There are several reasons I don’t venture out to the woods for week long drunken camping trips. One, sleeping on the ground is not comfortable. We invented the box spring mattress for a reason. Two, I have an extreme dislike to the thought of becoming grizzly bear food. Three, well the original Friday the 13th implanted this fear — I’d rather not have my body dumped into a shallow grave dug by a lunatic after he/she has gruesomely murdered me. So what better way is there to give kids a healthy fear of summer camp than with a reboot of the franchise that started it all nearly 30 years ago?
But as I see it, those kids should see the original instead of this verison of Friday the 13th. And the reason for that is simple: There is absolutely nothing new in this version that the old movie didn’t have, including, but not limited to:
- Stupid 20-somethingers interested in nothing but drugs, alcohol and sex
- Super cute chicks who don’t mind baring all for the camera
- Recycled methods of savage killings
- Cheesey dialogue centered around drugs, alcohol and sex
If you’re going to remake a classic, offer up a new twist. Compel your audience to want to go to the theater instead of sitting on their couches rewatching the DVD. My Bloody Valentine went 3D. Even the Halloween retelling tried to add new elements to the story (even though I wasn’t particularly fond of the outcome).
That being said, there is still something oddly refreshing about seeing Camp Crystal Lake back on the big screen. And Jason Voorhees, before he went off into the vacuum of space to kill, is undoubtedly one of my favorite slasher mass murderers of all time. In this telling of Friday the 13th (which roughly combines elements from the first three movies), he hacks, slices, stabs and mutilates eleven or so unsuspecting victims in two separate hunting excursions. There is some semblence of story but let’s not pretend like we care. The person you want to see die horribly, dies horribly; the person you think is going to survive, lives to see another day; and the girl you want to see in her birthday suit, gets naked. It is a simple formula and we’ve grown to love it.
So while there isn’t anything new to write home about (or discuss in a movie review), Friday the 13th is still a fairly entertaining slasher flick. It’s not as good as the original, but luckily that isn’t a necessity for one to have a good time. The hockey mask is back, boys and girls; fear the woods and the things that go creak in the night. And oh yeah, staying in a group only delays the inevitable.