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Starring: Jared Paladecki, Danielle Panabaker, Amanda Righetti, Travis Van Winkle, Aaron Yoo, Derek Mears

Director: Marcus Nispel

Screenplay: Damien Shannon, Mark Swift

Cinematography: Daniel Pearl

Original Score: Steve Jablonsky

Running Time: 97 mins.

The Friday the 13th franchise has literally been milked, or more appropriatly bled, to death, and in this (the 13th installment, if you count the laughable Freddy vs. Jason) we have something of a reboot from uber-producer and action supremo Michael Bay.

Continuing in Platinum Dunes endless mission to remake every horror film from the 70’s onwards, which has thus far ranged from the very good (The Texas Chainsaw Massacre) to the, lets just say, not so good in the as yet unreleased The Horsemen. So coming from the director of the aforementioned Chainsaw Massacre remake I went in expecting something a notch above the usual remake bilge, oh how wrong I was.

Truth be told the Friday the 13th franchise has never been that great, Jason wasn’t even the original killer (that would be his mother) and never achived the cult look he sports on this remakes poster until film number 3 (it was a burlap sack initially). Which means in effect this ‘remake’ is what industry people like to call a ‘re-imagining’, oh yes we are on that rocky territory again. But where Chainsaw was a classic, edgy film given a distinct burnt out 70’s look, this is set in the present day and is afforded no such luxury. An in-distinct look is not a good start, but really this is the leats of the films issues.

Films one and two are covered in a lengthly pre-title sequence (20 minutes!), but are so hurried through that they seem almost there only to serve as an aperifif before the film’s bulk. Sadlythese are the best 20 minutes, which is hardly saying much, but at least some of the victims are vaguely likeable. Because as more and more machete fodder are introduced the likeability of these people seems to take an all too steep downturn, which doesn’t help when it comes to gaining any empathy you should feel upon theri slaughter.

But maybe i’m reading to deeply into audience concerns over character development in a slasher film, it is, after all, all about the kills, and while they are abundant (13, ironically, i counted!) they just aren’t anywhere near as inventive, enough bar one with a sleeping bag and another on a jettie. As for the other slasher must, there are alot of boobs on display, but when attached to such unforgettable fodder, who cares!

As for the man himself, Jason is, as ever, is the lumbering muscular freak with a disturbing back-story. A walking cliche, as a character, he has always suffered alongside the much more memorable, and more importantly scary, Leatherface and Michael Myers, give me the Shatner mask over the hockey one anyday! When liberties are taken with the chracter they fall terribly flat, holding a girl captive just because she holds mother Vorhees pendant, please, this isn’t Jason Vorhees: The Buffallo Bill Years!     

VERDICT

Friday the 13th is more Pathfinder than Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Marcus Nispel fails to bring anything new or remotely scary to a tired franchise, that should have been put out of its misery long ago. In fact it’s SO turgid I feel compelled to recommend My Bloody Valentine over it, at least that had the courtesy to be in 3D. 

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