Last year saw one of those reboots, much like 2010’s Nightmare on Elm Street. And, to an extent, you know…maybe a franchise should get a fresh reboot every few years. But the only fresh thing about the 2009 reboot of Friday the 13th? They compressed the entire first film into a two minute opening sequence. It follows the basic trajectory of a Jason based movie. No new take. Just more CW actors, lots of gratuitous nudity of the female variety (unlike the Nightmare reboot, girls drop their tops for things like wake boarding).
Sure, the violence is slicker, the kills a bit more over the top. But the story is no stronger, the humor falls flatter…
In rebooting, they basically follow exact same formula. Campers go out and party, stumble on Jason (or vice versa) and mayhem follows. It’s the same old story. Well, except, there are now underground tunnels.
Jason is “smarter” in this film, seeming to make plans and set traps. So, there is that. The teens, on the other hand, are a mixed bag. You have the first totally disposable group. Jason offs them quickly so as to set up the plot of Jared Padelecki from Supernatural (now both leads from that show have a horror remake under their belts) as a concerned brother looking for his missing sister.
He meets up with a group of kids led by the requisite rich jerk that apparently hangs out with people who hate him-but want to take advantage of his awesome cabin conveniently located right on Camp Crystal Lake. You have the funny black guy, the desperate virgin Asian guy, the hot free spirit, the hot sensitive girl and the hot sex kitten (who is almost indistinguishable from the hot free spirit), the rebel and the rich jerk.
Jared and the rich jerk do not get along-because Rich Jerks do not care about little things like missing andpossibly dead family. But Rich Jerk’s girlfriend-the hot sensitive girl- takes pity on Jared and they go walking through the woods.
Jason has set up shop beneath the old and abandoned camp in tunnels. Because… why not? (Real answer: it was a solution by the screenwriters to explain how Jason can just “show up” everywhere) He has Jared’s sister chained up because…well, we do not really know, there is some indication she looks a lot like Jason’s mom. So, like any good son, he chains his mother figure up in a cave. What? You wouldn’t?
There are a series of random deaths, as Jason works his way through the characters. Eventually, Jason has whittle the cast down to Jared, Hot Sensitive Girl and Jared’s Sister. They have a final showdown with Jason and dump him in the lake. Then it’s time for the Sudden Scare.
The movie never makes any use of it’s potentially interesting aspects. I mean, why not play around with Jason’s apparent mother fixation on Jared’s sister? Maybe show Jason trying to be the good but homicidal son? Not understanding why mommy is displeased with gifts like a human head?
What we are left with is a film that pretty much reinvents the wheel with a glossy finish. There are kills, weak jokes, predictable jumps points, and zero surprises. Some of the various sequels took bigger risks than this reboot.
But hey, white supremacist horror movie fans will be relieved to know that non-white people still cannot get out of one of these movies alive.