FRIDAY THE 13TH (2009) BLU-RAY
Reviewed by: Andre Manseau
What's it about
Stupid teenagers are partying at a cabin in Crystal Lake while a desperate young man is searching for his long-lost sister. Jason shows up and kills a bunch of people.
Is it good movie?
Let me preface this by saying that I am a HUGE fan of the Friday the 13th films. They are what got me interested in horror, and they're all awful in their own special way and I dig almost every one of them, even Jason X (it has its charm). I caught this one as a part of my birthday celebration this year, seeing it on Friday the 13th, and I was pumped. I mean, what harm can you do to the franchise? A big budget and some seriously excited filmmakers would surely breathe new life into the old hockey mask!
I have watched this movie about 4 times now, and I can officially say that it's only mediocre. I know, right? I keep thinking it's me, like there's something I'm missing that prevents me from loving this big budget reboot. I guess my main gripe is that I had completely fallen for the hype. Being a horror nerd, I was reading every piece of news, every interview and watching bootleg trailers online. The impression I got was that this was going to break new ground, kick serious amounts of ass and be the Friday film that fans had been waiting for.
Therein lies the problem. This film really exists only for the kids who would think the old movies were cheesy and full of bad effects (which they are). It's a slick re-imagining (hate that word) of a franchise that doesn't really add anything new at all. Let's start with Jason, because he's really the only character in this movie who matters. I dig Derek Mears and I thought he did a pretty good job as Jason. I'm a Kane Hodder booster, which shouldn't surprise you, but Mears is an intelligent and capable performer who does a good job with the character. With that said, he didn't look right to me. I don't like 'hillbilly' Jason and found that the guy just didn't look scary. He looked better in the sack than he did in the mask, and that's not right either. I also don't really like the redesign of the mask. I actually prefer the F/J look over this one.
Also, this movie tries hard to make things all realistic, which sort of works and sort of doesn't. I could take or leave that Jason is an industrious hillbilly with underground caverns to live in. I really didn't like that he's a skilled marksman with a bow, despite having only one eye. I also didn't like that although they tried to make it seem real, Jason definitely warped from place to place a few times.
As for the rest of it all, it's pretty par for the course. The teenagers are stupid stereotypes, and casting Padalecki from Supernatural didn't blow my mind (the guy was SO serious all the time) despite trying to add a bit of plot with the sister thing. The kills were pretty good (I dug the sleeping bag, running machete to the face), but when you really expected the flick to deliver the goods, it doesn't. It's not shy, but nothing makes you high five your friend beside you.
Finally, the ending is absolutely weak sauce and contradicts itself. Jason 'dies' too easily and then comes back too handily for my likings. I dug the way the opening was like a mini movie, and I was entertained by this flick, but it just fell sort of flat and way short of my expectations.
Video / Audio
Videois presented in 2.39:1 widescreen and looks fantastic, great stuff here. Very sharp picture and a great transfer overall.
Audio comes in Dolby TrueHD 5.1 and also sounds just great. Sure, this movie is lacking some Manfredini violins, but this mix is fantastic and delivers on all fronts.
We begin with The Rebirth of Jason Voorhees, a 12 minute little press kit which of course features glad handing and is exactly a part of the reason why I was so pumped to see this movie. It feels like everyone's talking about a different movie.
There are also 3Deleted Scenes, a lame alternate ending, a cop scene and another cut of Jason getting his mask. This all runs about 8 minutes long so don't expect much substance.
There's also the Terror Trivia Track, which I just finished watching and is really annoying. It's an infrequent trivia track laid over the movie interspersed with making of footage. I thought this was terrible stuff because you can't watch the film and then the footage shows up infrequently and goes on forever. The footage on its own is good, but not in this weird pop-up track.
Hacking Back/Slashing Forward is 10 minutes of fan service to the original movies and really just makes me want to watch them. Good stuff, but too short.
The Seven Best Kills runs about 20 minutes and details just what the title implies. It's interesting enough to note that most were done without any CGI, but why couldn't they have added more "F*CK yeah!" to them?
There's also a digital copy and some BD-Live trailers.
I was unquestionably disappointed with this film, because it felt unnecessary and didn't live up to its promises to reinvigorate the franchise. As it stands, it just feels like another entry into the franchise. There's lots of potential and the inevitable sequel could be better, but I'll cross that bridge when I get to it.