Friday the 13th (2009 film)

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Friday the 13th
A film poster with the title "Friday the 13th" appearing in red letters just below "From the producers of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre". Above the title stands Derek Mears dressed in full Jason Voorhees make-up and a machete in his right hand. Fog and a moon-lit wilderness appear in the background. The production credits appear in small font at the bottom of the poster.
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Marcus Nispel
Produced by
Screenplay by
  • Damian Shannon
  • Mark Swift
Story by
  • Damian Shannon
  • Mark Swift
  • Mark Wheaton
Based on Characters 
by Victor Miller
Starring Jared Padalecki
Danielle Panabaker
Aaron Yoo
Amanda Righetti
Travis Van Winkle
Derek Mears
Music by Steve Jablonsky
Cinematography Daniel Pearl
Editing by Ken Blackwell
Studio
Distributed by
Release dates
  • February 13, 2009 (2009-02-13)
[1]
Running time 97 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $19 million[2]
Box office $91,379,051[3]

Friday the 13th is a 2009 American slasher film directed by Marcus Nispel and written by Damian Shannon and Mark Swift. The film is a reboot of the Friday the 13th film series,[4][5] which began in 1980, and the twelfth installment in the franchise. Nispel also directed the 2003 remake of Tobe Hooper's The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974), while Shannon and Swift wrote the screenplay for the 2003 crossover Freddy vs. Jason. Friday the 13th follows Clay Miller (Jared Padalecki) as he searches for his missing sister, Whitney (Amanda Righetti), who while camping in the woods at Crystal Lake is taken by Jason Voorhees (Derek Mears).

The concept for the 2009 film originally started as an origin story, but the film evolved into a reimagining of the first four Friday the 13th films. Along with bringing the film back to its tonal roots, Jason was designed as a leaner and faster killer, with a backstory that could provide a little sympathy for the character, but not enough that he would lose his menace. Although this film reboots the continuity, Jason's iconic hockey mask,[6] which was not introduced until the third film in the series, is acquired through the progression of the film. In keeping with the tone of the film, Jason's mask was also brought back to its roots, created from a mold of the original mask used for Part III; though there were subtle changes. Friday the 13th incorporated some of Harry Manfredini's music score from the previous Friday the 13th films, as the producers recognized its iconic status.[7]

The film was released on Friday, February 13, 2009, to the most theaters of any of the Friday the 13th films. Although the film was met with primarily negative reviews, it earned approximately $19 million on its opening night and $40 million for its opening weekend. With its opening weekend, Friday the 13th broke two records, having the largest opening day for the film series and the largest opening weekend for any horror film. It is currently the second-highest grossing film in the Friday the 13th franchise with $65 million, and has earned over $91.3 million worldwide.

Plot[edit]

On June 13, 1980, a young Jason Voorhees (Caleb Guss) witnesses his mother (Nana Visitor) being beheaded by a camp counselor (Stephanie Rhodes), who was trying to escape Mrs. Voorhees's murder spree around Camp Crystal Lake. Approximately 30 years later, a group of vacationing friends—Wade (Jonathan Sadowski), Richie (Ben Feldman), Mike (Nick Mennell), Whitney (Amanda Righetti) and Amanda (America Olivo)—arrive at Crystal Lake on a camping trip to find some marijuana that was planted in the woods. As Mike and Whitney explore the abandoned Crystal Lake camp, an adult Jason (Derek Mears), with a cloth wrapped around his face to conceal it, begins to kill the rest of the group one by one. Jason also kills Mike, but decides to spare Whitney and abducts her because she resembles his mother at a young age.

Six weeks later, Trent (Travis Van Winkle), along with his girlfriend Jenna (Danielle Panabaker) and their friends Chelsea (Willa Ford), Bree (Julianna Guill), Chewie (Aaron Yoo), Nolan (Ryan Hansen), and Lawrence (Arlen Escarpeta) arrive at Trent's summer cabin on the shore of Crystal Lake. The group is unaware of the events that occurred a few weeks prior. Clay Miller (Jared Padalecki) arrives in town to search Crystal Lake for Whitney, his sister. During a confrontation, a farmhand rips Jason's cloth mask so he replaces it with an early model goalie mask. Clay eventually makes his way to Trent's cabin, where Jenna agrees to help him look for his sister on the other side of the lake. As Clay and Jenna search for clues, Jason kills Chelsea and Nolan, who are wakeboarding on the lake. Clay and Jenna reach the old Crystal Lake campgrounds, where they witness Jason hauling a dead body into one of the abandoned camp houses.

