Monday, February 16, 2009

Friday the 13th Month: Monster Bash Blog's Movie Review

So, I needed a day or two to collect my thoughts about this Friday the 13th movie (not really a remake, btw). Also, I didn't want to tell you my thoughts on it the day of its release because that's not fair to you if you haven't seen it yet. I'm considerate. So, as much as I'm hesitant to post this review, because it saddens me deeply, the blog must go on.
friday the 13th Pictures, Images and Photos
First of all, let me begin by saying that I hyped this movie up to the high heavens. I bought my movie tickets last Sunday, almost a week before the movie was even released. I bought them the second I found out that the theater was doing a 12:01 AM showing.

I was so pumped up, I didn't even care that after seeing it at midnight I'd still have to slither into work the next morning at 7:00 would be worth it! I would be one of the first to see this theatrical masterpiece!

So, Jim, Cos, Renee and I went to the theater around 11:30 to get a good seat. It was pretty crowded for being a Thursday night. In fact, it went from "pretty crowded" to "people having to be ushered to try to find a seat". Midnight showings bring in people in droves, I guess. Myself included. After what seemed like an eternity of waiting and watching some unlucky people who got to the theater too late struggle to find a good seat...the longest set of trailer's I've ever seen in my life aired.

The Last House of the Left trailer aired again and looked even more awesome than I last remembered. Note to self: see that movie. started.

So the first 10 to 15 mins seemed to start off as pure Friday the 13th. There's some promiscuous campers, drugs, beer, and poor dialogue. I do have to say though, the original Friday the 13th's dialogue was bad in a way that you still were like "this is great"...This version was eye rolling horrible dialogue. I felt embarassed for some of the characters.

Then, we had technical difficulties. After what I felt was the greatest Jason kill scene of the movie (SPOILER ----> he grabs the girl in the tent, rolls her up in a sleeping bag, and ties her to a tree above fire, where she flip flops around for awhile and burns alive while her injured boyfriend watches. ), the entire movie started to go backwards and was upside down. Literally. I first thought it was part of the movie and maybe the guy was laying upside down? But then, I saw what looked like the ending of the movie and was devastated. You're ruining it for me!!! People started getting belligerent. They started bringing in security to calm the crowds.

Cos started yelling "free popcorn" and Jim feared a riot would be incited.

The movie was turning out to be not scary at all, but the film difficulties situation was turning into a horrorfest within itself.

Finally, they rushed in another reel of film and started the movie at what looked like a different part. So I may or may not have missed a scene in there. Not sure. People began chants and were clearly as upset as me. How can you not be? This was Jason's big re-debut!

Anyways, back to the movie. Well, after the first scene with the campers...the movie turned into the remake of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. And I don't really mean that in a good way. You actually could've taken Jason out and this would have been a completely different movie. Just insert Leatherface or another killer.

It felt very un-Friday the 13th. Here are my reasons why (WARNING: SPOILERS):

1. Jason seems to be thoughtful and have some sort of character development where you kind of feel for him at the end. WTF?! I don't want to feel for him. I want him to just kill some campers and get set on fire or launched into space or whatever and then come back at the end.

2. Jason travels through tunnels and sets up complex boobie-traps. Come on. This is just Leatherface with a hockey mask, isn't it? The actor that played Jason said he wanted to go back to when Jason was faster and more human (1980-1985), which I think is great. But then he said he wanted him to be smarter and come up with these traps and I disagree with that direction. Jason isn't McGuyver, he's a killer.

3. Crystal Lake looks really, really like the setting in the Texas Chainsaw Massacre. Broken down, filled with weird old crap...there's hardly a "camp" there. There's like one cabin and the bed is engraved with "Jason". Give me a break. Really?

4. The "locals" were ridiculous. Apparently, Jason's existence isn't a legend. The people who live there know him, and they coexist with him. In fact, they condone his revenge. Are you kidding me? Jason doesn't cherry pick who he kills...he's not picky. The whole point of Friday the 13th is that Jason is believed to be a legend and there are just mysterious killings that happen to anyone who goes near him...they just usually happen to be sleazy teens. Also, a side note on the townsfolk of Crystal Lake, they behave like the characters in TCM because the one guy is covered in dirt and has a southern drawl and they look like they're in Texas. Side note, the movie is filmed in Austin, TX even though all of the car license plates are NJ (trust me, I know my NJ plates). New Jerseyans may be a lot of things, but I don't think they were portrayed correctly in this movie.

