FRIDAY THE 13TH
Searching for his missing sister, Whitney (Amanda Righetti), Clay (Jared Padalecki) heads up to the eerie woods of legendary Crystal Lake, where he stumbles on the creaky remains of rotting old cabins that lie in wait behind moss-covered trees. Against the advice of police and cautions from the locals, Clay pursues what few leads he has, with the help of Jenna (Danielle Panabaker), a young woman he meets among a group of college kids up for an all-thrills weekend. Little do they know, they've entered the domain of the infamous killer who, since his mother's gruesome death years before, has haunted Crystal Lake, armed with a grudge and a razor-sharp machete ... Jason Voorhees (Derek Mears).
Review by Andrew L. Urban:
Thinly disguised as a movie, Friday the 13th is a series of overused genre conventions glued together by the flimsiest of stories. Jason, the inevitably masked psycho who haunts the setting is as fake as the rest of the film, never ageing, never dying, never succumbing to the forces of nature, forever popping up behind his next victim in the dark, irrespective of where we last saw him. He was supposed to have drowned in the very first Friday the 13th, which is what made his mum mad as hell.... So if this is a remake, as it's claimed, it is a fake one.
So, suspend you common sense and your sense of reality if you want to get anything out of this juvenile caper, which at least dispatches its (mostly) unlikeable and amoral characters with bloody speed. Gratuitous sex scenes, naked breasts, dope smoking, dope growing and general whoopee making are lame replacements for genuine scares. The scares are all delivered with the heavy-handed sound effects that signal 'you gotta jump' but without a smidgin of character or story to hang on to, we are left dangling in a thrill ride that goes through its paces looking rather pathetic.
But since there have been almost a dozen variations on the same theme, I can only assume that there is either a dedicated fan club or new blood keeps the franchise alive. There are only so many scenes we can bear that repeat the same set ups and the same broiling music without thinking that perhaps Jason should make his next target the filmmakers who come to resurrect him yet again.
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FRIDAY THE 13TH (R)
CAST: Jared Padalecki, Danielle Panabaker, Derek Mears, Amanda Righetti, Jonathan Sadowski, Travis van Winkle, Aaron Yoo, Arlen Escarpeta
PRODUCER: Michael Bay, Andrew Form, Brad Fuller
DIRECTOR: Marcus Nispel
SCRIPT: Damian Shannon, Mark Swift
CINEMATOGRAPHER: Daniel C. Pearl
EDITOR: Ken Blackwell
MUSIC: Steve Jablonsky
PRODUCTION DESIGN: Jeremy Conway
RUNNING TIME: 97 minutes
AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTOR: Paramount
AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: March 12, 2009