Friday the 13th

Friday the 13th movie poster
MPAA rating: R
Genre: Horror
The re-opening of Camp Crystal Lake spells murder and mayhem for a group of sexually promiscuous counselors. Remake of the 1980 classic.
Starring: Jared Padalecki, Danielle Panabaker, Amanda Righetti
Director: Marcus Nispel
Running time: 1:37
Release: Opens Nov 13, 2015
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Editorial Review

Michael Bay is destroying horror films by exhuming the genre's standard-bearers, stripping them of genuine terror, refusing to either re-create faithfully or reimagine boldly, and upping the irony until the original concept stands rigid like a taxidermied grizzly, its teeth bared but its presence, most of all, sad.

Bay has produced the remakes of "The Amityville Horror" and "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre." He will remake "A Nightmare on Elm Street" next year. This weekend offers his throttling of "Friday the 13th," the 1980 movie that spawned the immortal, hockey-masked slasher Jason Voorhees.

If you love America, you will not pay to see it.

The movie opens with a 25-minute prologue.

A group of hot friends stumbles into Camp Crystal Lake, where 29 years ago a young boy (Jason) drowned, which prompted his mother to kill the counselors, which prompted a sole survivor to decapitate her, which prompted Jason to return from the dead to continue the vengeful spree, which prompted an endless movie franchise, blah, blah, blah.

The friends are murdered in horrible ways. One girl survives but is imprisoned by Jason. The story jumps forward a month. The captured girl's brother comes poking around Crystal Lake. While posting fliers for his missing sister, he hooks up with a group of hot friends heading to a cabin. The same fate awaits.

The movie knows it's a slasher flick made solely for commerce, it knows we know what it is, and yet it insists on feigning the song and dance. The movie has a couple of half-laughs, zero scares, only one moment of artistically inventive slaughter and just two scenes of marginal titillation.

It's depressing to have to hope for some skin, but what other lurid pleasure exists in mainstream, mass-produced horror movies these days? If you can't shock me with gore, adrenalize me with suspense or tickle me with camp, at least show me tanned, toned, well-lit slabs of young Hollywood filet.

Michael Bay is destroying me.


-- Dan Zak (Feb. 13, 2009)
Contains strong bloody violence, graphic sexual content, language and drugs.