Friday, September 13, 2013

Making a case for Friday the 13th (2009)

Oh yeah. I'm ready to party.
It's a magical day everyone! That supposedly unlucky day when some look over their shoulder a bit more frequently in fear that something as innocuous as a cat or ladder may spell certain doom. For others however; this is a day of joy where we sit back and revel in the exploits of a deformed man in sportswear. That large hockey loving freak named Jason who discards the lives of young coeds in a manner befitting tissue paper. Each and every Friday the 13th I try to relive one or two of the Voorhees adventures. I know there are others out there who do the same, but I've noticed some have an unhealthy habit of cock-blocking themselves from enjoying the more recent ones. Now I'm not gonna get into a discussion of folks who refuse to watch Freddy Vs Jason, case their just plain old crazy paints. No; I speak of people who deny the 2009 kinda remake, AKA Part XII: Jason Grows Pot. Admittedly, this is nowhere near the finer entries in the franchise but it is not the bottom of the barrel either. So why would any fan of the big guy refuse to indulge in what is at least a passable adventure? Well folks, I say it's time to stop the segregation. It's time for everyone to finally accept this flick into their tiny black hearts. Let the healing begin.
First off, let's get the negative aspects out of the way. I know everybody hates the captive sister storyline. I never minded what the writers were going for with this idea as there is a history of Jason acting a tad off when something reminds him of mommy or his childhood. The real problem is that there's never a true goal or endgame to his plan. He takes the girl cause she reminds him of momma......but then what? Is he gonna dress her up? Ask her to read him a story? Or get all creepy and hands on with her? Without a point to her captivity a whole chunk of the story just comes across as pointless. There where other issues like ho-hum music, and some weaker than average kills. I still think a few bits of violence where nicely done but then you get something like the antlers which was done better in Silent Night Bloody Night. Worse still is that nobody gets fully fed into that wood-chipper. They showed the damn thing over and over, just shove em in dammit! Still: even with the noted issues, I still enjoy a lot about this one. Let's move on to those good points shall we?

Reason #1: Jason: Perhaps this doesn't sound like the biggest reason to fall in like with this movie but this may be the finest version of our beloved villain ever to grace the screen. There have been several great Jasons through the years (Richard Brooker, Ted White, and C.J. Graham, are all faves) yet Derek Mears provides a mean streak with just enough intelligence to make for a compelling maniac. He's like a mash-up of part 3's speed, part 6's cruelty, with the swift brute force of the Kane Hodder version. Whether or not this flick is continued or ignored in following entries this cat needs to play Jason again and again.

Reason #2: Trent: In all my years of horror viewing I have loved many a douchebag, yet I can think of none I love as much as Trent. This dude is an absolute cartoon in the best way possible. Despite being over the top as he is I swear I've met folks just like him. You simply can't hate a guy who says things like“You're tits are stupendous.” or “Where the fuck are you, gun?” Sweet Jesus; even the actors name is fantastic! Travis Van Winkle, you're my hero.

Reason #3: Two for the Price of One: It's rather sad how long we have to wait between new installments of our big horror icons these days. Oh how I long for the days of a new entry every year or so as opposed to this once or twice a decade nonsense. I can't help but feel that the long gap in question contributed to this ones gimmick of a whole twenty three minute slasher flick before the title screen even appears. Frankly I thought the whole idea quite nice. Why make the audience wait around for exactly what they know is coming when you can have some naked idiots being slaughtered up front? The whole endeavor makes for some interesting pacing since the typically slower 2nd act now serves as an introduction to a whole new set of budding victims.

Reason #4: It Doesn't Insult Us: I'll admit I had some worries back when this came out. It's only naturally to fear the Holloywood remake machine. What left a good impression after my first viewing was that this wasn't necessarily a remake or even a reboot. Sure there's some familiar sights but nothing is ever said or done that cancels out the previous history of the franchise. Granted; nothing is built upon either but this thing can just as well serve as part XII. You may bulk at this statement with questions about why Jason is wearing his burlap sack again or things of that nature but let's face facts. The whole series isn't rather sloppy when it comes to continuing the story. Plus this one is closer to proper continuity than something like Jason Goes to Hell will ever be.

I'd go on to further arguments but I need to enjoy my 13th in full. The facts are simply that this is an ok entry in the series. I'd say it's around spot 8 or 9 in power rankings (and don't even try to demean that ranking cause we all know Goes to Hell is shit, Jason X in lame, and I've seen how you all treat Takes Manhattan.) I may never fully change the minds of other Jason fans but I hope this blog has at least convinced you to give this movie another shot. Lord knows that if you relax and just take it in stride, you might actually enjoy it a little. Happy Friday the 13th to all!

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