Kids just aren’t as scared of summer camp as they used to be. Maybe it’s because they aren’t even going away to summer camp unless forced to by the state.
Still, the nostalgia of summer camp is enough to help us begin our Summer Camp Slasher Series, a tribute to horror movies featuring campers, camp counselors, and the maniacs who murder them.
We continue this summer horror series with the 2009 reboot (or whatever you want to call it) of Friday the 13th.
Movie: Friday the 13th (2009)
Plot: A masked killer is patrolling the woods, killing anyone who happens to stumble upon him, yadda yadda yadda…
Killer: Jason Voorhees: younger, faster, and… more intelligent?
Critique: It seems like New Line Cinema has tried everything to keep the Friday the 13th franchise rolling along. They put out Jason Goes to Hell, and the film got panned. They sidestepped that failure and put out Jason X, and that film was considered “Not Jason Goes to Hell” at best. Freddy VS Jason was good, but was definitely saved by the “Horror Icon VS Horror Icon” trope and the return of Robert Englund more than anything great in filmmaking. Plus, it didn’t fit in our Summer Camp Slasher Series, so we’ll take that one on later.
If Friday the 13th (2009) were treated as a standalone film, a film about a masked serial killer murdering people in the woods without any connection to the Friday the 13th franchise, it could be considered a decent film by new slasher films of its decade. It’s nicely shot, has decent kills, and character development for Jason’s prey that is rare for the franchise. It probably could have developed the opening sequence a bit more instead of relying on the franchise’s canonical history but, overall, a fun film.
But it’s not a standalone film. It’s a Friday the 13th film, a franchise reboot with the same name as the first film from 1980 but the story reboot of the first sequel. We don’t need to give Jason more humanity, both in actions and tone. When you do that, you take away why Jason is so entertaining in the first place and make him a generic serial killer with an iconic hockey mask. The biggest problem is that the film still treats Jason as if he isn’t human. Why does he kill townsfolk like Donnie all of a sudden? Why do Clay and Whitney shove Jason’s body into the lake instead of getting ahold of the police (again) as proof that they didn’t kill everyone themselves? Friday the 13th (2009) tries to re-tell the story of Jason Voorhees, but nonsensically nods back to the themes of the original films with no other reason than to remind us this is a Friday the 13th film. As if the hockey mask wasn’t a dead giveaway.
Scene of Awesomeness: That dickhead Trent finally gets his. I don’t remember the last time I wanted a character to die as much as Trent. The director knew who he wanted Trent to be, and Travis Van Winkle acted accordingly.
Scene of Ridiculousness: Jason has a perfectly good wood-chipper at his disposal when he meets up with Donnie, and all we get is a throat slashing. Come on, man….
Body Count: 14
1 decapitation (Pamela Voorhees, but we’re counting it)
2 vague slashings
1 sleeping bag roasting (Awesomely Overkill Award)
2 machetes to the head (1 after getting caught in a bear trap)
1 throat slashing
1 arrow through the head
1 screwdriver through the neck
1 wood axe used as a throwing axe
1 impalement on antler towel hook
1 fire poker through the head
2 machete stabbings (1 followed by being impaled on a tow truck winch hook)
3 pairs of breasts
Actors/Actresses of Note: Pretty much everyone has been in something. Jared Padalecki, as Clay Miller, has a starring role in the show Supernatural. Ben Feldman has been in Mad Men and Cloverfield. Richard Burgi has been in everything. And Ryan Hansen is not Dax Shepard, apparently.
Quote: “You got perfect nipple placement, baby.” – Trent