Saturday, August 14, 2010
Friday the 13th The Remake
The Remake starts off with two local community actors (A young girl playing a counselor and an older woman playing Mrs. Vorhees) rehearsing a scene from the original Friday film. Its black and white and they are performing in the rain for dramatic effect I assume. From the bushes a third actor in boy Jason make-up is seen watching. The mom goes on and on about the counselors screwing and letting her poor boy drowned in the yada, yada, yada. You heard all that before. The acting is bad. Really bad. Like you know this can't be part of the film bad. You expect at any moment that you will hear the director call "cut" and everyone goes back to being themselves with a laugh or two. Instead the girl takes her machete and cuts off the mom's head. As the blood spurts you realize that THIS IS THE FILM! Couldn't they get better actors for that scene? It feels like they just shot that scene as an after thought and couldn't get enough money to make it good. Maybe they hadn't watched the original Friday film (like everybody else) until after they made the movie. Whoops.
But forget about that. I want to talk about how much this scene doesn't make any sense. This is the first scene in the movie! So like in the first Friday film its Mrs. Vorhees who is doing all the killing. Jason's body was never recovered so for revenge she kills counselors for being irresponsible horny teenagers. I think its been years since Jason's death. In the remake you still have the mom killing teenagers for letting her boy drowned and yet young Jason is over in the bushes watching her mom try to kill the last counselor. Think about it. Why doesn't Jason just come out of the bushes and say "Hey, M-mum I otay. Doon't hwrt anyone anymoe. I want ice cream." I assume that's what he sounds like when he talks. He has a weird shaped head you know. Why would she think her son is dead in the first place? He's in the bushes! There would be no body. Who would tell her that her son is dead assuming nobody saw him drowned? If they did see him drown wouldn't they help? This is a case where the writer is paying homage to the original but not thinking things through. But you gotta put it in there right? The answer is a machete to your face. In other words "HELL NO!" Essentially every Friday film is a remake of the previous films but sometimes with a different spin. For example part 7 is about a bunch of teens getting killed but one is a psychic or part 10 (The best one) is about a bunch of teens getting killed and Jason goes to space to be used like a surf board entering New Earth's atmosphere. I guess Jason really likes Dark Star. Why not just eliminate that awkward beginning and everyone can think this is just another Friday film which it is.
The rest of the film is about these fake plastic teens who seem to have nothing in common which makes me think why would they bother being friends and hang out. Who do they think they are? The Breakfast Club? Sucks to that! They really do look like they are made of plastic. Or maybe rubber. Its like they all put on too much make-up. Even the guys. The main star is this guy looking for his sister who was killed at the beginning who meets the fake plastic teens and starts to fall in love with the nice popular girl whose boyfriend is the jerk of the group. The jerk's father owns a cabin near Crystal Lake. So the kids are there to do the usual which is to get high, have sex and jerk off in other people's living rooms where anybody could just walk in at any moment. Lo and behold the main guy's sister is still alive so that means that the love interest is going to die. You can't have more than one girl alive at the end of these things. It's supposed to be a surprise but nothing is a surprise in this film.
That is the main problem I have with this film. Nothing is a surprise. Nothing is shocking. Nothing is badass. Nothing makes you go "Oh, man that looks like it hurt." Its just scene after scene of boring, boring deaths, arrow through face,(boring) knife through top of head, (meh) knife through back, (didn't see that coming. Oh, wait. Yes I did) spike thingy through lower jaw and into brain ( hurry it up already). Nothing too spectacular. No, I take that back. I will say there is one thing surprising about the new Friday. I was surprised how little screen presence the new Jason had. He was big a bulky and carried a big knife but never did he inspire awe or dread like Kane Hodder's Jason or even Freddy vs. Jason's Jason. He wasn't badass like Hodder nor was he scary like in the earlier films. He was just there. Maybe its because I have seen all this before only better. The way he gets his trade mark mask is so weak. He is in a barn. He looks down. There is a hockey mask there. He puts it on. Yawn. I remember in part three some joker was wearing the mask and Jason kills him in some gruesome fashion and puts it on. It was a moment that formed the legend of Jason Vorhees. Us school kids would talk about how he got the mask and there would be debates about it. It was exciting. Nobody is going to be talking about the new Jason's hockey mask origin. What if Leatherface's chainsaw origin was the same. Leather face is in the slaughter house. He sees a chainsaw. He picks it up. Now he likes chainsaws.......Wait I think that is exactly what happened! Who made that Chainsaw Beginnings movie?
How about that ending? If you think the beginning was dumb wait for the ending. Remember Jason is just some mongoloid, right? He was just a boy when he saw his mom die. He grew up and continued the tradition of killing only this time its revenge for his dead mom. He is described as a survivalist by the yahoos that made this movie. The brother and sister are the only survivors. They actually kill Jason by getting a chain around his neck and pulling his head into a wood chipper thingy. The back of his head gets grinded up. No more brains. Now he is dead. What would you do? Would you....
A) Call the cops so you don't get arrested for being the only survivors and prime suspects of a mass murder.
B) Dump the body into the lake eliminating the main evidence (the actual killer) because you have a fascination for watching things sink into murky water.
C) Put the mask on and become the new Jason. HAHAHA it can never end!
This movie chose B. Why? To have a sequel and pay homage to the original yet again! After dumping the dead body the brother and sister linger on the dock relieved that the horror is over. Suddenly Jason for no real reason jumps out of the water and grabs the sister. The End. How? He is just a guy with a hockey mask. How does he come back from the dead? Because he did it in the other Friday films. That is the only reason why. Because it happened in the others. There is no clue of supernatural ability in this film. Only in the original do they establish Jason as being undead at the very end. They do it to leave a question in the mind of the audience. He is still down there? A zombie boy? A ghost? Its creepy and adds to the urban legend. That is what the originals along with some of the other truly great horror films of the late seventies and early eighties did. They made you feel like you were watching an urban legend rather than a studio film with the best cameras and digital special effects.
In conclusion while all Friday films are terrible (terribly awesome if you ask me) they at least can be enjoyed on some level of camp. The new one tries too hard to be realistic (if you can believe that) and hardcore but doesn't come close to doing that. The story gets muddled up with its attempts to be different and yet stay true to the originals. No more remakes please.
By the way I would have chosen option C.