It’s remake time again! And this time it’s the turn of Friday The 13th to come under the spotlight.
Aaaah, Friday The 13th … tits, ass, Kevin Bacon with an arrow in the gullet, something about a boy drowning in a lake but then not drowning in a lake, a bald Corey Feldman, Jason taking Manhattan by murdering folk on a ship that’s not in Manhattan, Jason ending up in Hell and then in space in the future, more tits …
Let’s face it, the films of the Friday The 13th series have never been any good ever. Cheesy acting, appalling plots, crummy production values, shitty special effects, rubbish, synthesised ‘80s music; unlike other beloved horror franchises, the series has not had one truly good entry over its entire twenty nine year run. Eleven films have come before the remake. Eleven carbuncles on the weeping, maggot-riddled backside of horror – a franchise kept alive because teenagers will watch any old shit as long as there’s tits and killing in it.
So, as you can probably guess, I didn’t approach the new, ‘re-imagined’ Friday The 13th with high hopes. It’s an odd fish. It races through Part I in about five minutes, deals with the potato sack-headed Jason’s rise in Part II in a twenty minute section at the start, and then settles down to the familiar lumbering thug in the iconic hockey mask from Part III for the remainder of the film.
The formula’s exactly the same as it always has been:
- A group of teens arrive at Crystal Lake.
- The ones who get their tits out are murdered.
- The ones who fuck each other are murdered.
- The one who’s an arsehole is murdered.
- The token black guy’s murdered.
- The noble ones face up to Jason.
- Jason gets his comeuppence.
- ‘Shock’ ending where he turns out not to be dead after all.
This time around there’s a bit of a twist because one of the teenagers is looking for his sister who, we were led to believe, was murdered by Jason in the film’s Part II-inspired opening segment. It turns out Jason has mistaken the girl for his mother and, as you do when you’re reunited with the mother you thought had been decapitated after you drowned in a lake in 1980, has chained her up under his house.
The girl’s brother hooks up with a vague collection of stereotypes who are holidaying in Crystal Lake, singling out the only girl of their party who doesn’t drop her bra the moment the beers are passed round to be his friend.
So, as they set off to find the missing sister, the other teens are systematically butchered by Jason. There’s a tits-out waterskiing scene that ends in a crossbow through the head killing for the boat pilot, and the girl being lifted out of the lake by a hook in her head just high enough to get a last shot of her excellent tits. There’s an axe in the back scene, a screwdriver pushed up into a fella’s brain scene and a good old neck-snapping for one promiscuous young madam who didn’t realise Jason has never looked favourably on drunk girls who fuck their boyfriends butt-naked in Friday The 13th movies.
So, business as usual.
It’s too dark, nobody can act, the two main teenage males look so similar you keep mixing them up, the killings aren’t as gory as anything we’ve seen in the Saw or Hostel franchises (thanks to the producers aiming for that all-important MPAA rating that allows their target audience of idiot teenagers into the cinema), and the climactic final battle between the brother, the rescued sister and Jason is something we’ve seen a billion times before. Oh, and the final shock horror ending that has become Friday The 13th’s signature moment is exactly what you expected it to be:
“Well I’ll be damned! He’s not dead!”
So is it worth watching? Well, unless you really need to see a naked girl hung upside down in a sleeping bag being burned alive, I’d say no. If you do want to watch stuff like that, however, companies such as Lion’s Gate films have been making ‘em bigger, more brutal and better than Friday The 13th has ever been for years.
The tits are good, mind.