While entertaining, 2009’s effort at a Friday the 13th reboot lacks enough life to have forged a new endless chain of sequels. However, it’ll do for a slow Friday night.
Clay Miller (Supernatural’s Jared Padalecki) searches for missing sister Whitney Miller (Amanda Righetti), who vanished near the disused Camp Crystal Lake. As a group of mostly insufferable college kids spend time at a lakeside cabin, they cross paths with Clay while together, they find themselves in the sights of a disfigured, masked murderer. Jason Voorhees.
Rather than start with Mumma Voorhees as the original did, she’s taken care of in a two-minute scene before the credits to offer up a smidge of context as to why his royal hockey-maskedness is ready to rampage.
Jason moves with the grace of a charging rhino. He looks appropriately soulless. He’s a cool looking brute with a bad temper. Having said that, he has touches of humanity dabbled in which are a welcome direction. The same can’t really be said for the group of college kids that meet the wrath of his machete and more.
They’re insufferable stereotypes and you’re left just waiting for them to die. While, really, that’s what a slasher horror is all about, a little characterisation to make us root for them a little – just a little – wouldn’t have gone a miss.
At least in Padalecki’s Clay and Danielle Panabaker’s (The Flash) Jenna, we are handed two characters who we can genuinely root for.
It’s almost two films packed into one. With the college kids at the lakeside cabin, we’re given a run-of-the-mill slasher. There are homages to the originals, such as teens getting at it and obviously that hockey mask, though it’s all very safe.
You could sub Jason for another faceless mass murderer and it probably wouldn’t make all that much difference.
Meanwhile, Clay’s story – with Jenna tagging along – is one of family as he searches for his sister. Jason’s devotion to his dead mother drives him. There’s a depth there that perhaps isn’t exploited in the way it could be.
Together, the pair don’t quite mesh together as well as they could have.
There are genuine moments of fright here and there. It’s entertaining enough for a Friday or Saturday night-in, and genuinely I enjoyed it.
But I’d be lying if I said there was enough there to branch out a fresh Friday the 13th franchise – even if the ending left the potential of a sequel hanging in the air (though eight years on, it’s a safe bet to say we’re probably not getting that…).
However, in a world of remakes and reboots, I’m sure we’ll see Jason take to the big screen again. Eventually.