The pair run back to warn the others about Jason, who soon arrives and cuts the power to the cabin. After killing Chewie and Lawrence, who ventured outside the house, Jason sneaks inside the cabin and kills Bree. Trent, Clay, and Jenna escape the house, but Trent is killed when he reaches the main road. Jason then chases Clay and Jenna back to the campgrounds, where Clay discovers Jason's lair and finds his sister chained to the wall. Clay frees Whitney, and all three attempt to escape as Jason arrives. The trio find an exit, but Jenna is killed before she can get out. Jason comes after Clay and Whitney, but Whitney, by pretending to be Mrs. Voorhees, uses Jason's love and memory of his mother to distract him long enough to stab him in the chest with his own machete. Afterward, Clay dumps Jason's lifeless body into the lake. Before he and Whitney can leave, Jason bursts through the wooden dock and grabs Whitney.

Production[edit]

Development[edit]

New Line Cinema's Toby Emmerich approached Platinum Dunes producers Michael Bay, Brad Fuller, and Andrew Form about restarting Friday the 13th in the same fashion that they had done with the Texas Chainsaw Massacre franchise. They agreed, and spent over a year securing the film rights from all the involved parties: Paramount Pictures, New Line, and Crystal Lake Entertainment, run by Friday the 13th creator Sean S. Cunningham.[8] Paramount executives approached the Platinum Dunes producers and gave them license to use anything from the original films, including the title; Paramount was given the rights to distribute the film internationally. Fuller and Form said they did not want to create Friday the 13th Part 11 or 12, but wanted to put their own spin on the mythology. The pair acknowledge that there were elements from the first four films that they liked and were going to use in the 2009 film, like how a particular character is killed or story points that they appreciated and wanted to reuse, and once Paramount was on board they were able to do that.[7] Fuller said, "I think there are moments we want to address, like how does the hockey mask happen. It’ll happen differently in our movie than in the third one. Where is Jason from, why do these killings happen, and what is Crystal Lake?"[7] The producers initially expressed an interest in using Tommy Jarvis, a recurring character who first appeared in Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter, but the idea was scrapped.[9]

Though the producers decided that Friday the 13th would not be an origin story, they said that they wanted to work out a logical origin story for Jason that would provide a sense of history as the film progressed.[9] Form and Fuller explained that the audience gets to see how Jason attains his famous hockey mask, and is given a reason for why he puts it on. Jason would transition from wearing a bag over his head—similar to the one seen in Friday the 13th Part 2—to finding and wearing his hockey mask, whereas in Friday the 13th Part III he obtains the mask off-screen and comes out of a barn already wearing it.[10]

Unlike The Texas Chainsaw Massacre remake (2003) and the The Amityville Horror remake (2005), both of which were produced by Bay, Form, and Fuller, it was decided that Friday the 13th would not be a period piece. As Form and Fuller explained it, the film was not a remake in the strictest sense, so there was no reason why they could not tell the story in modern times.[7] In October 2007 Damian Shannon and Mark Swift, the writers of Freddy vs. Jason, were hired to write the script for Friday the 13th.[11] Jonathan Liebesman was in negotiations to direct the film, but because of scheduling conflicts Fuller and Form went with their second choice, Marcus Nispel.[7] Nispel was apprehensive about taking the job, primarily because he would be taking over another film franchise, but Fuller eventually convinced him.[8] Principal photography began on April 21, 2008, in Austin, Texas, and wrapped on June 13, 2008.[12]

Casting[edit]

Stuntman Derek Mears was hired to portray Jason Voorhees at the recommendation of special makeup effects supervisor Scott Stoddard.[8][13] Before the producers contacted him, Mears had already heard about the production of a new Friday the 13th and decided to start physical training so that he could pursue the role on his own, unaware that Stoddard and other industry professionals were suggesting him to the producers.[14] Mears's pleasant demeanor had the studio worried about his ability to portray such a menacing character on screen, but Mears assured them that he was up to the role.[8] Mears has stated he always related to "Jason the victim" when he was growing up as a child, and that was how he wanted to portray Jason in the film. To Mears, Jason represents all those individuals that were picked on in high school for being outcasts, specifically those with physical deformities. Jason is unusual in that he exacts his revenge on those trying to take over his territory at Crystal Lake.[15]

