Friday the 13th (2009)

tn_fridaythe13thremakePREAMBLE

(you can skip down 4 paragraphs if you’re sick of me reiterating my stance on horror remakes)

Let me get my biases out of the way for any newcomers. I got a grudge against Michael Bay’s horror-recycling outfit Platinum Dunes and director Marcus Nispel for what they did to TEXAS CHAIN SAW MASSACRE. I don’t think they understand what made these movies good in the first place. The producers (pictured left) talk a good game about being horror fans, but it doesn’t show. These movies seem like they’re made by cynical used car salesman douchebags who think horror is an easy genre to do and don’t give a shit if their movies are even watchable as long as they have enough sweaty people to show in the trailer and a title that sounds vaguely familiar enough to teenagers that they’ll pay money to see it on the opening weekend. It’s basically a scam, a mathematical equation to make short-term money with a movie most people will never want to see again. If they could do that with just a poster and not even have to make a movie they would do that too. Or if it was that profitable to sell bootleg t-shirts or engraved watches or something. They don’t give a shit.

On the other hand, they have pretty cinematography.

I’m the type of dude that pays to see all kinds of horror movies that I know I shouldn’t. But I got fed up enough with the Platinum Dunes remake spree that even though I wanted to see this one pretty bad I restrained myself and waited for video. I had to stop being one of the marks who keep them in business. They already got NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET on the hit list, ready to re-imagine it with extreme prejudice. I can’t stop the fuckers but at least I can divest my money from their dirty business and keep my soul clean.

I want you to know all that up front, but in all honesty I think I’m more open to a movie like this than alot of people. I like several of the horror remakes that everybody hates (most recently I thought LAST HOUSE ON THE LEFT remake was pretty good) and I actually think a Jason so-called reboot is not a bad idea. I never had a problem with calling it “FRIDAY THE 13TH” but skipping over part 1 and just doing a new Jason movie, and I got real tired of people whining about that. Nobody wants to see a remake of part 1 and pretend they don’t know who the killer is. No, if they’re gonna start over I prefer they do it this way, start with the bag on his head and move on to the hockey mask.

mp_fridaythe13thremakeAnd you know what man? As far as slasher movies go, and horror remakes, I gotta say this movie is actually not good. (ha ha, I tried to make it sound like I was gonna like it, that is called playing with your expectations, something that they often do in other horror movies.) In my opinion the Platinum Dunes people still don’t know what they’re doing. But in some ways this is better than I expected, so in the spirit of American optimism I’ll start out by saying some things I did like.

I think this is a pretty decent set of characters for this style of horror. There are different types, on par with characters from various FRIDAY THE 13TH installments. You got a fairly sympathetic (if bland and male) protagonist on a motorcycle (rugged individualism) looking for his missing sister, and he’s played against a rich boy douchebag and his freeloader friends. So there’s something for the people who like to root for the good guys and the people who want to enjoy Jason killing some assholes. Of course the girls are all hot and the guys are handsome dudes with medium long, moderately shaggy hair and tight retro t-shirts showing off their pecs. Because that’s how modern horror rolls. I’m okay with that for this series though.

The lead douchebag works well, he’s not so obnoxious you hate to watch him but he is such a prick you look forward to his death. He pulls some serious asshole moves like when he mistakenly shoots somebody and then tells everybody that Jason killed her. And funny lines, like in the sex scene where he says, “Your tits are so fuckin juicy, dude.” I wouldn’t know, but it seems believable to me that a guy like this would call a girl he’s screwing “dude.”

That brings me to the sex. To be fair I think baseball hat wearers #1 and #2 up there are actually correct in assuming that alot of the fans just want to see tits bouncing around, etc., because FRIDAY THE 13TH is the series where the “teenagers having sex and getting killed” cliche comes from. The sex here (at least in the “KILLER CUT” on DVD) is more graphic than in the old ones, which is an impressive feat in this era of PG-13 horror and actresses afraid of ending up on Mr. Skin.

It’s also true that Jason fans always talk about “good kills,” and that they managed to get a couple of those in here. I really liked the idea of the scene where Jason shoots a guy with an arrow, causing said guy to run over his girlfriend in a speed boat. That was probaly my favorite scene, but something didn’t quite click for me. Maybe it’s that the arrow just hits the guy out of the blue, you don’t get the benefit of the “oh shit” moment where Jason is standing there about to shoot (here’s one example from FRIDAY THE 13TH PART 3-D).

On the other hand, my other favorite “kill” really worked because it was so sudden. She’s under a dock and then… well, I’ll leave it unspoiled in case you ever watch this.

But the thing is, the “kills” are what you have to build up to. They’re not the end-all and be-all of slasher movies. Christmas is more than just tearing open the presents real quick. I don’t think the Platinum Dunes dudes misunderstand these movies as profoundly as they did THE TEXAS CHAIN SAW MASSACRE, but I don’t think they really get this particular slasher subgenre either. Yeah, it’s about him picking the kids off one by one, but they have to have a chance. A good slasher movie is not just a bunch of heads getting chopped off, it’s playing with your expectations about if and when the chopping will occur. It’s about trying to get away and almost making it by the skin of your teeth. But this one is low on chases and cat-and-mouse business. Most of the time Jason just appears out of nowhere to quickly slash somebody and then he’s gone before poor Daniel Pearl can get a clear shot of the bastard.

Then eventually they gotta figure out how to stop him, and if you had the audacity to start the series over I trust you came up with a good one, right? Nope. They just do a half-assed retread of the psychological trick she pulls in Part 2, but without any of the careful setup or the pulpy visuals where he imagines her as his dead mother. Apparently there’s something about a locket I’m supposed to remember from the beginning.

The character of Jason is kind of changed. He’s so limber (“athletic” the producers like to say) that he doesn’t seem like a lumbering mongoloid on the loose anymore. That makes it feel less like a Jason movie, but there’s one or two nice moments because of it. I like when they pan out the window of the cabin and it looks like he’s not there but then you see it’s because he’s standing on the roof waiting to pounce.

There’s a making-of thing on the DVD that’s responsible for some of my harshness toward these producers. When they explain the thinking behind the movie you get the idea that thinking is not really their thing. One of them says that if you make a movie like this you have to decide if Jason is supernatural or not, and if he’s not then you gotta explain why he can catch up with people when he’s chasing them through the woods, and the reason they came up with is he has underground tunnels.

Now, if they got a hard-on for tunnels for some reason that’s fine I guess. I don’t know how the fuck Jason built those things, or why this is supposed to improve the movie, but fine. I don’t got a huge problem with the tunnels, but I don’t think his logic cuts the mustard because:

1. This Jason doesn’t really chase people through the woods all that much. If this is your big idea to explain his chasing people and then appearing in front of them, don’t you have to have a scene where he chases people and then appears in front of them? If there was a scene like that I already forgot it I guess.

2. How exactly is a tunnel gonna make him move faster, anyway? I don’t buy it. If anything it’s gonna slow him down because he has to climb in and out. I didn’t see a conveyor belt in there, or a skateboard or a Segway. Maybe if they were big pneumatic tubes it would work, although there would be kind of a popping sound that would make him less scary in my opinion.

3. Most importantly, how the fuck are you gonna tell me you didn’t consider Jason supernatural? In the opening he’s a kid who drowned. Then he is an alive person who grows up and continues to be alive. You’re telling me he’s not supernatural, you just made a continuity error? (Somebody suggested maybe he escaped drowning through a tunnel.)

