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Sunday, February 15, 2009

Darkmatters Film Review - Friday the 13th

Friday the 13th (18)

Dir. Marcus Nispel 'Pathfinder, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre'

Reviewed by Matt Adcock

You don’t have to be superstitious to know that it probably isn’t a good idea to go camping on Friday the 13th near the supposed site of a mass murder. Especially when the deranged killer was never found…
But here we have not just one but two groups of good looking teens who find out to their cost that Camp Crystal Lake is not a fun, safe or long term place to stay.
Director Marcus ‘Pathfinder’ Nispel treats his re-imagining of this definitive tacky ‘80s slasher movie with more love than his overly nasty and generally not as good update of the Texas Chainsaw Massacre. Seems he’s listened to the feedback of horror loving geeks and has gone overboard to please them here. Friday the 13th 2009 might not be clever and it won’t win any acting accolades (unless they bring in an Oscar for ‘best topless death scene’) but it is choc full of jump moments, ‘ooh that’s got to hurt’ kills and above average production values.
Hockey-mask wearing psychopath Jason Vorhees (Derek Mears) is back on his mission to rid the world of anyone even remotely resembling the young camp counsellors who were busy fornicating while he drowned in the lake. He’s still wielding a sharp machete and packing an unquenchable blood lust, so it’s only going to end in tears for young friends Whitney (Amanda Righetti), Mike (Nick Mennell), Richie (Ben Feldman), Amanda (America Olivio), and Wade (Jonathan Sadowski). In fact they meet various sticky ends before the opening credits have even finished rolling. After this frantic and nail biting start, the film takes it slower when a few weeks later a second bunch of thrill seeking teens arrive to party at the invitation of hateable rich boy Trent (Travis Van Winkle). Will any of Jenna (Danielle Panabaker), Bree (Julianna Guill), Chewie (Aaron Yoo), Chelsea (Willa Ford), Lawrence (Arlen Escarpta), and Nolan (Ryan Hansen) survive? And what about concerned brother / rent a loaner Clay (Jared Padalecki) who is trying to find his missing sister? Don’t hold your breath because Jason has been given licence to go kill crazy – putting to shame rival horror icons such as Michael ‘Halloween’ Myers’ efforts and setting the benchmark for the mooted Nightmare on Elmstreet remake.
The crowd who I saw this with were whooping and yelling as the tension ramped up – Friday the 13th certainly delivers on the cheap thrills. If offended by nudity, bloodshed or teenagers making stupid decisions under pressure, this isn’t going to be the film for you. If however you’re looking for an effective horror shocker, there’s some guy in a hockey mask waiting for you at the cinema.

"looking good won't save you..."

Arbitrary Darkmatters final rating of: ööööööö (7 - Better than expected)
Darkmatters quick reference guide: Action 8, Style 7, Babes 9, Comedy 7, Spiritual Enlightenment 3
+ Slick and sick in equal measure, gratuitous and over the top... exactly what horror fans want basically!?
Intro line: Pamela Voorhees: Did you know a young boy drowned here? His name was Jason, he was my son. And today, is his birthday...

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