(dir. Marcus Nispel)
I’m a longtime fan of the Friday the 13th franchise. While the series lacks the imagination of the Nightmare on Elm Street series, Friday the 13th has always been the most fun of the slasher franchises because it has never taken itself too seriously. The films are as much comedic romps as they are exercises in practical gore effects. The 2009 reboot is no different. Nispel’s Friday the 13th is easily the best of the Platinum Dune reboots because it successfully captures the spirit of the original franchise in all of its B-movie glory. The film plays of as a ‘best of’, pulling from Jason’s 30 year film history in an act of well-executed fan-service. Unlike other slasher film remakes from around the same time, Friday the 13th isn’t aiming to twist or rationalize the concept. If you came to see attractive young adults make terrible life decisions and be stalked and murdered by a hockey-mask wearing brute then you need look no further.
The pre-title sequence is a hell of an opener. The rest of film follows familiar territory, but never loses its sense of fun thanks largely to an energetic cast and menacingly effective Derek Mears as Jason. Nispel also creates some of the best kill scenes in the series with the help of some well designed set-pieces. Friday the 13th is a film that knows exactly what is and is all the more successful because of it. While there is without a doubt a sameness that runs through the franchise, and as someone who has watched all of them (yes, even the awful Jason Takes Manhattan) trust me when I tell you that if you’re looking to watch any of the series after Sean S. Cunningham’s original, go with Nispel’s reboot.
Scare Factor: 3/5 Friday the 13th operates in the vein of 80s slasher movies, so there’s more sex and blood than genuine scares. But if slasher films are your go to horror option this October, Friday the 13th has plenty of entertainment to offer.