I’m not always against remakes but sometimes they seem condescending. They seem to believe the originals have aged poorly and can be improved on by explaining more, but then their explanation ends up being as stupid or more stupid than what was there in the first place. It’s like when somebody corrects my spelling and then spells a word wrong in the process, or when I say “Jim Jar-mush” and they say “you mean Jim Jar-MOOSH?” and then later I look it up on the internet and find out I was right in the first place you smarmy prick. See, Jason’s trademark of catching up to people without running doesn’t make sense – because it’s not supposed to make sense. That’s the whole concept, it’s scary because there is no explanation. This movie gives an explanation that’s supposed to make sense, but doesn’t. That, I believe, is what the kids call “fail.”

And it’s kind of the same thing with the hockey mask. I got a good laugh from the Platinum Dunes TEXAS CHAINSAW prequel because they thought it was important to show where Leatherface got his chainsaw, but then where he got it was it was sitting there on a fucking table. What a great story, it adds so many more layers of meaning to know it happened to be sitting there and then he picked it up.

Well, they do the same thing with the hockey mask! Jason kills a guy, and then there’s a hockey mask on the floor, no explanation, no previous establishing shot. So he picks it up. I mean, I don’t want there to be a meaning to the hockey mask (he took it from Shelly in part 3 was good enough for me) but what is with this “it happened to be sitting there” motif? If you’ve decided to go back seven movies and retell the story of him putting the mask on for the first time doesn’t that indicate that you have some cool idea for how to do that? If your idea is it was sitting on the floor I think that’s when it’s time for you to say you know what, I am not an idea guy. I’m gonna leave this movie to somebody else, anybody else.

Attention Platinum Dunes: pay attention to the opening credits of A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET where he builds the glove. I don’t want to see Freddy finding that thing sitting somewhere.

distressedIt’s also worth mentioning that the cool scuffed up mask from the teaser posters is how he finds it. He didn’t do any of that damage. You know how they sell pre-damaged t-shirts, jeans and hats, like you can’t be bothered to wear them out yourself? This is like that. This Jason’s a god damn poser!

I’m glad they didn’t try to “re-invent” him as much as they probaly sorely wanted to. I guess they gave him a blond mullet but luckily since they also don’t believe in getting a clear shot of anything except tits you can’t tell. There has been debate about whether or not Jason is supposed to be a pot farmer, killing people to protect his crops. You can definitely read it that way – he lives near marijuana crops, has a SEE NO EVIL style alarm system near them and kills several people who try to steal it. There’s a guy selling some of the pot but he mentions at one point that he just found it there (like Jason found his mask [helpful tip: if you find pot growing somewhere don’t just take it]). But I think another possible interpretation is that he just happens to live next to somebody else’s marijuana field and because he’s retarded he doesn’t see the connection between the plants and the dumb kids invading his privacy.

The biggest change to the character of Jason is that he keeps a girl locked up in his tunnel. Of course the ten previous incarnations of Jason would never do that. Kane Hodder, who played Jason four times, said he saw him as a t-rex, he’d just go after anything that moved.

Okay, so this is a major change. What does it add? What is the purpose? The purpose is that the hero is looking for his sister, so it’s nice to have her still alive. I don’t know what Jason’s motives are. I don’t know his methods. Was he bringing her meals? Was he giving her bathroom breaks? She doesn’t look too disheveled. Remember what Saddam looked like when he came out of that spider hole? And he had access to running water. This girl was chained up in a tunnel for either 4 or 6 weeks, depending on whether you believe what the brother says or what’s written onscreen.

I don’t mind them changing Jason’s M.O. if it’s gonna add something, but there’s nothing dramatic about a character you forgot about being chained up for the whole movie and not being able to escape. So this was another failure.

I would’ve forgiven all this dumb shit if there were some good chases and what not, some tension, maybe some surprises. I’ve seen worse but this one does not achieve passability. It needs the energy Steve Miner had back in the part 2 and 3 days. I think actually the score by Steve Jablonsky is a major culprit too. Until he switched over to keyboard in the later installments Harry Manfredini’s Bernard Herrman style scores were a big part of what made the movies effective. It’s rare that I beg for a more bombastic score, but this one’s mostly a bunch of drones like you’d have on a real serious, not-trying-to-be-fun horror movie. I honestly think if you put some of the old Manfredini music over the climax of this thing it would seem about 5 times more exciting.

I checked some Fangorias from recent months, and according to the interviews all the people who worked on this movie are huge fans and trying really hard to make a great FRIDAY THE 13TH. I’ll take their word for it, but trying or not they didn’t get there. I’ll go ahead and say it’s better than JASON TAKES MANHATTAN, but not as funny. They just never seem like they’re trying very hard. A good symbol of the movie’s lack of effort is the opening title. It doesn’t come onscreen until 24 minutes in, long after you forgot they haven’t shown the title. I love that and it sets up a great opportunity for a kickass title sequence that makes everybody cheer.

So they just fade a small logo in gently with a quiet “kill kill kill”-esque echo. I guess part of the idea with “rebooting” the series must’ve been that they hated how the title sequences were always awesome and wanted to get rid of that whole outmoded idea. I mean why would you want to do something like this:

and get everybody excited and whooping and hollering? I’m sure there’s some poll that proves modern audiences don’t like excitement.

Somebody asked me which was better between HALLOWEEN remake and this. I didn’t really know how to answer because HALLOWEEN has so many more parts that are just howlingly wrong-headed, but at the same time it seems like it’s trying harder. To me that one’s kind of an interesting failure, this one is more of a boring failure.

Oh well, I’m not pleased but it could’ve been worse. It definitely comes closer to working than their TEXAS CHAINSAW did six years ago. So at this rate I’d say they’ll be ready to competently remake THE BURNING in about 2021. Or maybe we’ll get lucky, they’ll all discover their inner selves, quit the business, apologize and sell the rights to somebody that could make a pretty good part 2.

(Sorry for the length on this one, you know how I get about these things. At least it’s not as bad as my one for the HILLS HAVE EYES remake. And that was for one I actually liked.)

This entry was posted on Tuesday, June 16th, 2009 at 6:15 pm and is filed under Horror, Reviews. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

67 Responses to “Friday the 13th (2009)”

  1. I got to see a sneak preview, so I didn’t have to give these sonsabitches my money. Seems like every time I get to see a movie for free, it sucks. Get what you pay for, I guess.

    I agree with everything you said, but I think you’re undervaluing the importance of the “kills.” I’m not asking that they all be crazy, over-the-top, paint-the-walls-red splatterectomies, but at least one of them should have been. A good slasher movie needs–in addition to all the stuff you mentioned like suspense and excitement and being able to see stuff and that stuff that you’re able to see actually being worth seeing–at least one good showstopper that nobody’s ever done before. It’s particularly important for the Friday series, since the first one was really the one that brought gratuitous gore to the masses for the first time. There’s a legacy to uphold, and the remake dropped that motherfucker right in the dirt.

  2. Good point. The Tom Savini gore effects were one of the biggest reasons for the success of the original FRIDAY THE 13TH, and they continued to try to come up with inventive deaths throughout the series (and were still doing it in part 10). I did like about 3 of the ideas here, though none of them were impressive special effects or anything.

    My point though, that I think you agree with, is that you also gotta have a good buildup in order for the “kills” to be worth a damn.