"They were like, 'You're really nice...are you going to be able to switch over, right?' I was like, 'I cage fight and I've got a lot of dad issues. So yeah.'"
— Derek Mears's response when questioned about being able to portray Jason.[8]

When Mears went in to audition for the role he was asked, "Why do we need an actor as opposed to just a guy in a mask?" Mears explained to them that portraying Jason is similar to Greek Mask Work, where the mask and the actor are two separate entities, and, depending on the scene, there will be various combinations of mask and actor in the performance. Mears feels that if an actor is thinking something, then the energy from those thoughts will transfer to what the camera picks up. Mears compares his experience behind the camera to a NASCAR race: he is the driver and the effects team is his pit crew. As he performs, the effects team provides subtle suggestions for ways that he can give the character more life on camera.[16]

Amanda Righetti had not read the script when she was offered the role of Whitney Miller. Wanting to be a part of the Friday the 13th franchise from the start, Righetti said that she was completely sold on acting in the film after she did read the script.[8] Jared Padalecki describes Clay Miller as a real hero because he sets out "to do the right thing" the moment his sister goes missing, and goes about it as the "lone wolf" who wants to take on this responsibility by himself.[17] Adjustments had to be made to the filming schedule to accommodate Aaron Yoo, who portrays Chewie. Yoo had his appendix removed shortly before filming began, and could not film his scenes right away. As soon as he was ready for filming, Nispel immediately hung him upside down in some rafters, exposing the staples over his surgical wound, for the character's post-death shot.[18]

Fuller and Form admit that the casting process was more difficult for Friday the 13th than it had been on The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, as Friday the 13th had more young actors to contend with. The producers had thirteen young actors in Friday the 13th, whereas in The Texas Chainsaw Massacre they only had five. The pair had to continually recast parts to find the group that worked best together. This recasting process extended all the way to the start of filming. Hostel: Part II's Richard Burgi, who was cast as Sheriff Bracke, did not sign on until twelve hours before he had to start filming his scenes.[7]

Writing[edit]

When Shannon and Swift sat down to write the script for Friday the 13th, they decided to institute a few new rules for themselves based on lessons learned when they wrote Freddy vs. Jason. They wanted their teens to "sound normal". Shannon and Swift said they did not want the characters to even know Jason's name, or become what they saw as "the Scooby-Doo cliché where it's a bunch of kids trying to figure something out".[19] The writers also wanted to step away from the self-referential slasher films—such as Scream—and take the film back to a grittier, more 1980s feel that had been lost in recent films; they wanted to create a faster, looser Jason. The writing team decided to create a version of Jason "who was actually in the woods surviving off the land", and whose killings are presented as a way of defending "his turf" rather than simply randomly murdering whoever came along.[20]

"We felt it was important to go back to the basics and put Jason back in the woods again."
— Mark Swift on conceptualizing a new Friday the 13th film.[20]

The writers did not want to spend a lot of time covering Jason's childhood experiences, as they felt it would take away from the mystery of the character. They attempted to craft scenes that would lend realism, like the audience coming across a deer carcass lying on the ground as they followed Jason through his underground tunnels. At a cost of $100,000 a carcass, Fuller informed the pair that they would have to do without that particular element. Because of budget constraints, certain character deaths and the ending of the film also had to be scaled down from what Shannon and Swift had originally envisioned.[19]

The writers had originally written a scene where Willa Ford's character, Chelsea, is stranded out on the lake for hours after she spots Jason standing on the shore.[20] Eventually, the girl would tire and drown, which Shannon and Swift felt was something they had not seen in this genre of movies. Ultimately, they decided to make the death quicker and more "visceral".[19] A similar incident occurred with Danielle Panabaker's character Jenna. As Panabaker reveals, Jenna was scripted to survive longer than she did in the final version of the film; Jenna was supposed to make it out of Jason's lair and recite a "cute line" about a second "date" with Clay, before an elaborate fight sequence that ends in her death.[21] The writers wanted to strike a balance between finding new and interesting ways to kill the characters while paying homage to popular death scenes that have appeared in previous installments of the series. To accomplish this, Shannon and Swift included the presence of a wheelchair in Jason's tunnels—the character of Mark (Tom McBride) was a paraplegic who was killed by Jason in Friday the 13th Part 2—and the sweater that Mrs. Voorhees wore in the original Friday the 13th.[19]

