By TheAcidSkull 42 Comments
Recently there was a thread asking us to list our favorite horror films, and after listing Friday The 13th (2009) as one of my favorite horror movies, @the_stegman pointed out that he was glad there was someone else who really liked this new version, since it gets so much hate on every other forum. This got me thinking - "Why do people dislike this new take on the film?"- because, in all honesty, having just recently watched the first four Friday the 13th movies, I still don't see why anyone would consider this any worse than what has been done before. In fact, in a lot of ways I feel like this pays a lot of respect to the original films while does something a bit new.
I've heard some complaints before, and yes people have the prerogative to hate anything they desire, but my problem here is that I don't really get how this movie deviates from the original version.
First of all, lets put aside the fact that it's a Friday the 13th movie at all and focus on what kind of movie it is. The new remake has all of the basic elements that satisfies the Slasher Horror movie genre. A bunch of horny, immature and wild teenagers who want to have a good time are gradually killed off by a monstrous killer. This is the basic formula behind almost every slasher film. You can mix up the setting and give the killer different motivations, but in the end it boils down to a bunch of teenagers being killed one by one.
On that front this movie doesn't disappoint at all, in fact, I'd say it even beats some of the previous films, considering that the actors, for one thing, are way better this time around. I understand that slasher films never had good acting, but at the very least it feels like these characters are actually real and don't exist in the movie purely to be slaughtered like cattle. The performances are fresh in my mind, because, as mentioned above, I've watched the first four films quite recently due to halloween, and let me tell you that some of these characters in these films are just there to show what stereotype they fit through the dialogue only. In the remake though, despite the clichés and campy-ness, I felt like these were actual teenagers who just wanted to have fun. Okay, I'm not saying that this movie jumps leaps an bounds above the rest (The 4th chapter was still the best Jason movie IMO anyways), but in terms of performances I don't see a huge difference, in fact, I'd say that it's overall just as good or slightly better than the first 3 installments.
The next common complaint I consistently hear relates to Jasons characterization, which I honestly never understood. Jason is literally a mysterious, mentally-challenged, badass mommas-boy who is really good at killing. This is the basic core of the character. There is literally nothing more to him.
I've heard an argument that Jason is smarter than he is in the previous films, with his traps and underground tunnels, but really, is that such a big deal? Or the better question would be, is he really smarter than he use to be? If he is, it's not by a huge margin. Jason is still dumb as hell IMO; he can't talk ( totally Ignoring Jason goes to hell), and he won't be able to tell you what's 2 plus 2, but as far as killing goes, he's the smartest guy in the movie. I mean, being mentally challenged doesn't mean you can't really get that hang of relatively simple things, and how hard is it to dig a tunnel(with his power) or set up a trap? Sure you may get hurt in the process but Jason is an undead monstrosity who wants to protect his home, so I doubt he'd be considered with these things.These are all technical things which can be accomplished physically through practice and nothing more. Plus, he's never been a slacker in the killing department so I don't know where the "he's to smart!" argument comes from. In the 4th film he cuts of the phone lines so people can't call for help, he silently moves around the area without anyone noticing, and he's very creative and methodical in how he kills his victims. So judging from this you can see that even before the remake he did have a good idea of what he was doing.
Plus, above everything else, Jason kidnaps a girl who looks like his mother. Sounds familiar? It should, because in the second film of the original franchise, the main character Ginny literally survives only because she puts on Mrs. Voorhees' sweater and fools Jason into thinking that she is his mother. See? Not that different.
Moreover, The actor portraying Jason, Derek Mears, doesn't fall behind Kane Hodder, despite his obvious lack of experience with the character. What's surprising is that a lot of people seem to like the Jason vs Freddy version more, even though Jason's movement and portrayal was much different to how he behaved previously. Don't get me wrong, I think Freddy vs Jason was fun as hell, but unlike Derek Mears' interpretation, Jason moved and behaved much like frankensteins monster - he was slow and big. Not only that, but the writers behind the horror icon team up made Jason fear water, despite the fact that he has used the lake to his advantage on numerous occasion. However, In the remake, right before the movie ends, Jason propels his way out of the water and decides to finish the job and kill off the remanning teens. See my point?
Honestly, the only disappointing aspect of the new movie is that Jason is less subtle and less creative in how he kills his victims. Most of his kills are pretty basic, which isn't really a big deal; or at the very least is shouldn't ruin the movie for you.
I can understand why Halloween fans hated Rob Zombies remake, considering that it basically turned the Halloween franchise into another typical slasher flick, whereas originally it was so much more than that, but with Friday the 13th, I really don't get it. Maybe I'm missing something crucial here? And don't get me wrong, I am not professing that my opinion is obviously the right one, but as someone who enjoyed the original four movies (The 4th installment is my favorite horror movie of all time), I just don't see why the remake is so hated by the fans.
In the end, I'd like to say that despite me being a bit critical of the original franchise, I still liked them very much, which is probably why I enjoyed the remake as well. Sadly though, due to the outcry, the movie will not be getting a sequel; Instead we will have to watch another reboot in 2015. Lets just hope that this time it'll managed to please everyone.