  3. Totally. Gore’s not the most important thing, but it certainly helps. If you don’t know how to create suspense or atmosphere or excitement, the least you can do is spend Michael Bay’s millions on some latex heads or something.

  4. Having endured his most recent filmatization, Vern, what do you think the chances of Nispel putting together a couple of decent swordfights in Conan are?

    I haven’t made it through Pathfinder (Vikings vs Indians – to quote William Hurt in AHOV “HOW do you fuck that up?) – which seems to be evidence that Nispel has already failed to make a Conan film.

    Just wondering if there was any hope: Clear, coherent spatial awareness during action sequences? Editing that serves and punctuates action rather than obfuscating it?

    Anyway – fantastic review. I prefer it when you stretch your legs a bit. Oh, and what’s with the Bay&M ? I can’t stop laughing at it and I don’t know why.

  5. Maybe if I had listened to the commentary and the special features I would feel differently, but I did like this movie, I enjoyed seeing it in the theater. I thought the kills were well done, enjoyed the different sort of energy that the new Jason guy and I thought that there was some actual attempts to change up the flow of what we as slasher movie fans are used to.

    Examples: I liked that the writers and actors tried to make the main group of kids somewhat sympathetic and cheer-on-able, outside of Hero Guy and Girl and Asshole and Slutty One. We all know the scene where a soon to be carcass wanders off away from the rest of the group into the killer’s territory, well here the character acknowledges that going off is dangerous but he has a friend who needs help and he has to try to save him. Points for that.

    Vern’s right about the whole sister thing being ill-defined, and in fact while watching the final chase scene I occasionally got confused as to which one was the sister and which was the sort of tag along girl to the point that when HUGE SPOILER
    the TAG got killed I actually thought it was the sister that had died and didn’t realize until later which was which. Having said that, I appreciate that they tried something new, tried to mix up Jason’s character and behavior and throw new twists at the audience. The filmmakers clearly had no idea how to execute these things, but I do appreciate these signs of life.

    And y’know, I am gonna disagree with Vern about the tension aspect of the movie. I think the opening section with the first group of kids does a great job of just getting crazier and crazier and crazier as time goes on. It just keeps getting bigger and louder and building and building and then right at the absolute height of mayhem it cuts to black and then titles.

    Consider also the scene where a major character bites it. He’s being chased by Jason and gets to the road, away from him. A big truck pulls up and we can’t see the driver, only an arm, silently gesturing for the guy to approach. We’ve seen that Jason has access to motor vehicles, it is not a stretch to think it’s him, pulling a Michael Myers in the Real Halloween. So as he approaches the car, silently and slowly I’m just like “Oh shit it’s Jason, oh shit it’s Jason, oh shit it’s Jason, oh shit it’s Jas- oh, eait it’s not Jason it’s just some other gu- OH SHIT THERE’S JASON, HE’S GOT THE MACHETE OUT, DUDE’S FUCKED!” And then the movie’s true best, most satisfying kill happens. This is good stuff.

  6. Well vern don’t know if you remember or not but I was one of the original 13 who sent you a review when you requested them (I was the one with the story of the lady who brought her 9/12 year old there and then got up and started bitching about the film’s content). I hated it pretty bad and ranked it the worst of the series.

    excerpt that sums up my feelings:
    > -(ala ‘Transformers’) Bay & friends decided to treat the film as a joke. ‘It’s suppose to be stupid!!’ aka they didn’t even attempt to make a real film here just a bunch of clichéd scenes practically laughing at people who paid money for this garbage saying with each passing scene “Ha ha Isn’t this stupid? Can you believe anyone actually watches this crap? Oh wait… YOU watch this crap? HA HA HA Man are you stupid!”

    Totally agree telf, first thing I thought of when they announced Nispel for ‘Conan’, I was like, “Uh… guys? He already did one and it didn’t end up so well.”

    Mr. Majestyk I have the same problem. Same thing here, every free movie I go to sucks: ‘Forces of Nature’, ‘The Faculty’, ‘that shitty thriller that came out last year about the guy with the website that streamed live murders’, ‘some shitty Fatal Attraction knock-off but with teens’ and guess what? I told all my friends I wasn’t going to give them my money this time and right now I’m holding in my hand a free pass for two for visionary director Michael Bay’s ‘Transformers II: Revenge of the Fail’. Please don’t look down on me too much, you got it if you bought 50 bucks worth of shit in the men’s department at K-Mart… and I needed pants…

  7. I haven’t seen this yet but I spoke to a lot of people about it and there seems to be quite a few cases of TRANSFORMERS syndrome, where people are saying “Hey, the source material sucks, what do you want, Shakespeare?” It’s true, most of the FRIDAY THE 13TH films are pretty dire, but I’d like nothing more than a new Jason film that scares my pants off. I was pretty intrigued when I heard about the changes they were making (eg re-imagining Jason as a skilled hunter instead of a “lumbering mongoloid”) but by most accounts the changes haven’t amounted to much.

  8. TELF: Geography and editing-wise I would say FRIDAY THE 13TH is not nearly as bad as Michael Bay, but has mild symptoms of his syndrome. I wondered what the fuck they were thinking hiring Nispel for CONAN since if I’m not mistaken PATHFINDER made less than $25 at the box office and was never seen by anyone who didn’t think it was a piece of shit. But to be fair I have not seen it so for all I know I would be the one guy who thought it was brilliant.

    Really bums me out though, they put out this list of directors in the running and every time it goes to the worst guy on the list. I was hoping Christophe Gans would get it although he doesn’t exactly have a spotless track record either. But at least he hasn’t struck out every single time like Nispel.

    BRENDAN: Well, it definitely wasn’t that effective on me, but I think I can see where you’re coming from there. I hope my review was fair, I listed some things I sincerely thought were good.

  9. well at least it had nice boobies

  10. Vern´s description of the the whole tunnel thing is hilarious. I don´t watch any of these horror remakes but I love reading Vern´s reviews of them.

  11. Maybe Robert E. Howard shot himself because he had this premonition of Nispel directing a Conan movie.

  12. Inspired review

    Now going to watch this based on Vern’s comments. Might double bill it with My Bloody Valentine.

    Wonder if my head will explode with the banality of it all ? Or this missus will demand i switch it off after 5 minutes. Her bullshit detector is a lot more sensitive than my own.

  13. caruso_stalker217

    June 17th, 2009 at 3:18 am

    Damn. Kinda feel like I want to watch this now. I know I’ll hate it. But then I knew I’d hate Zombie’s HALLOWEEN and I’ve ended up loving it. And even, God help me, preferring it over the original.

    May I burn in Hell forever and ever.

  14. Great. Now I can’t stop imaging Jason on a Segway.
    Fun Fact: Because part 1 is still in trouble with the German Movie Censors*, the remake had to show a disclaimer before its start, that told the audience that this was NOT the original and therefore is a different movie. And believe me, if someone had told me this before, I seriously would have gone to the theatre, just for the disclaimer!

    *it has still more luck than the first Evil Dead, because while Friday The 13th can be purchased and rented uncut on DVD over here, The Evil Dead is still banned!