5. The storyline. Ok so usually, here's how it works: Campers go to Crystal Lake, Jason kills them all, except for one or two, they "kill" Jason, Jason comes back in the end. This movie had a guy looking for his sister, this yuppie showing off his house to his friends, only like 2 campers, barely, some old lady who knows Jason personally with a dog, some guy who has sexual relations with mannequins, one cop, and that's it. I give them props for trying to modernize the story, but I love the story. Don't change the formula, it makes it look foreign to me.

6. He keeps the sister alive. Jason doesn't do that. He doesn't keep people alive. He kills them. That's what he does. You expect me to buy into that he can build intricate traps and tunnels to get him everywhere at the right moment but he can't recognize someone that isn't his mother?

7. Too rushed. The people who made this movie were clearly trying to cover alot of ground in a limited amount of time. They should have cut down on the homages and paid closer attention to the details. The opening scene should have lasted longer. Jason should have had a better transition from bag to mask.

I know you're thinking I'm being too harsh because after all, Jason has been in outer space and on a cruise ship...however, even in situations as ridiculous as those, it was undeniable that they were part of the Friday the 13th series. While this movie had its disappointments, I did find some good points:

1. Jason looked awesome. This Jason was fast...he was really tall...his awesome coat was scary as it flowed in the breeze...he was all around great. Derek Mears was a fantastic Jason.
Friday the 13th remake 2009 Jason Voorhees Pictures, Images and Photos

2. The death scenes were pretty good. The sleeping bag death in the beginning was the best of all, but overall the death scenes were over the top, gory, and great. Jason even throws an axe at someone.
Jason Voorhees!!! Pictures, Images and Photos
The deaths were definitely Friday the 13th'esque.

3. The throwbacks to the other movies. The part about "getting exercise" when that girl wanted to hike was a nice tip of the hat to the pregnant girl in part 3 who is talking about getting some exercise; The bag on the head from part 2 was great; The severed head from parts 1 and 2 that we see in the beginning; The part about the girl putting on the medallion (in part 2 she puts on the mother's sweater) to trick Jason (although in part 2 it doesn't last nearly half as long as in this one where he "keeps her" hostage); there's a barn that really brings you back to part 3; the sleeping bag death scene is a tip of the hat back to the greatest sleeping bag death scene of all time in Part VII and also in Freddy vs. Jason; the way Jason reaches at the camera near the end when the sister stabs him is just like in part 3...I could go on...but I'll stop there because I'm sure you're riveted enough.

4. The Asian guy. He was the greatest. I actually had no idea what any of the characters names were because who cares, but his name was Chewie. If you remember, I was pretty satisfied that there was a character named Chewie (see reason number 8 in my post), and he didn't disappoint. He was literally the only realistic comedic relief. I was legitimately sad when he got axed. He gives Jason the hockey stick and tells him it "completes his outfit". Although that part was predictable, it was hilarious.

4. The archery part. I actually missed this, Jim had to point it out to me. There is a scene where Jason shoots a crossbow and gets it right through the guy's head on the boat. We later see in his creepy cabin that Jason won a bunch of awards when he was a kid for his marksmanship. Cleverly done. Actually, that whole scene when he shoots the guy on the boat with an arrow, and then goes after Willa Ford in the lake is pretty awesome.
Friday the 13th (2009!!) Pictures, Images and Photos

5. The ending. The way Jason comes back up and grabs the character is very reminiscent of when he does it as a child to Alice at the end of part 1. I also like that they still leave it open to more sequels, which I hope they will make, just not like this one.

6. the ch ch ch-ha ha ha noise...although it wasn't there nearly enough for me, it got me pumped when I heard it.

7. Not related to the movie, but the theater gave everyone free movie passes because we had to wait and miss some of the movie and watch the ending backwards. That made waiting all worth it.

