Greetings from the edge!
Happy Halloween, my magnificent miscreants! Today we’ll be taking a stab at The 13th Friday, with more unlikable, death-seeking, 30 year old “Teens” than you can shake a machete at. Starring Lisa May as Alison, Melissa L. Vega as Ryn, and… is it? Yes! Khu from Alien: Reign of Man makes a return to the Edge as Paige. I’m beginning to think she may have a phobia about last names. Out of thirteen credits ( Yet another 13! ) Khu has on IMDB, not a single character has a last name. Yes, I may have gotten a little bored while sitting through this movie, but finish the review anyway, okay?
We open with a cheery historical scene of a mother burning her daughter to death with what appears to be kerosene and a brief speech about places of “Evil.” But don’t worry, we get to the “Teens” drinking out of Solo cups and courting death for no good reason in practically record-breaking time. We’re given a brief rundown of an evil house in Texas and why anyone who enters never leaves alive… so within minutes, a girl goes in and gets killed and, like cattle following a judas goat, the WHOLE gang piles in and promptly gets cursed to set up a series of thirteen sacrifices or lose their souls. Maybe, just maybe not drinking in front of the cursed house that everyone knows not to enter would have been a good idea, or hey, not going inside might have helped, too.
Yep, kiddies, we’re dealing with a real brain trust here. Next we see a wall memorial of dead teens that the reverse Scoobies have apparently thrown under the bus to save their unlikable selves from their richly deserved damnation. C’mon, guys, suck it up and take your cursing like a man. Do you really think after ritually sacrificing 13 people you’re not going to Hell anyway? I mean, it seems to me being imbeciles might be a mitigating factor in your favor come judgment time. Murderous satanic sacrificing imbeciles, not so much. Just saying.
The special effects in The 13th Friday just aren’t. The CGI is atrocious and the makeup effects look like a little kid playing dress up. We do get a couple of, I guess, demons? They look like they’ve been constructed out of trash-bags and store-bought masks. In fact, the reverse Scoobies wear actual store-bought masks during their “Sacrifices” and they look better than the original effects.
I’d talk about the sacrifices, but we only see one and that amounts to leaving a girl in a cave. No real gore in the whole film, but we do get a burned girl effect which amounts to slathering some poor tween with enough black paint that she looks like she took a few laps in the Labrea Tar Pits. I believe she is supposed to be our “Sadako from The Ring” stand-in, just without the interesting plot or, y’know, terrifying and haunting imagery.
I’m not going to sugar coat this one. If I had to describe The 13th Friday in a single word, it would be BORING, not humorous, not exciting, not dramatic, and certainly not scary. Just boring. It tries to wedge in enough jump scares and music stings to make you jump, but not for a single moment was I affected. Certainly not by sympathy for the unlikable, cowardly, murderous idiots that are our protagonists, not for any of the briefly-appearing side characters so thinly written and acted that saying they are cookie-cutter is an insult to confectionery everywhere. Without sympathy, I never felt a moment of fear or even interest in how the story was going to end. The plot, what little there is, is a jumbled rambling mess that loops in circles and contradicts itself seemingly at random.
Director/Writer/Producer Justin Price has managed to do to horror with The 13th Friday what he did to sci-fi in Alien: Reign of Man: make an unwatchable nonsensical mess that is a movie in only the loosest sense of the word. I will say this, however: at least, unlike his sci-fi attempt, The 13th Friday is roughly linear, so there’s that, I guess. Also, like Alien: Reign of Man, The 13th Friday just stops. No ending, no resolution, just time wasted and brain cells deadened. No amount of alcohol and riffing can save this film.
Stay away from The 13th Friday. If you want a curse movie, try The Ring or The Grudge. I’d go with the Japanese originals, but I’m not adverse to subtitles.
Nerdy Speculation Corner: Warning, may contain both spoilers and dangerous amounts of geekery!
So get this, the reverse Scoobies murder twelve people and then decide to kill one of their own as the final sacrifice, and then one of them lets her go at the 42 minute mark and they all start dying anyway. So they just murdered 12 people for nothing!?!? Good job reverse Scoobies. Oh, and did I mention that, before this, NONE OF THEM explore alternatives to sacrificing an entire rugby team worth of people before they get down to slaughtering people to save their sorry backsides. What a wonderful group of human beings.
Join us next week when the Edge returns to familiar territory: Bigfoot territory. But this Bigfoot…is from SPACE..space..space. Let’s see if Sightings takes itself seriously and ends up being ridiculously funny or if they’re in on the joke and space-bigfoot will be sporting a beer hat. Rednecks versus alien Bigfoot in a fight to the finish next week here on the Edge!