  15. Vern, there’s nothing in your review that isn’t fair or unjustified. Like I said, if I had listened to the commentaries and watched documentaries with those assholes rambling on about bullshit reasons for the different stuff, maybe I would have felt differently. But having no attachment to this movie other then seeing this movie and reading a couple reviews, I haven’t paid any attention to the media surronding this movie. And from that perspective I stand by my comments that from a script and acting perspective, this is a movie filled with genuine attempts to try new things and bring Jason back into pop culture consciousness. The director obviously blundered certain aspects but not to many to ruin the movie.

    Couple Points: I am genuinely excited to see the Elm Street movie, but not because of my enjoyment of this movie (this is the only Platinum Dunes movie I liked by the way) but because I really want to see Freddy Kruegger be scary again and stay away from one liners. Elm Street also has Jackie Earle Haley, and he was the absolute best part of Watchmen, and this is coming from someone who fucking loved Watchmen.

    Worst movie in the franchise? C’mon, I can understand not liking this movie, but from a simple notbeingcompleteshit standard it’s better then Manhattan and V, and it rivals a couple of the others. I really hate taking the defensive position with this movie because it is not so good that I’m passionate about it and determined to make you guys see it my way, but I did enjoy it and am sort of shocked to see this much anger and vitrol towards it. I honestly thought that if someone didn’t like it, it was a movie that could immediately be forgotten and moved on from. This level of anger and rage is baffling to me.

  16. For the record, if this was a “Fuck Rob Zombie and his fucking shit Halloween movie” I would be right there with everyone else ripping it to shreds. I hated that fucking thing.

  17. My cousin forced me into seeing this and I’ll admit it to you all right now: I have never seen any of the old Friday’s. No particular reason why – I guess being born in 1988 means they all kind of passed me by. But yeah, anyway, this fucking sucked and knowing this douche is going to ruin the Conan reboot (although to be fair I really blame the idiotic producers who actively sought out Brett Fucking Ratner before they even came to this dick – clearly they do not give a fuck) makes me rather upset.

  18. Brendan, I gotta respectfully disagree with you here: I don’t think there’s one ounce of imagination or inspiration in this thing. I’m no Bay hater (I’m the guy who defended Transformers, remember?), but his team clearly had no idea what they were going for here. Half of it is all “Ha ha, it’s campy and silly! Like the eighties! Radical! Boobs!” and the other half is all “This isn’t your older brother’s Jason! It’s gritty and real! Jason has to run now and the camera shakes! It’s The Voorhees Supremacy!” I think the two approaches cancel each other out. I couldn’t enjoy it as goofy fun, nor was it ever legitimately intense or frightening. The changes they made to Jason’s character that were supposed to add depth or something just made him inelegant and awkward (like when Bruce the Shark was out for revenge instead of just being, you know, a shark) and the lack of thought put into finding the mask, showing the backstory, and “killing” Jason at the end were just deplorable. It’s like they went out of their way to choose the least interesting route. I’ll admit that the movie had its moments, but not enough to carry me through. By God, at least V and VIII were ridiculous and fun. I’ll take that over competent and well-shot anyday.

    I can understand where you’re coming from if you’re not a big fan of the series. But Jason means a lot to me, and I feel that they took away everything that made him interesting. The worst part about it is not necessarily the movie itself, but that this will no doubt be the direction the series will continue in. Once you reboot something, it can never be unbooted. I’ll never get the Jason I love back, and that saddens me.

    But don’t worry. I’ll probably forgive it someday. It took me 15 years, but I eventually forgave Jason Goes To Hell, if only for that awesome opening. And just to show how optimistic I am, I’m actually kind of intrigued by the prospect of the sequel taking place in the winter. Jason in the snow could be cool. Just don’t hire Nispel. He did the impossible task of making vikings boring. There’s clearly no hope for the man.

  19. My dislike of the film isn’t major. In fact I have barely given the film a thought since I saw it in theaters last. Me giving into that internet attitude I rally against so much. I guess one reason I get like that for that thing is because I was really looking forward to it despite me knowing better, I figured ‘how could even Michael Bay screw up a F13 film?’ that was my first mistake right there and honestly they actually did follow the formula pretty close and do everything the same mostly so as I stated in my review to vern I was a bit baffled and felt hypocritical for not liking thing one and liking the others. Another reason why is because of the reboot’s snarky feeling as I said in my previous post. The other reason why is because of the recurring event that happened the following week, ala with ‘Transformers’ when I stated that I have a low opinion of it everyone is my Monday night jumped on me on not thinking it was one the greatest movie ever made. It’s like living inside the internet.

    As for me saying it’s the worst of the series, that’s just my thinking is all. Part V I always only though was “OK” and felt the hate for it was silly all because at the end you find out ‘it’s not the real Jason’, that said I didn’t mind it but no it is not the best of the series. ‘Manhattan’ is one I disliked when I first saw it but since then I grew to enjoy it even though no one else does. I don’t know for some reason I like that one’s style and atmosphere, makes me forgive it after-the-fact for having a misleading title.

    That said I recently rewatched ‘Jason Goes To Hell’. I used to have a soft spot for this one since it tried to do something different and defended it on that basis for years but I got to be honest and say it was hard for me to get through it when I watched it again a few months ago post-F13 remake. So now that I think about it I will actually retract my statement from February and say I probably do like the reboot more than ‘Hell.’

    so if I did come off as ‘typical hyperbolic internet nerd’ I sincerely apologize since I am striving to be better than that both in life and on the internet.

    -as an aside: there’s too many problems in Zombie’s ‘Halloween’ for me to say I ‘liked’ it but I must say I liked what he was going for but he was not successful to say the least.

  20. I liked Rob Zombie’s Halloween, but after Devil’s Rejects I would have prefered that he kept up with doing originals. The guy has a pretty healthy imagination. He should use it to create something new instead of wasting it on remakes.

    (This is the part where you’re going to hate me. Go easy, I’m fragile.)

    I never got into Halloween as much as everyone else and I concede that I’m probably missing something. Halloween and The Fog are my two least favorite John Carpenter movies, it must be a Jamie Lee Curtis thing since she seems to be the constant.

    That being said, I still break out Halloween once in a while in the hopes that one day I’ll get it but once I put it in, I usually take it out after about a half hour and watch The Thing instead. I will say that the opening scene to Halloween is fucking awesome. The Fog is a lost cause though, I just plain can’t stand that movie.

    As for this Nispel fella, he did a cool video for Faith No More back when. I even liked that Lionel Richie and that Meatloaf video Michael Bay did. I wish they would consider playing to their strengths, but I guess music video directors don’t make as much as bad filmmakers. That’s too bad. At least we get Vern’s reviews of their movies so there is a silver lining. It’s the only reason I’m anticipating Transformers 2: Blowin’ Trannies.

    Oh yeah…Great review Vern. That was fucking epic!

  21. For the record I wasn’t ragging you guys for disliking this movie and saying so, you all made good points. It’s sort of weird for me to be having this discussion on the side I’m on, seeing as how among my horror fan friends and co-workers I’m the purist one that will tear your ear off for justifying shitty remakes. I only watched RZ’s Halloween because one of them told me that if you watched it as a slasher movie with no attachment to Michael Myers, it was a good movie. I disagreed and told him so. For like four hours. Loudly.
    I have no nostalgiac, emotional attachment to who Jason Voorhees and his movies, that much is true. I don’t hold the opinion that “They all suck, so it’s alright that this new one sucks,” that’s bullshit, they’re fun, atmospheric slasher movies, most of which have a sense of humor about themselves and seem to possess an awareness of their own formula and play around with it, mixing it up. I think this new one has the same sort of energy, same sort of drive, but if you’re a die hard Jason faithful and feel betrayed by this movie, well then I’m sorry you didn’t have a better time. On the plus side the old ones just got released on DVD or blu-Ray or holographic projection or whatever thing they have so everyone wins.