So, I feel very torn on this movie. If it weren't Jason, I probably wouldn't have liked it, I would have panned it completely. I find myself giving Jason get-out-of-jail-free cards, because I love him so much. This movie didn't give me the feeling that I was watching Friday the 13th. I felt like I was watching the Texas Chainsaw Massacre remake without Leatherface and Jessica Biel. On the whole the movie was watchable, but I wasn't jumping out of my seat in excitement like I thought I'd be.

I was reading on that they were toying around with a bunch of ideas for the script of this film. I'll bold face my faves:

"In the lapse between 2003, when Freddy vs Jason was released and summer 2007, there were several working ideas that were being thought of being used for the next Friday the 13th film. These include:

The Homecoming - While past survivor Chris Higgins attempts to forget her dreadful memories by returning to Crystal Lake with her teenage children and doctor, Jason suddenly returns as well with a vengeance to slice through the high school's homecoming dance (being held at Camp Crystal Lake), as a man claiming to be his father holds the secrets to where he has been and how he was created. Request to read the script here. NOTE: This story was going to be a sort of reboot, as it told the events of the 1980 original all the way through The Final Chapter, ignoring everything else in the series. This was rumored to be the 2009 film's plot from 2006 until early 2008. Some things did make it into the final script of the 2009 film (most notably Jason being human and running again).

**Monster Bash Note: While I love Chris from Part 3, this plot sounds a little too much like the one with the telepathic girl, and with the homecoming dance and all of that, I'm not as big a fan. However, I think I would've still liked it.

Freddy vs Jason vs Ash - Set to be the sequel to Freddy vs Jason in which the two iconic killers from the first film would be pitted against Ash from the "The Evil Dead" series. As Freddy plans to use the Book of the Dead to carry out his deadliest scheme yet - and possibly re-enter the 'real world' as a demonic force, Ash must battle him, while also saving kids in a cabin from the deadly wrath of Jason. The script was quickly dropped when Sam Raimi, creator and rights holder of Ash and The Evil Dead series, refused to participate with the idea and when Robert Englund announced he would no longer be playing Freddy Krueger.

**Monster Bash Note: too retarded.

Jason vs Leatherface - machete slicing Jason battles the chainsaw-wielding Leatherface" as well as his family when the skin-mask wearing freak sets his bloodthirsty sights on a group of teens that the hockey masked maniac has been chasing down all the way from Crystal Lake. But soon, the teens discover themselves in the middle of a battle of an icon vs. an icon - of chainsaw versus machete! NOTE: Platinum Dunes, the production company behind both the "Chainsaw" remake and the "Friday" reboot was originally going to use this as a vehicle for bringing Jason back and continuing on Leatherface's story.

**Monster Bash Note: Now we're talkin'!

Bloodbath - A prison bus passing through the abandoned town of Crystal Lake gets into a car accident with two college girls hoping to document footage on the famous Crysta Lake killer (Jason). With no means of transportation for escape, the girls find themselves being hunted by not only the prisoners, but by the famed hockey-masked killer himself! They must rely on a young, handsome prisoner attempting to redeem himself in order to survive. The death penalty has never been so terrifying! NOTE: This script was rejected by Platinum Dunes as a "Friday" script but later sold, where the character of Jason was replaced with a new original killer and the setting was replaced as well. That script is currently in pre-production stages.

** Monster Bash Note: now, I like this idea for a movie, so I'm glad they're still using it. This isn't a Jason movie though, so I'm glad they didn't use it.

The Beginning - Tagging off the success of "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning" as well as some of the "Halloween" remake, this was going to show the events of Jason's life from his childhood up until the very beginning of "Friday the 13th Part 2". The idea was also going to explain Jason's supernatural tendencies. This story line was dropped due to the poor fan reaction from other prequels that 'attempted to explain too much.' NOTE: While the 2009 film is not a prequel, it shares some similarities with "The Beginning" in making Jason a human and not a monster.