The pair also put their own spin on Jason's characteristics. Mears describes him as a combination of John Rambo, Tarzan, and the Abominable Snowman from Looney Tunes. To Mears, Jason is similar to Rambo because the audience sees him setting the other characters up to fall into his traps. Like Rambo, he is more calculating because he feels that he has been wronged and he is fighting back; he is meant to be more sympathetic in this film.[16] However, Fuller and Form said they learned from their experience with The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning not to make Jason too sympathetic to the audience. One of the reasons they decided against an origin story was because they did not want to put focus on Jason being tormented as a child, as the producers felt that would "demystify" the character in an unhelpful manner. As Fuller explained, "We do not want him to be sympathetic. Jason is not a comedic character, he is not sympathetic. He's a killing machine. Plain and simple."[7]

Visual effects[edit]

Asylum Visual Effects was given the task of creating the digital effects for Friday the 13th. Although director Marcus Nispel is a proponent of practical effects, there were instances where Asylum had to digitally create various shots, in some instances to protect the safety of the actors, and sometimes to allow the director to achieve a specific look. Visual effects supervisor Mitchell Drain assigned ten crew members to work on the visual effects for the film, and the first thing they did was analyze the script in pre-production so they could get a sense of where digital effects would be needed. Ultimately, Asylum only worked on 25 shots for the film.[22]

One of the first scenes Asylum was given was the death scene for America Olivo's character, Amanda. In the scene, Jason ties Amanda up in her sleeping bag and hangs her over the campfire. As the risk to the actress was too great, as well as the risk to the surrounding woodlands, Asylum had to create a composite of two different shots in order to show Amanda burning in her sleeping bag. Instead of creating a computer generated (CGI) model of the campfire, a real campfire was filmed, and Asylum compositor John Stewart blended that footage and shots of the hanging sleeping bag into a single image. Stewart altered the flames digitally in order to keep continuity between frames.[23] Another composite shot was used when Ford's character is hit by a speedboat. As it would be too dangerous for even a stuntperson to attempt, Asylum digitally combined footage of Willa Ford reacting as an imaginary boat runs over her with shots of the actual boat to create the effect.[24]

A man with a video camera kneels down to film as Derek Mears, in his Jason Voorhees costume, pulls a machete out of the head of actor Ben Feldman, who is sitting on the ground. Behind the cameraman, another man uses a recording device to pick up the sound from the scene they are filming, while a third man works on something out of view from the camera.
Mears being filmed as he kills Ben Feldman's character; later, Asylum digitally created the rest of the machete as it was pulled away from Ben's face.

Asylum also had the chance to enhance some of Jason's signature kills with his machete. In multiple instances, Asylum used a computer-generated machete to kill a character, as Nispel wanted to be able to keep the characters' deaths all in one shot, as opposed to cutting from the act of killing them to the aftermath of their death. In one case, Jason kills Ben Feldman's character, Richie, by slamming a machete into his head. Instead of using a real machete with a fake head, Nispel had Feldman pretend to be dead with Mears pulling a handle—with only a portion of the blade attached—away from Feldman's head. Then, Asylum went in and digitally created the rest of the machete blade to complete the effect.[23] For this scene, Asylum adjusted the facial expressions of the actor to create a more "post mortem" look: the special effects team used the computer to digitally droop one half of the actor's face to give the impression that the nerves had been severed by Jason's machete.[24]

Asylum digitally created entire weapons for use in various scenes. In the scene where Ryan Hansen's character Nolan is killed suddenly—he is shot in the head with an arrow by Jason—Asylum had to create the entire arrow in post-production. Another scene involved Jason hurling a hatchet at actor Arlen Escarpeta, as he is running away, striking him in the back. As the image of a hatchet flying through the air, and in one instance in the same frame as the actor, would be too difficult to achieve practically, Asylum rendered a complete 3D model of the hatchet. Asylum then inserted the model into the frames leading up to where the digital image hits the character in the back. One of the final images added by Asylum was for the death of Travis Van Winkle's character, Trent. Here, Asylum was required to create a digital metal spike which bursts through Trent's chest as Jason slams him onto the back of a tow truck.[24]

Creating Jason[edit]

A sculpture of a male torso and head is overlaid with fake skin, which has been molded to appear as lean muscle. The face is disfigured, with the left side of the mouth curled upwards in a snarling effect; the right eye droops down on the face and is pressed into the eye socket; and the top of the head is bald with strands of hair on the back. The skin is pale in color.
A bust of Jason in the film. Effects artist Scott Stoddard combined characteristics from Jason's appearance in Friday the 13th Part 2 and The Final Chapter when crafting his own design.