  22. Hamslime, there’s your problem. You can’t take out Halloween after a half-hour. It doesn’t really kick in until the last 20 minutes. Then it’s pretty much a master class in horror movie mechanics. Fast-forward through the middle section if you must (though I wouldn’t recommend it–if you can slow down to its pace, it has its own low-key pleasures) but once Jamie Lee goes to check on the other babysitters, it’s damn-near perfect.

    Zombie’s Halloween I kind of liked, even though I was against the idea of “explaining” Michael’s evil. The whole point is that there is no point. Sometimes motherfuckers are just evil. That’s why it’s scary. Ironically, the parts of the movie I liked best were at the beginning. I’d rather have seen Zombie turn that crazy mixed-up kid into his own killer rather than trying to shoehorn him into a half-assed Halloween redo, which was what the second half of the movie was. I’m oddly excited for H2, when Zombie can really let it rip with his own story.

  23. geofferyjar you are way to well-spoken and well thought out to be one of those assholes. Being passionate and being a douche are two different things, so rest easy.

  24. I’m not really a fan of Carpenter’s Halloween either. After the opening it just gets boring and pretty one-note. The only part of the Remake that I really dislike is even the part, that REALLY is just a remake of the original, because it has all the same problems. I even think that the childhood scenes succeeds, just because there is still no explaination of what made him so evil. (Yes, I know 99,5% of the viewers think that Zombie blames it on the white trash, but come on, he maybe had an abusive stepfather, but if I remember right, he already was a psycho before he got a new dad. His sister wasn’t worse than other older sisters and his mother loved him, even after he killed the spy kid!)

    But to stay on topic: I seriously doubt that you would enjoy Pathfinder, Vern. Just because of its visual style. I am someone who never had any problems, with following what’s going on during Michael Bay’s movies. I wasn’t even distracted by Cloverfield, but I seriously had no fucking idea what was going on in any action scene in Pathfinder! It’s not just the crazy editing, but also that he started to DEFORM the pictures in some scenes, while he sets another every five frames! Not even Bourne 3 was so difficult to follow and that one gave me a headache for the rest of the day! (And of course, the rest of the movie sucks too.)

  25. i’m not to worried about Nispel doing Conan by the way. I think he’s an absolute blank as a director, he’ll take whatever you give him and hand it right back to you without any arguement. Devin over at Chud wrote an article saying how it was the two producers who were making all the sort of artistic calls and Nispel just handled setting up the camera and maing it look nice. So if the Conan script is decent and the producers have their shit together, I see no reason why Conan can’t work.

  26. Okay, let me first say that I enjoyed this remake, but I didn’t flip for it. It was fun, I would say it’s about mid-range F-13. Nothing to write home about. And let me also say that I think Vern did a good job of explaining why he didn’t like it. I don’t fully agree, but the review is fair.

    However, I have to take issue with one part of the review. When you say:

    “It’s about trying to get away and almost making it by the skin of your teeth. But this one is low on chases and cat-and-mouse business. Most of the time Jason just appears out of nowhere to quickly slash somebody and then he’s gone before poor Daniel Pearl can get a clear shot of the bastard.”

    Sorry man, I think you might be looking at the old films with rose-colored glasses. They aren’t chase-filled, suspense-heavy nail-biters. A typical old F-13 sequel is made up 90% of scenes of Jason randomly popping up and murdering the shit out of someone, sometimes with buildup, but just as often without. It’s only the last 15 minutes, when most of the characters have been picked off, when it becomes a chase movie. EXACTLY like how the remake was structured.

    That said, I’m sure you could make a great case that the originals had better kills, better buildups, and better climactic chases. But let’s not pretend that they weren’t as crassly payoff-happy as the remake. That’s just nostalgia talking.

    Also, regarding the title credits: when I saw the remake in the theater on opening night, the audience DID whoop and holler at the screen. Although I admit it might have been better with an exploding logo and disco music.

  27. Mr. Majestyk – I’ve seen Halloween all the way through about three or four times and I’ll probably give it another shot in a day or two now that I’m thinking of it. I feel kind of left out that I’m not getting what everyone else is out of it and I LOVE John Carpenter but I’m just not feeling Halloween.

    I can handle slower movies, (Primer is one of my favorites) but something doesn’t click with me when it comes to Halloween.

    In fact, I think I’ll watch Halloween again tonight. I will keep your suggestion in mind and thanks for not hating me.

    Now that I’m thinking of it, I don’t believe I’ve seen any of the Halloween sequels. (Not counting the remake of course) I don’t know how that plays into things, but there it is.

  28. Oof. HALLOWEEN a “slower movie”? When I think of slow movies, I think of Bela Tarr, Andrei Tarkovsky, Gus Van Sant’s “Death Trilogy.” I definitely do not think of the films of John Carpenter.

    I can’t abide by the suggestion of fast forwarding through it either, the build up is what’s great about it, and the ending wouldn’t work without it. I guess I understand that some of the events are a little mundane, at least on a surface level, but there’s so much tension because Michael is always following the girls, always watching. We’re not just watching the girls go about their day, we’re watching the girls being watched by Michael. It’s voyeurism that adds so much to the film.

    Of course, I can dig why this wouldn’t be everyone’s cup of tea. I just never realized anyone thought it was too slow before.

  29. Saw this yesterday and man did it suck. As a fan of the later Friday the 13ths and tolerator of the earlier ones, this “reboot” has none of the fun of the former and is actually slower than the latter. This comment will be full of SPOILERS so look away if you don’t like that.

    First let me get my preferences about the earlier movies out of the way so I can be declared an idiot. The top three Jason movies in order are Freddy vs. Jason, Jason X and Friday the 13th Part VII. I might put Part VII higher but the slickness and quantity of kills of the other two leaes it where it is. However, Part VII is where the real creative kills, the real funny kills, came in and is often cited by the later “filmmakers” as inspiration, particularly the “girls sews herself up in the sleeping bag which Jason lifts and bashes against a tree.” Part VII is the one with the chick with psychic powers and thus has the great final battle, but even before that it has a lot of laughs, the party horn through the eye and other fun shit. Jason X made fun the top priority, but didn’t shirk the creative kills. Set in the future it also tossed in more potential victims thanks to having the traditional kids plus space marines. Gotta love the frozen chick’s face smashed in and the dude on the giant corkscrew. And then there’s Freddy vs. Jason which was both slickly produced and allowed Jason to hit a party with loads of victims. The battles with Freddy and Jason are great but so are a bunch of the Jason standard kills. The movie was loads of fun and ridiculous.

    What did these three Jason appearances also have in common? Supernatural Jason. The fun Jason who slowly walked while the victims ran yet somehow he still caught up. The one who took stabbings and just kept on coming. That Jason was an unstoppable mutant force, a funny and dumb concept that worked great. In this “reboot” however, while Jason is deformed, he’s basically just a regular human and killer. He actually thinks about shit rather than “rampaging” in his peculiar way. And that just isn’t fun, and it isn’t Jason.

