Ed reviews "Friday the 13th"


So why am I writing about a critic-proof slasher movie the week after its release? Here's my thought process: Since there are only two films opening this Friday - a teen sex comedy and another Tyler-Perry-in-granny-drag comedy, neither of which is being screened for the press - I was forced to choose between the films that opened last Friday.

Of those, I opted for Friday the 13th, thinking that hoards of people would check it out on its opening weekend, so I'd address my piece to the folks who would never invest a dime in the flick, but might be curious about what producer Michael Bay and company did to juice up this reboot of the durable crap-o-rama franchise.

Then I saw the movie and, to my amazement, realized that they did nothing - zero, nada, nil, bupkis - to juice things up. They just cranked out another one, like that crazy lady everybody's talking about who keeps cranking out litters of children. The premise is the same: Hockey-mask-clad psycho Jason Voorhees continues to murder anyone stupid enough to come anywhere near Camp Crystal Lake. Let me tell you, there are plenty of stupid people in this movie.

After a quick flashback that includes the death of Jason's mother, we meet our first group of teenagers being played by adults in their mid to late 20s. The names don't matter, they're just generic party types, ready to screw and get wasted while a couple of the boys search for a marijuana field that they heard was in the area. I wonder where they heard that, since Jason kills everybody that comes around? Perhaps he was arranging the scuzzy knick-knacks in his vast underground lair that day.

Anyhow, the kids act wild, the girls show their breasts and Jason slaughters them. Cut to the opening credits - 20 minutes into the movie. In what passes for a plot, a polite young he-man (Jared Padalecki from the TV series Supernatural) shows up in town to pass out fliers for his missing sister (Amanda Righetti). He has a nasty run-in with some asshole bringing a new batch of victims up to party in a ritzy cabin near Camp Crystal Lake.

People come to Friday the 13th movies for the gross, creative murders and to see sexy 20-something "teenagers" bare their breasts. This franchise reboot offers the teens and tits, but the murders are just the same-old same-old. More stabbings, jabbing and impalements, but without any flair. As for the gross-out factor, you see more disgusting images on CSI. Sorry, Jason, but TV has caught up with you. The murders aren't particularly scary, either. You know that Jason is going to pop up from the one direction his target isn't looking, so the "Boo!" factor disappears.

About Jason: What made his mute character frightening was that he was dim, but relentless. This Jason (Derek Mears) has a higher IQ, is agile and moves too quickly. He's just another serial killer in a hockey mask.

After realizing that there was nothing new or fresh about this Friday the 13th, I considered doing a phony interview with the "real" Jason Voorhees, where he'd complain about how he's been depicted on screen, reflect on his seeming invulnerability ("I think I may be a Highlander, or a Cylon," I was going to have him say) and carp about how the Freddy vs. Jason movie was unfair, since Freddy got to throw around wisecracks while his character remained mute. Then I realized that I would be putting more creative thought into my joke essay than the Friday the 13th team did in their whole movie.

Instead, I decided to just let you know the basics and to stress that Friday the 13th is lame, dull and unimaginative - even by Friday the 13th standards.

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