Effects artist Scott Stoddard described his particular look for Jason's face as a combination of Carl Fullerton's design in Friday the 13th Part 2 and Tom Savini's work in Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter. Stoddard's vision of Jason included hair loss, skin rashes, and the traditional deformities in his face, but Stoddard attempted to craft Jason's look in a way that would allow for a more human side of him to be seen.[8] Mears was required to wear full body makeup from the chest up while performing as Jason. The actor wore a chest plate with fake skin that would adjust to his muscle movement; he wore a fake hump on his back to give the impression that Jason had scoliosis. A prosthetic eye was glued to Mears's face to allow for more realistic movement.[16] Stoddard initially spent three and a half hours applying all of the makeup to Mears's head and torso.[8] He was eventually able to reduce the required time to just over an hour for scenes where Mears was wearing the hockey mask. When it came time for the scenes that involved Jason's face to be revealed, it took approximately four hours to apply all of the makeup.[25]

For his wardrobe, Mears was given a pair of combat boots and a "high priced t-shirt" that allowed the special effects makeup to be seen through holes in the shirt. The jacket Jason wears in the film was created by combining a hunting jacket and a military jacket—Mears wanted the hunting jacket, but the creative team liked the way the military jacket billowed as he was making his "kill movements". The top of the hunting jacket was removed and placed over the top of the military jacket. Mears characterizes it as a "giant Frankenstein jacket". He describes Jason as being leaner in this film, given the rationale that the character does not eat much. A "leaner" Jason was deemed more functional, and allowed more emphasis to be placed on the hump on his back.[16] Stoddard took inspiration from the third and fourth films when designing Jason's hockey mask. Using an original mold that he was able to acquire, Stoddard crafted six new versions of the mask. As Stoddard explained, "Because I didn't want to take something that already existed, there were things I thought were great, but there were things I wanted to change a bit. Make it custom, but keep all the fundamental designs. Especially the markings on the forehead and cheeks. Age them down a bit, break them up."[8]

Music[edit]

In addition to taking story elements from the first four Friday the 13th films, Form and Fuller recognized the iconic status of the music, which had been part of every film since the first one was released in 1980. The pair immediately had the studio attain the licensing rights to the music originally composed and performed by Harry Manfredini for their 2009 film. Even though they secured the license for Manfredini's score, they did not plan on using it in its entirety. Instead, they brought on Steve Jablonsky, who had worked with Form and Fuller on previous films, to compose a score that was reminiscent of Manfredini's while creating the atmosphere that was wanted for the 2009 film.[7][26] Nispel contacted Jablonsky to do the score for Friday the 13th after having worked with him on the remake of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. Nispel explained to Jablonsky that he wanted him to create something that Nispel could "whistle when [he] left the theater", but was subtle enough that it would not immediately register while watching the film. As Nispel explained further, "I don't believe that, when you watch a Friday the 13th film, you want to feel like John Williams is sitting next to you with the London Symphony Orchestra."[27]

Release[edit]

On Friday, February 13, 2009,[1] Friday the 13th was released in 3,105 theaters in North America.[2] The 2009 film was given the widest release of any Friday the 13th film, including the crossover film with A Nightmare on Elm Street. It was released in nearly three times as many theaters as the original 1980 film, and edged out Freddy vs. Jason by 91 theaters.[28] Friday the 13th also saw release in 2,100 theaters throughout 28 foreign markets.[29] The film was released on DVD, Blu-ray, and Apple TV on June 16, 2009.[30] The DVD and Blu-ray releases contain both a theatrical release and an extended cut of the film.[31]

Box office[edit]

On its opening day, Friday the 13th grossed $19,293,446,[2] and immediately surpassed the total individual box office grosses for Jason Takes Manhattan (1989), Jason Goes to Hell (1993), and Jason X (2002), which earned $14,343,976, $15,935,068, and $13,121,555, respectively.[28] From February 14–16, the film took in an additional $24,292,003, to round out its 4-day President's Day weekend with $43,585,449.[2] By the end of its 3-day opening weekend it was already the second highest grossing Friday film in the series with $40,570,365,[28] and just barely beat out The Grudge (2004) for the best 3-day weekend opening for any horror film.[32] When comparing the 2009 film's opening weekend to that of its 1980 counterpart, in adjusted 2009 US dollars,[33] the original Friday the 13th only brought in $17,251,975. Although the 2009 film made more money, when factoring in the number of theaters each film was released in, the 1980 film earned more per theater with $15,683, compared to the 2009 film's $13,066.[28][34]

