(Review originally written at 16 February 2009)

Well, first of all I've never fully seen the 1980 original, only it's last 45 minutes or so and that was quite some time ago. Therefore I can't really comment on how this movie compares to the original and how faithful it is to it, though from what I can judge this movie pretty much is a movie on its own, with a different approach of the story and the character of Jason Voorhees.

More and more classic horror movie are getting a remake these days. Only a handful did this successfully, while most of them remain too much of the same. "Friday the 13th" is also more of the same. It's a generic modern horror flick/slasher, that features a bunch of teenagers who love to have sex, drink alcohol and take drugs and a manic killer that is on a killing spree.

Most disappointing thing about this movie is not necessarily the fact that it's being so generic, it's more that it has almost no story present in it. The movie is basically the one killing after the other but without ever becoming tense or surprising. You basically know in advance who is going to die when and who will be the next one. With a little bit more (background) story the movie would had been at least a more interesting one to watch and it would perhaps also had helped to make the characters more interesting. The movie seems too random. People are getting killed for no apparent reason and you are just waiting for the next one to die, since there is not much else to this movie. You know that the only reason why this movie has so many characters is because it allows the movie to have as much gruesome killings as possible in it.

It's not really a movie that is being effective with its scare moments, also because of the reason that it's all quite predictable and formulaic. It tries to compensate this with its gore but the most hardened horror fan shall not be too impressed by it all. As a modern horror movie it really isn't the best the genre has to offer.

The movie shows far too much of Jason Voorhees. Because of this his character also doesn't ever get scary enough, despite a good beginning. He's shown fully in far too many sequences and after a while the character won't do a lot to you anymore. It's also part of the reason why the movie isn't being too effective with its horror and scare moments. Sure, it has a good atmosphere still, provided by director Marcus Nispel, who already showed with his previous projects that he could handle dark themes but style over substance is never a good thing when it comes down to movie making.

It's definitely not the worst modern genre movie or remake but I wish it had a bit more story and originality to it. It will probably still spawn a couple of more sequels though, also considering the huge success this movie is already currently being in it's opening week at the box office. Let's hope they will learn from the mistakes of this movie when they come up with a sequel in the upcoming years.


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About Frank Veenstra

Watches movies...writes about them...and that's it for now.
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