    Hanging a chick over a fire, using bear traps, using a bow, keeping someone alive (even if he thinks she’s his mother), these aren’t Jason moves. Sure he’s moved bodies around before but not to this methodical extent. He’s set up like a serial killer not a monster.

    The movie is also agonizingly slow. This has been a problem in past movies when there just weren’t enough victims available, an easy problem to fix. There are a few decent kills but nothing on the level of the three movies I mentioned above. When it finally “revs up” at the end there has been no tension built and there are too few people alive for there to be a big payoff.

    At this point I’m gonna do something I try not to do: suggest what I would have done in the “filmmaker’s” place in regard to the opening. As a “reboot” they made one cool decision, showing the origin of the series (where Jason’s mom was the killer) in a condensed opening. I would have gone a bit further with this part. Instead of moving forward to “present day” I would have had another title card showing a few years later with Jason killing at the camp with the bag on his head and then seemingly killed. That would be followed by another few years and Jason reappearing with the hockey mask and getting a bunch of kills in a montage before being driven into the lake, the mask falling to the lake’s floor as it does at the end. That’s where I would have started the movie, with the supernatural Jason’s birth. Of course it should have been a return to Camp Crystal Lake being reopened ten years later, kids with cell phones snapping pics that auto-upload to their Facebook page as they were being butchered, but that’s neither here nor there.

    Bottom line: supernatural Jason more fun, more potential victims always better, creative kills a necessity. This one sucked.

  30. Took a look at this last night, expecting to either enjoy it or get all worked up about how bad it was. But really, my final reaction was almost nothing. Its professional enough in its way, I guess, but why the fuck did they even make this? It certainly in no way improves on the original, or even on the sequels, yet it just resets everything back to the basics so there’s none of the crazy escalation that went on throughout the sequels.

    Maybe I’m in the minority here, but if you absolutely have to remake something classic, I’d prefer you just change it completely and let it be its own thing. A classic is so much about the little things — the right conjunction of actors, directors, and other filmatists. They don’t even have to be independently great, just great together. You’re never going to be able to recapture that magic, even if you can figure out what it is that you liked about it (and these Platinum Dunes films don’t even seem to get that far). Remaking “Friday the 13th” (part 2ish) — which is not really even particularly dated, for what it is– without any kind of new vision for it is just pointless, and I can’t imagine it as anything other than a cash grab. The movie’s professional enough that I can well believe the people who made it did care about the franchise, but come on, this movie was for money, not because someone felt like they had a story to tell.

  31. Patrick Stephenson

    June 17th, 2009 at 2:20 pm

    Not mentioned in this review, but worth mentioning, is the movie’s unsubtle racism. The only two non-white characters are desexualized lame-os. The black guy, if I remember correctly, is shown attempting to masturbate to a SEARS catalog while Patrick Bateman has sex upstairs. The Asian guy gets hardcore rejected by the hot blonde and also does a shot out of his gross shoe. Pathetic characters both. The question is whether this is the movie’s self-aware-but-still-guilty deconstruction of racism in slasher films. Or, whether it’s just flat-out racist and not self-aware at all. I pick #2.

    Also, you didn’t mention the guy losing his virginity to a mannequin. That was one of the enjoyable parts of the movie for me.

  32. Your bit about the tunnels is classic and dead on. I think you’re the only critic who would pick up on something like that. Usually critics avoid tackling producer intent head on like that. Like it’s against the critics code or something.
    It recalls when Roger Ebert quoted liberally from the press kit of MIghty Morphin Power Rangers The Movie.

  33. These guys have thankfully given up on remaking THE BIRDS and ROSEMARYS BABY. Their stated reasons have been they just can’t “crack” the stories. The stories have already been cracked decades ago so don’t bother guys. The new Friday, I didn’t hate it but I didn’t like it much either.

  34. Patrick, I already forgot about that stuff otherwise I definitely would’ve mentioned the jerking off to the Sears catalog. Not necessarily in a racial context but in a “what the fuck is this?” context. The guy just starts jerking off in the living room with like 6 other people nearby.

  35. I haven’t seen any of the FRIDAY 13TH movies (apart from a few scenes from the one in Manhattan and the one with the guy with the stripey jumper) and probably won’t see this one. Good review, as always. I appreciated the clip of all the opening titles – a lot of them seem to explode, but I’m guessing from reading about all these “kills” that explosives are not a big thing. Bit misleading with the titles, but the James Bond one for JASON LIVES is great.

  36. On a vaguely related horror note – I watched Dawn of the Dead and Day of the Dead today and holy fuck they’re awesome. I was suprised at how much I liked Day as everyone talks about it as if it’s the poorest of the trilogy, but I thought it was fantastically atmospheric and claustrophobic. Better than Dawn in fact.

    Whilst Dawn had some great moments of horror it was a bit campier with it all and the finale builds up to this depressing “oh shit the main guy is gonna kill himself whislt zombies take back the mall” but then suddenly cuts to this A-Team style music and the dude starts karate chopping his way through zombies to the helicopter. It was awesome in a “lolz cheesy but awesome” way but I much prefer Day’s really fucked up finale with all of the soldiers being torn apart. Also I love Bub, the guy playing him completely sold me on what could have been a bit silly.

    Checked your review list Vern but can’t see any reviews for the Dead trilogy, but you do have Land and Diary reviews up. Would be cool if you could go through the trilogy some time.

  37. I’ve seen this , and I didn’t like it , too . I mean my favorite will always be JASON X , that’s how you make a sequel , try a new direction ( in space ) and DO all the cool things the new setting has to offer ( but , to be fair , Hellraiser did it before , with hilarious results!). But I enjoy the other Fridays , especially the goofy things , like the “OOH baby-dying-while-taking-a-crap” scene. You KNOW they were having fun!! This is not fun : quick cuts , lame jokes and fast-tunnel-digging-athletic-Jason. Everything must be FAST!!! Fast zombies , fast hulking transforming robots , fast Jason. Even in the trailer for the fucking G.I. Joe they have to make them FASTER with some crappy Power Rangers suits! It seems they all have the same idea. And in the future:

    1) Aliens prequel- re-imagining : A pizza delivery guy finds ALIEN!! in his car , while searching for some missing keys.Horror ensues.

    2) New Hellraiser (2011): A guy finds the Le Merchant Box at the bar then ……FAST Cenobites!!!! ( Man….that’s just wrong..)

    3)The Thing prequel (2010) : The story of the dog…but FAST!!!

  38. Dude, they did that Aliens prequel thing in the second Alien vs. Predator movie. I shit you not. It’s about a pizza boy who lost his keys. Also, there’s a girl with a bellybutton. Clearly, these are iconic characters steeped in myth and mystery.

  39. They did a The Thing prequel also. It was in video game form, but it was a damned fine game if you ask me. The story wasn’t bad either from what I remember although video game narative and movie narative are two different beasts. Even still, a The Thing prequel could work in theory but I doubt it will.

    I wish more remakes could be as awesome as The Thing and The Fly and even Dawn of The Dead. (I said I enjoyed Rob Zombie’s Halloween remake but that’s debateable as I know there’s a lot who don’t like it) I think the problem is that the only motivation behind them is money. There’s no inspiration behind them and it usually shows.

    I would love to see a Gremlins remake (or Gremlins anything for that matter) done using the original (much darker) script. To me, that’s what remakes should be about. Take an idea already realized and have a different INTERESTING take on it.

