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Friday the 13th (2009)

R 97 minutes

Directed by Marcus Nispel
Written by Damion Shannon, Mark Swift

 · Jared Padelecki
 · Amanda Righetti
 · Danielle Panabaker

Review by Sean Kernan

I get why horror movies are popular. Who doesn't love a good scare. The horror masters of the 70's and 80's used gore and nudity to tantalize our lower brain and piled a little suspense on top to keep us completely engaged. The mixture created an era in the genre that cannot be matched and is long over.
The modern horror film has devolved from the standards of the classics. The modern obsession with torture and 'realism' has turned a lowbrow genre into a frightening reflection of a devolving society. If the latest edition to the torture porn genre, Friday the 13th, is what modern horror audiences want, god help us all.
The latest 'reimagining' from the ugly sad minds of producer Michael Bay and director Marcus Nispel, takes gory pleasure in creating characters so loathesome that they challenge one not to root for the maniac murderer. Some might call that daring, I just call it disturbing.




A group of d******** college kids take off into the woods surrounding camp crystal lake in search of a large crop of marijuana. Once they set camp for night they engage in behaviors that invite the oddly puritanical psychopath Jason Voorhees.
Though ostensibly Jason kills because of his mommy issues, she was killed by camp counselors after she killed a number of them, evidence seems to indicate that Jason kills out of some misguided moralistic crusade against sexual promiscuity and illicit drug and alcohol consumption.
His first victim is a pothead. The next two; in the midst of a sexual encounter. The next two? Thinking about sex and slightly inebriated. Once this first group is dispatched with another group arrives at a lake side cabin not far from Ol' camp Crystal Lake.
Once again, drugs, alcohol and sex are prominent. On top of the illicit activities, each of these characters are supreme jackasses. Obnoxious, overbearing jerks, especially their douchebag host played by Travis Van Winkle. His Trent is king douchebag and not rooting for Jason to take his head right off his douchebag shoulders is a herculean effort.
Thus we get Jason Voorhees moral crusader. Righting the wrongs of the heedless, consumptive and hedonistic youth. It's a bizarro land of right and wrong, good and evil that delights in torture and murder while attempting to justify the killing in a wildly odd moralistic fashion.
Like a crazed bible thumper, Jason seeks eye for eye vengeance for the death of his mother and, though he never knows it, goes all old testament on his sinning victims. Jason as vengeful god is a truly bizarre conceit. The same instinct that drives Jason to punish is the same that seems to draw an audience to witness the slaughter.




There is a christians and lions feel to modern horror. As the Romans merely witnessed bloody slaughters we are invited to do so with a slightly more dramatic distance. Actors being killed with special effects is a far cry from real people being slaughtered, but the instinct to enjoy it is the same and almost as disturbing.
Indeed the modern horror maker does want you to enjoy the slaughter, lingering as they do on the faux suffering and imitated degradation. And therein lies my issue dear reader. Just what could drive someone to enjoy even the demonstration of degradation, torture and humiliation?
Horror back in the day crafted super human cartoons who were always killable and always the bad guy, no matter how charismatic or iconic they became. You may have went to the theater because of Michael Myers or Jason or Freddy but the rooting interest was always in seeing them overcome by their victims.
Today, I cannot figure out what the appeal or purpose of modern horror is. For the life of me, why anyone would want to watch the loathesome characters of Friday the 13th or their ugly disturbing deaths is beyond me. There is simply nothing appealing here and the compromising of good and evil, the seeming attempts to make Jason,ugh, sympathetic are stomach turning.



Friday the 13th exists in a moral vacuum. There is no good or evil just the demonstration of death and some faux twisted puritanism masquerading as ironic aside. Of couse, these aren't real moral crusaders their are naked breasts and softcore porn quality sex on display in this very R-rated movie. Thus, Jason's unlikely moral crusade is without a doubt expected to be humorous.
It's not. There is nothing humorous and nothing even remotely appealing about this ugly, stupid, vile little movie.

751 Words Published: 16 June 2009

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