Sunday, February 15, 2009

Friday the 13th (***)

Friday the 13th.  95 mins.  R.  Directed by Marcus Nispel.  Written by Damian Shannon and Mark Swift.  Starring Jared Padalecki, Danielle Panabaker, Amanda Righetti, Aaron Yoo, Ryan Hansen, and Willa Ford.

I saw Friday the 13th on Friday the 13th, and it was packed.  And while I knew why I was there (I see almost everything), I couldn't help but be a little worried by the high attendance.  After the weekend box office numbers came in today ($42 million opening weekend!), I now know why.  With that kind of success, you can bet that we're going to continue to see remakes of classic horror films for years to come.  So much for originality in Hollywood.  But there are certainly worse ways for you to spend a Friday night in the movie theater than with this particular remake.  Although the new Friday the 13th contributes absolutely nothing new to the horror genre, and plays by all the same rules, it does give the audience exactly what they want: scares, boobs, and blood, and lots of it.  The scares are the boo!/startling kind, the nudity is frequent and gratuitous, and the blood comes courtesy of Jason's machete.  The cast is a bunch of familiar faces fresh off a CW show, but like most of today's horror films, there is such disdain shown for every character that the audience never really gets to connect or invest in any of them.  Not that there would be any point to investing in any of these characters: they exist only to die a gruesome death.  Nobody really survives this Friday the 13th, and the filmmakers decide to punish the audience at the end - choosing to go out with one last scare rather than any sense of satisfaction or finality.  The kills are pretty standard, with nothing you haven't seen before, save for one funny and audience-friendly kill that happens under a dock.  Moments like those are why movies like Friday the 13th exist.  If the rest of the future horror remakes can keep the same sense of fun that Friday the 13th has, then I say bring 'em on.  



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