmed in Texas because the setting looks nothing like NJ. C.

When?! Online there are claims that the film takes place on June 13th, 2009, exactly 29 years after the initial intertitle placed the events of the first film. Not sure how they arrived at that conclusion other than assumption or maybe a copy of the script. There is a note on IMDb claiming that the date can be seen in the police station… but there isn’t such a scene. So perhaps it’s a cut scene. Anyway, never made explicit. D-.

I’m actually being unfair to Michael Bay, who is obviously a big horror fan (he’s rebooted five different franchises!). It shows a bit in this film as it fits nicely into the series as a whole. Biggest critiques are that the teens are just a bit too unlikeable, the pacing gets a little slow for a modern horror, and it has little ambition to be anything more than a straight reboot. But besides that I was pleasantly surprised. I got to see some teens killed, got to see some boobs, and there was some great fan service to boot. What more could I ask for? As for Freddy vs. Jason and Black Friday, our two nonqualifying films for the week, I’ll let Patrick handle that business. Patrick?

Patrick

‘Ello everyone! You are Michael Bay and you have all this sweet IP. Well … you have a ton of old horror intellectual property, but let’s call it sweet IP for now. What do you do? That’s right, you remake all of them in the hopes that one pans out into a franchise. I mean … what are the chances literally all of them are bad? Let’s get into it!

The Good (Sequel / Prequel / Remake) – Alright I’m going to say it … I kind of dug the movie. I thought the first 20 minute sequence with the five teenagers (who just want two things: sex and that sweet ganja) was excellent. I liked fast-Jason, it is that “new” element you kind of expect from a Friday the 13th sequel. I thought the homages were well done, and probably two of the kills were decent stuff. I’ll say it: This was as good as a remake of Friday the 13th could have probably been, and I honestly wish it had got another shot to show off the direction they wanted to take the new Jason in. But alas, all good-bad things must come to an end. But … I want the Sequel! At the end Jason may or may not have come back to life and murdered the two survivors. Personally, I think people overlook how likely it is that that was indeed a dream sequence (given that the first three original movies ended with a similar dream sequence event). We pick up with Clay and Whitney arriving at the hospital amid a firestorm from the local police. An officer is dead along with roughly 15 other people, and the body of Jason is gone. Suspicious to say the least. Stuck in jail as the parents of the recent victims arrive looking for blood, Clay and Whitney decide to reveal the location of Jason to mollify the police chief. When they hear that no body (or mask …) is to be found, Clay and Whitney immediately know that a massacre is afoot. Seeking revenge against the two that got away the police stand no chance against the cunning backwoodsman Jason as he Assault-On-Precinct-13’s the ill-equipped Crystal Lake station. Can Clay and Whitney survive a second night against the unstoppable Jason Voorhees? Friday the 13th Part 2 (2018)!

The Bad (Sklognalogy) – The film is still a remake of a slasher and doesn’t do a particularly good job at motivating Jason. They try with a weird girl-looks-like-Jason’s-mother routine, but Jason kidnapping Whitney is probably the worst part of the movie. It isn’t in character. Jason murders, he has a single purpose. And that girl isn’t his mother. We see his mother’s head in the beginning of the film, so there isn’t any Part II trickery available either. The film sags quite a bit in the middle as they transition from the excellent opening sequence to a rich guy’s house full of terrible people, and also stretched the number of kills a bit with a frenetic pace to end (although that isn’t out of character for the series). Still, for the record, I think this is probably above average for the series. It is better than 3, 5, 8, 9, X, and Freddy vs. Jason I think. The Sklognalogy is probably something like Ghost Ship (the most ship!). A movie you can kind of acknowledge isn’t an actual “good” movie, but it fun to watch regardless.

The BMT (Legacy / StreetCreditReport.com) – The end of an era for us! We watched all 12 Friday the 13th films in a year. This year should have been the 13th (what what) but Paramount was like “naw, I don’t like money”. All Friday the 13th films will forever have a special part in BMT lore. And, I would say as expected, the half-way decent remake of Friday the 13th didn’t make a single worst-of list for the year. That year was amazing though. Old Dogs, I Love You Beth Cooper, All About Steve, and Miss March? Ridiculous year for bad comedy.

We did have a small Homework Sklog-signment with this film, the not-really-a-Friday-film Freddy vs. Jason. It was an Elm Street film, and honestly … I don’t like funny Freddy. I like the Freddy from the first one. I loved the first one, so watching where the franchise went was interesting. But it was a bad Friday film, not a very good Jason and he’s kind of not used enough to make it all worth it in my opinion. Meh. Maybe I’ll change my mind once I watch the Elm Street franchise.

And naturally, since we are such big Doane-heads (don’t you see? He saved Christmas. We owe him a lot, guys), we watched the second Darren Doane film of the cycle! Black Friday, the Bargain Bin entry, and a poor man’s Gary Daniels film (so straight Z-list). This … barely exists. I’m actually not entirely convinced Jamie and some of his bowling buddies didn’t shoot this piece of garbage in their spare time on the weekend. I can kind of see why some people enjoy these films though, it is oddly fascinating. While I wouldn’t go quite so far Z-list in the future, a nice C-list starring a has-been like Dolph Lundgren or Steven Seagal I do think is more likely now that I’ve seen the worst possible example of the bargain bin. I no longer fear the Z-list, I transcend reality and observe it from my elevated enlightened position. Like with Sandler films.

Cheerios,

The Sklogs

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