    I thought the Psycho remake for it’s time was an interesting idea. Pointless? Maybe, but the idea of doing a shot-for-shot remake was a neat concept and it was inspired at least. However, now that it’s been done it doesn’t need to be done again.

    Everytime I hear something along the lines of, “We want so and so’s blessing” or, “I’ve been a huge fan of ‘whatever’ and want to do something to please the fans” that’s a huge red flag. Do it because you’re inspired or leave it the fuck alone, otherwise you may as well title your remake, “$$$: The Movie”.

    To bring up the Psycho and Halloween remakes again, at least they came from somewhere honest and not as a means to exploit a franchise.

  40. Catch 42 – you’re right, I don’t think I’ve reviewed the Dead trilogy. It’s funny because I’ve watched them all many times. Some movies I just think go without saying so I forget to write about them. I oughta watch them all close together and write about them, I don’t think I’ve ever done that before.

  41. I could have sworn you’ve done reviews of the Dead trilogy before, but I think it’s only because you’ve mentioned them so many times in your reviews. Day is your favourite, right?

    Have you seen the trailer for Seagal’s new one The Keeper?
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GVchDWWAQgs
    Features Seagal rocking the cowboy hat plus a “Seagal is…” tagline.

  42. Mr. Majestyk : Yes , that’s the thing I’ve hated the most in AVP , going from Jesse Ventura to pizza-guy. My only spin to that fantastic idea is that pizza-guy finds ALIEN in the car , just like that. What a revealing moment…..and the same goes for my beloved Hellraiser , I KNOW they will find the Configuration Box lying around in some uninspired location , instead of the original bartering scene. And , again , imagine a speedy Pinhead !!!!

    hamslime : There’s a “Thing” videogame ? Wow , I didn’t know. I’ve got to check this videogame remakes , if I somehow find the time. I’ve heard that the “Hard Boiled” videogame sequel is pretty good , and now the Thing? They can’t be as bad as the recent line of movie remakes……

  43. And , hamslime , I think that The Thing from Another World (1951) is already a prequel to the Carpenter sequel-remake.The movie is full of references to the original , and some of the sets are the same. Carpenter made a remake-sequel expanding the original idea , paying homage to it and sticking closer to the source material ( the book). That’s how you do it , my friends.

  44. I’m always late to the F13 remake discussion party. I have to say that the guy who said that Jason was interesting. Jason has never been interesting. He’s just a guy that kills people. You never get much in the way of pathos or anything. It’s basically the Shark from Jaws. The people he kills are supposed to be the interesting ones.

    I think my like of it is that I liked seeing a bigger budget slasher film than the bullshit I’ve seen lately like Hatchet and Laid to Rest. Those are the real stinkers but for some reason people hold them up as what slasher movies are supposed to be.

  45. I watched this last night. I like how they hit on all the stereotypes, especially the one where the black kid says he wants to start a record label and the girl asks him if it’s a rap label and he says “why, because I’m black you’d assume it’s rap” and she backs off and then he laughs and says it’s a rap label. Totally retarded. I also liked the high strung Asian kid who can’t hold his liquor. But my favorite line in this lame movie was during the epic sex scene where douchebag dude tells the hot chick that she has “perfect nipple placement”.

    Great review, Vern. I especially like the “distressed” rant and picture. The Michael Bay M&M is genius. You made my day.

  46. In case it’s not clear, that Michael Bay M&M is from a real M&Ms ad. He’s standing there with a movie camera aimed at some Transformers that are fighting in front of the pyramids. It’s not very believable because he’s far enough back to get the whole robots in frame, obviously if he were a real Michael Bay M&M he’d be about two feet away from them and yelling racist comments at the Reeses Pieces on his crew.

    In the uncropped picture he has big sneakers on, making it really noticeable that he’s not wearing pants.

  47. Also, shouldn’t we be referring to Jason as “special needs” rather than retarded or mongoloid?

  48. That M&M Michael Bay is totally unrealistic because it doesn’t have nose with which to snort cocaine off of the candy-coated ass of the hot green M&M.

  49. Kermit – yeah, the Thing videogame is alright, but Stranglehold (the Hard-Boiled sequel game) is awesome – totally underrated. My guess is that most people played it on Normal difficulty, so you spend most of your adrenaline healing yourself, which basically leaves you with a pretty average 3rd-person shooter. My suggestion is to play through it on Easy mode, where the adrenaline can be better spent on things like shooting people in the nuts and clearing a room, whilst spinning around firing two guns, whilst doves fly around you. Sure you’ll feel like a pussy, but the carnage is INSANE. The story is kinda lame though and wouldn’t pass for a real Hard-Boiled sequel, but maybe they’ll fix that in the next one.

  50. Thanks , neal2zod , now I know the Hard Boiled videogame is actually called “Stranglehold”. Since I’m pretty fucking stupid , I was searching for “Hard Boiled Playstation” in the few gaming websites I know!!! And now I know that John Woo himself is in the game , just like in the movie!!! How cool is that ? Thanks again , man!

  51. spot on review. this movie was boring. shakey cam was even worse than i expected. no tension, very little, if any humour that actually works. boring, BORING conclusion. modern slasher tofu.

    Patrick, all movies associated with Michael Bay must contain at least 2-5 minutes of bigotry, its in his contract i believe.

    Kermit, the Thing video game isn’t as great as I wish it was. the concept is cool, but it’s overly complicated and unbearably frustrating.

  52. Vern – that’d be cool I’d love some real long multi-film review of the dead trilogy. Part review, part essay on zombie horror and Romero and stuff.

    I always loved the fact that, whilst each of the films events are in some way dictated by their budget – the increase in budget allowing for a bigger story and better zombie effects actually seems to work within the series story. It makes sense that the first outbreak would be a small story with a few people trapped in a house. Then the next would be the outbreak starting to hit its stride and so we get a bigger location and then finally we have empty city streets and a huge cast of zombies and a big underground military base with the full on apocolyptic stuff. Also the zombie make up gets better and better, as if the zombies are decomposing more and more with each film, as time goes by the look worse and worse.

  53. http://www.michaelbay.com/newsblog/files/bay-m-m.html

    Here’s the full-size Bay M&M. From a professional point of view, I’d have to say that this image is grabbed between takes, as B&M is just posing at the cameras (which probably aren’t rolling) while the two robots are pricking about in the background, ruining their make-up and creating all sorts of problems for Continuity.

    Pfft, robot-actors. They just don’t take it seriously.

  54. Excellent review as usual, Vern. Haven’t seen this remake yet, but the ‘let’s ground
    Jason in reality with some tunnels in lieu of a supernatural angle’ sounds as depressing
    as ‘Michael Myers is an angry Leatherface clone rather than a boogieman’. Maybe
    Freddy Kreuger will just creep in through bedroom windows instead of invading dreams
    (though I am intrigued by the casting of Rorshach).

    More disturbing was the Michael Bay M&M. No pants and no nose, but he has a mullet
    and stubble? At least it wasn’t tugging it over a sears catalogue, I guess.

  55. Vern, you need to avoid the remake of The Fog at all costs. It’s by far the worst, most slapped together piece of shit. It pisses all over the greatness of John Carpenter, needlessly reimagines important parts of the story and just overall makes you want to strangle someone, anyone.

  56. Thank you for being so cool, guys. The Internet is vast, but this is the only talkback i can read without suffering rage and depression. Please excuse my poor english.