**Monster Bash Note: I don't think I want to know Jason personally, I like him being a killing machine.

Jason X2 - An obvious sequel to Jason X, this was going to have Jason still in the year 2525 on Earth 2. The story would pick up directly after its predecessor, and Jason would have landed in the area that used to be Crystal Lake. Not much else is known about this script, except that it would have 'Uber-Jason' killing teens of the future. NOTE: This script was nearly greenlit before the released of Jason X, but due to the poor box office returns, the idea was scrapped and the huge success of "Freddy vs. Jason" all thoughts of this script were put aside.

**Monster Bash Blog: WTF?!!? This would have been AMAZING. I can't get enough Uber-Jason.

Jason Takes Los Angeles - While being transported along a helicopter ride to a research facility in Los Angeles, a frozen Jason is resurrected by an electrical current and after slaughtering most of the helicopter crew the helicopter crashes before he can kill the one final young research intern, Ted. As Ted makes his way out of the mountains of the desert and into the city, he is followed by Jason, who leaves a trail of bloodshed and murders behind Ted. With the crooked police on his tail, a gang war heating up in his path, and a ring of adult filmmakers wanting him dead, Ted turns to a naive social worker to help save him from it all! NOTE: This was originally going to be the ninth film in the series, hoping to pick up on the trend of Jason traveling to large cities, but when Paramount sold the rights to New Line the script was put in the vault and Freddy vs Jason was made. However, the script resurfaced nearly 18 years after it was originally conceived.

**Monster Bash Note: Ok, realistically this sucks, but I really, really wish I could've seen this completed. Ted, Crooked police, Gang wars, Adult filmmakers wanting Ted dead, naive social workers?! This is incredible.

The Revenge of Tommy Jarvis - After his sister is brutally murdered by a machete wielding maniac, Tommy goes on a hunt for Jason. As his wife Megan falls into great danger when he attempts to find the man who scarred his childhood, Tommy must face his fears, wise up, and think of way to protect those he loves while burying evil once and for all - as well as his deepest rooted fears! NOTE: Tommy Jarvis was originally going to appear in the 2009 film but filmmakers thought that his character should be saved for the sequels (if there are any).Return to Crystal Lake - Jason has not been in Crystal Lake in years. His name is a legend of sorts, and the town has grown comfortable with its surroundings. But suddenly he reappears, ready to wreak havoc. After trapping a biker gang passing through, the hockey masked maniac quickly gets up to his old habits and does what he is known for in Crystal Lake - killing! NOTE: The Biker gang from Part III" were going to play a large role, as one of the Bikers in this script was the younger brother of Ali.

**Monster Bash Note: This would have been great. Tommy Jarvis returning and the whole story makes sense. Except for the bikers...let the bikers go, ok? Hopefully they'll be able to do this one, because Corey Feldman needs the work and I need more Jason.

Part XII - The idea was to have a sequel that would also not acknowledge the events of any film from Part VII through Freddy vs Jason (excluding Jason Goes to Hell and Jason X). The idea was to put Jason back in Crystal Lake, have him chase teens, and give the series that nostalgic 80's feeling of the original seven movies. Many aspects of this script made it into the final version of the 2009 [i}Friday the 13th but. unlike the 2009 film, this was to act as a sequel and not a reboot of the entire series. NOTE: The entire first segment of the 2009 film will be very similar to this script in its entirety. This was the original script for the 'reboot'. "

**Monster Bash Note: This would have been the best choice. The first 10 mins of the movie are the best and the most true to the originals. If they would have just continued that throughout the movie, this would have been gold in my book.

Oh well, until these other ones come to fruition we at least have the other 10/11 films to look back on and love unconditionally right?

And that's exactly what we here at Monster Bash Blog will do: celebrate the REAL Friday the 13th, Jason style.

Friday the 13th, Mask, Movie, Horror Pictures, Images and Photos


Jim said...

That was the most comprehensive movie review blog i've ever seen.

I completely forgot about the guy who has sex with mannequins.

The Asian guy was great....I don't remember them saying his name once, though.

Maybe we need to see it again.

Cathy said...

Friday the 13th is considered one of the most successful media franchises in America not only for the success of the films, but also because of the extensive merchandising and repeated references to the series in popular culture.I will definitely buy the dvd collection TV series.