Hot Garbage Express: Revisiting Friday the 13th (2009)

Melanie Hernandez in Friday the 13th (2009)

The Friday the 13th remake has to be the most atrocious of all the 2000s horror film reboots. And yes I have not forgotten the existence of A Nightmare on Elm Street 2010.

It isn’t completely without merit. On a five star rating scale it would earn one star for a combination of the following:

  • A brutal and territorial Jason (interesting)
  • A person looking for their missing family member (creative)
  • Chewie as a character. While an idiot like every single other person in this film, Chewie is an unabashedly fun idiot. His mockery of Trent’s wealth is an especially great moment. He also did seem earnest in his apology for breaking (and offering to fix) Trent’s dad’s chair.
  • Lawrence is similarly acceptable. Less so because he decides to MASTURBATE IN THE LIVING ROOM WHERE ANY OF HIS FRIENDS MIGHT WALK IN AT ANY TIME WHAT? But also more so because in his desperate attempt to find food for thought in that moment, he resignedly settles for a picture of a middle-aged stock model in a sweater holding a mug.
Lawrence (left) & Chewie (right). Thanks for being the reasons this movie even gets one star.

And that’s it for good things. Here are just some of the things that are terrible about this film. Namely, it does everything in its power to exaggerate everything about the series, and make it nearly unwatchable in the process:

This film seems to literally hate every single character in the film. The teenagers in this movie are unbearably stereotypical and vapid for the most part. It seems as if it is written by people who hate slasher films, yet were forced to write a script for one. There are occasional moments of intrigue or character development – Lawrence calling out his friends for microaggressions for one (although it is so teasing it almost erases itself). I also wonder what on earth was going on with Trent as a character.

Seriously what is this character?

Bad slashers have a terrible tendency to create groups of friends that make no sense together and inevitably include a Trent-like character. But in this case it seems to hint that everyone except Jenna pretty much hates him, and that they just use him for his money. In turn they put up with his terrible personality. As a result of this parasitic situation Trent gets to feel like he has friends, but keeps them at distance. The film seems to hint he has serious daddy-issues and a lack of fulfillment that result in lashing out at nearly everyone around him. But because the film hates all its characters and the intelligence of anyone viewing the film, we never get to see these threads develop into anything meaningful.

The movie lacks nearly any ounce of atmosphere. The boo scares and kills are fast and brutal, but the movie never lets you feel true tension. Again it seems to be written by someone who was forced at machete point to script a slasher. Why were there creepy dolls leftover in one of the cabins?

Someone bought this prop for $800. So many whys

Why did we have to witness a character coded as a redneck lick a centerfold’s centerfold in an ancient porno magazine he finds?

To quote Rebecca Bunch “yup that happened!”

This film is the most uninspired garbage I have ever seen. And I’m comparing it to the FRIDAY THE 13TH SERIES. The bar was at limbo after a few rounds level high. Come on people. It has less pathos than all the worst aspects of Friday the 13th Part V: A New Beginning, Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan, and Jason X combined.

I used to like that this film was a combination of the first four Friday the 13th films. But now it just seems to be yet another example of what is so wrong about this film. We all know those four films blend together. The writers basically said they were making the same movie over and over because it kept making money. YET they did manage to make each film different enough. They managed to create some likable and nuanced characters. There was warm blood pumping in the veins of those movies unlike this bloodless corpse.

Maybe 2009 was just too late to make a straight up slasher. Yet My Bloody Valentine 3D came out the same year, and managed to be both self aware of its 80s roots & utterly delicious. There was a way to do this remake right and the filmmakers didn’t find it.

Verdict: Don’t bother with this garbage. It ends with the line “Say hi to mommy…in hell!” That’s really a thing that happens.


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