  57. I think I’m finally coming around on The Halloween movie.

    I think I’ve been watching it all wrong all these years. It’s always been mentioned along with Nightmare and Friday the 13th when it’s more of a stalker movie than a slasher movie.

    Before I got so bored watching Jamie Lee Curtis and her friends go about their business, I never realized the creep factor behind Michael Myers following their every move. I don’t see how I missed it before since the opening scene (which I loved before) pretty much sets that tone.

    I’m not goin to say it’s my favorite Carpenter movie all of a sudden, but I think I finally get why everyone loves it like they do, and now I DEFINITELY understand why people didn’t like the remake. (although I still do)

  58. Good job, everyone. Hamslime has been converted. Our work here is done.

  59. Good work, internet. Hamslime is on the team now.

    I never thought about making that distinction, but yeah, it’s about the stalking, not the slashing. My favorite stuff in Halloween is in the daylight scenes, how he’s following her around and she notices it sometimes but halfway thinks she’s imagining it.

    Actually he just has a crush on her though, as shown in this musical presentation:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iGu7r1PsvJk

  60. I’m more where Hamslime was… I’m not a big fan of “Halloween” and I really, really hate the ending where Loomis confronts Myers and Myers just… disappears. Like he’s done seven times at least in the film so far. It felt like “cheating”. Flawed as it is, “The Thing” is and probably will always be my fave Carpenter movie – if only because it shows up both his strengths and his weaknesses as a director so clearly.

  61. Also, Vern, ever considered doing a review of “The Thing”? I’d like to see a balanced review of it – something in between “This is the greatest horror film ever” by fans and “This is complete dreck” by non-fans – and I think you’d be the person to do it. I’ve sent you my thoughts via e-mail before, but for the benefit of the other people posting here: personally I think it’s a very good film, but there are any amount of “they wouldn’t really do that” or “that can’t happen” moments that annoyingly take me “out of” it, as with every Carpenter flick I’ve seen. I like the portrayal of the twelve men but I’d like to have seen more of them developed as characters, especially before the dog arrives at the start. I also think that everything between the “blood test” scene and that final scene of two men in the snow, apart from the one moment featuring Blair, is complete dreck and actually stinks of unwanted producer intervention (let’s have some loud explosions for absolutely no good reason! Let’s have both the thing and the humans start acting in ways that they’ve never done before and that are completely idiotic to boot, also for absolutely no good reason!) I’d also like to see more of the characters who are aliens, since they hardly feature for a large part of the film. One of the great things about the original story was that the characters you originally think are aliens ARE aliens, but the novelette spends much of its time convincing you otherwise…

    For fans (which despite my frustrations with the film’s flaws, I am), you might want to check out the original novelette, which is online here: http://www.geocities.com/Hollywood/Highrise/3756/jc/who/bonusid.htm . Enjoy!

  62. Dead on review dude… This movie sucked so bad… I mean, when there’s t*ts everywhere & I’M bored/hating it, your movie REALLY blows… LOL

  63. For a lonely kid with special needs, raised by himself in the woods, with no visible mentors or even wolf parents, this Jason surely knew how to use a lot of heavy tools & weapons & power generators and even how to build your neck muscles a la sly stallone.

  64. I know it was a joke, but Michael doesn’t have a crush on Laurie. He has no special feelings about Laurie at all. He only becomes interested in her because she comes to the front door while dropping off the key for her father. However, even here he seems just as curios about Tommy as he spends time watching Tommy at school before wandering over and watching Laurie some more.

    That night he seems to forget all about Laurie as he actually follows Annie who has way more in common with his sister than Laurie does. He only remembers and takes an interest in Laurie again when once again she comes to him when she goes across the street to check on Annie.

    Really from his point of view it’s kind of like Laurie is stalking him. I mean she keeps showing up everywhere he goes… what’s he supposed to do? Not stab her death?

    And, for fucks sake, Laurie is not his goddamn sister. I know it was Carpenter himself who saddled us with that crap (and it had some nice payoff in H2O), but by the movies own timeline Laurie would have had to be two years old when Michael killed Judith. Whatever else Zombie did wrong at least he acknowledged this fact in the remake by having Boo exist at the time of the original incident. Mrs. Meyers was pregnant at the time my ass.

    And, yes, I did think a 3 year old thread about the FRIDAY THE 13th reboot was the perfect place for my HALLOWEEN rant.

  65. So for reasons even I don’t understand, I gave this one another chance. And I don’t know if I’m mellowing out or if another little part of me died inside, but I didn’t hate it this time. Oh sure, there’s plenty of hateable things about it. The annoying characters who won’t stop blathering for two seconds to let some suspense or atmosphere build up, even when they’re all by themselves (seriously, there are like seven separate scenes of people talking to themselves), the horrible cinematography, the complete lack of drama in the myth-building scenes (i.e., the finding of the mask, the locket, etc.), the unimaginative kills, the fact that there’s hardly any Camp Crystal Lake in the film at all, the decision to put most of the action in one stupid house and some generic tunnels that could come from any horror movie ever, the beyond-lame ending. All very shitty and lazy.

    But I’ve softened on this new interpretation of Jason. I like the way he moves, and his coat gives him a cool silhouette, especially when he’s posing up on the roof like he’s fucking Batman or something. I like the part where the girl is in the water and she sees him standing by the shore, just watching her. He looks real creepy out in the broad daylight like that. And I know I just shat on the kills, but I see now that there was some imagination put into their conception, just not their execution. It’s too dark and indifferently shot and edited for any of the violence to have any real punch, and the blood is minimal, but some of the ideas were more creative than I’d previously given them credit for.

    And I gotta admit, the idea of Jason being a pot farmer is hilarious. He’s just trying to keep to himself, stay mellow, get his head right, stop those vicious mood swings of his that make him go out and chop people up. It’s the only interpretation that makes any sense, since anyone who comes to tend to that crop is a dead motherfucker, and besides, the old lady says that the locals know better than to go out there. That simply has to be Jason’s pot. I mean, if he can dig a network of tunnels and rig up alarms and tripwires all over the woods, he can certainly grow a little weed. This is a Jason with hobbies, so why couldn’t he enjoy a little smoke every now and then?

    Did anybody watch the deleted scenes? There’s an alternate “Jason finds the mask” scene that is way better. It’s the same setup, the hillbilly mechanic is wanking it to some porn when Jason interrupts, but now the hillbilly is wearing the mask, which was used for a fake jump-scare when he sees it peering out at him from a dark shelf. So Jason decapitates the guy, takes the mask off his severed head, and puts it on. I feel that this would have gotten more applause from the audience than “Oh look, a mask.”

    So, fine, okay. I don’t mind this stupid, stupid movie anymore. I guess I just can’t stay mad at Jason for long.

  66. Did you bother to see the ELM STREET remake?

  67. I did not. The trailer just looked like too much of a shot-for-shot retread. Oh look, he’s dragging his claws along the pipes…again. Oh look, he’s coming up through the bathtub…again. I don’t need to see the same damn movie again. At least the FRIDAY remake had an original plot and setpieces.

    Also, I’m loyal. Jason has been played by lots of actors, but Freddy is Robert Englund. No disrespect to the new guy, who was an inspired choice, but I’d have been happy to see Englund play Freddy until he dropped dead of terminal hamminess. Now that’s not gonna happen. I won’t soon forgive the remake for depriving me of seeing Englund in the makeup ever again.

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