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The Independent Critic

STARRING
Jared Padalecki, Amanda Righetti, Travis Van Winkle, Aaron Woo
DIRECTED BY
Marcus Nispel
SCREENPLAY
Damian Shannon, Mark Swift
MPAA RATING
Rated R
RUNNING TIME
97 Mins.
DISTRIBUTED BY
New Line
 "Friday the 13th" Review 
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Marcus Nispel directed the 2003 remake of "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre."

That film sucked, too.

"Friday the 13th," Nispel's remake of the not quite as legendary film of the same name, continues Nispel's tradition of unimaginative, bland and unnecessary remakes.

To be fair, Nispel is not the only person to be tied to both films.

Producer Michael Bay, purveyor of all things cinematically devoid of creativity and artistry, has produced both films along with "The Amityville Horror" remake.

In case you're wondering, it sucked too.

I don't actually mind when a visionary filmmaker, say a Rob Zombie, chooses to remake a classic horror film and actually adds something to it or, minimally, is able to capitalize on the latest technology and special effects.

The problem with Nispel's remakes is that there's, quite literally, nothing new added to the equation. It's as if the studio looked through their vaults and thought "Which one can we remake?"

Oh, wait. We'll remake another horror film. It's inexpensive to produce and is sure to make money.

Unfortunately, they are usually right.

"Friday the 13th" picks up with a group of young hotties gathering at a summer camp where 29 years earlier a younger Jason drowned. His mother avenged his death by slaughtering the camp counselors, until a surviving counselor decapitated her. Jason, in turn, returned from the dead to kill the survivor.

Flash forward to the current group of rowdy hotties and, well, you know exactly what will happen.

The majority of them will die, in not particularly imaginative ways.

You'll sit there in the audience thinking you'll get, at the very least, some gratuitous T&A shots.

You won't.

Of this current group of hotties, Jason will actually keep one girl alive (Amanda Righetti) and her brother (Jared Padalecki) will find his way to the campground in search of her.

This, of course, brings yet another group of hotties to meet their fate.

Sigh.

While I'm not particularly a fan of contemporary horror, I don't generally begrudge its fans their cheap thrills.

The problem is that "Friday the 13th" isn't going to please fans of contemporary horror, retro horror, gore-horror or even the pseudo-horror fans of such films as the "Scream" flicks.

In fairness, the film itself leans towards gory...yet, the gore isn't imaginative, is never frightening and is only on a couple of occasions even worthy of a chuckle.

In other words, however you slice it "Friday the 13th" is a mediocre film.

One can see, at least modestly, an attempt by Nispel and screenwriters Damian Shannon and Mark Swift to give "Friday the 13th" the Zombie treatment by giving Jason a bit more of a backstory. Unlike Zombie's far superior "Halloween" remake, it doesn't help us bond with, understand or care about Jason.

Essentially, it says "If you'd quit messing with me, I'd quit killng you."

Hmm. Okay.

"Friday the 13th" will undoubtedly do well at the box-office its opening weekend.

"Friday the 13th" will undoubtedly have its supporters and fanboys who scream out how awesome it is and how much it improves upon the original.

I will, undoubtedly, get hate mail for disagreeing.

With "Friday the 13th," Michael Bay and Marcus Nispel make Jason the one thing I never thought he'd be...boring.


© Written by Richard Propes
The Independent Critic
    The Official Rating Guideline
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