Friday the 13th saw a significant drop in attendance in its second weekend at the box office. On its second Friday, the film took in only $2,802,977, which was an 85.5% decrease from opening Friday.[2] By the end of its second weekend, the film brought in $7,942,472, an 80.4% overall decrease from the previous weekend.[35] As a result, the film went from first place to sixth place in the weekend box office.[36] By its third weekend, Friday the 13th had dropped out of the top ten, earning $3,689,156, which was a 53.6% decrease from its second weekend.[37] By the end of its box office run, Friday the 13th earned an estimated $65 million at the United States box office,[3] but failed to regain a top ten spot after its third weekend.[38]

The 2009 film sits in fifth place for all-time President's Day weekends with $45,033,454.[39] It is eighth in highest-grossing weekends in the month of February,[40] as well as eighth in highest-grossing weekends for the winter season, which is defined by the first day after the New Year weekend through the first Thursday of the month of March.[41] Friday the 13th finished as the fourth-highest grossing film of the month of February, with $59.8 million, just behind Taken with $84.3 million, He's Just Not That into You with $77.2 million, and Madea Goes to Jail, with $60.9 million.[42]

It is the fifteenth-highest grossing R-rated film of 2009.[43] Because of the significant decrease in box office gross in its second weekend, the film sits in sixth place for the largest second-weekend drop;[44] it is the seventh-largest drop for a film that opened as the number one film in the United States.[45] With its $65 million in domestic box office, Friday the 13th is the highest-grossing film among the recent slasher remakes, which consist of When a Stranger Calls (2006), Black Christmas (2006), Halloween (2007), Prom Night (2008), and My Bloody Valentine 3D (2009).[46] The film is ranked seventh overall when compared to all horror remakes,[47] as well as seventh place for all slasher films in general, in unadjusted dollars.[48]

In addition to its North American box office gross, Friday the 13th earned over $9.5 million in foreign markets on its opening weekend.[49] The film's biggest markets were the United Kingdom, Russia, Italy, Spain, and Germany. Friday the 13th took in approximately $1.7 million in both the United Kingdom and Russia, an estimated $1.1 million in Spain, and $1 million in Italy and Germany. According to Paramount, this was the largest foreign opening of any of the Friday the 13th films.[29] The film finished its North American box office run with $65,002,019; coupled with its foreign take of $26,377,032, the film has accumulated $91,379,051 in worldwide box office.[3]

Critical reception[edit]

Based on 162 reviews collected by Rotten Tomatoes, Friday the 13th has a 25% overall approval rating from critics, with an average score of 4.2 out of 10.[50] Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, calculated an average score of 34, based on 29 reviews.[51] CinemaScore polls reported that the average grade cinemagoers gave the film a "B-minus" on an A+ to F scale,[52] with exit polls showing that 51% of the audience was male, and 59% was at least 25 years old or older.[53]

A man smiling and wearing a tie and jacket signs an autograph.
Aaron Yoo's performance as the marijuana-smoking Chewie was praised by critics who gave the film both positive and negative reviews.[54][55]

Alonso Duralde wrote that the film should please slasher fans, but concluded that it added nothing new to the genre or the franchise, and thus will not appeal to people who already did not like slasher films. Duralde went on to chide the film for adding a black and an Asian character in an attempt to "update the movie for the new millennium", but noted in the end that the prospect of another Friday the 13th—crafted by the film's "sequel-friendly" ending—did not leave him with a feeling of dread.[56] Along the same lines, Bill Goodykoontz of The Arizona Republic stated that the film accepts the "ridiculousness" of what it is trying to accomplish, which is primarily the "death and dismemberment" of "party-hungry kids", and that audiences would enjoy it if they recognized that as well. Although Goodykoontz acknowledges the unique touches the film brings to certain characters' deaths, he was unimpressed with the acting and noted that Padalecki's presence gave the film a "less-good episode of Supernatural" vibe.[57]

The Washington Post's Dan Zak wrote that the film fails to provide laughs, scares, suspense, or gore. Zak also suggested that the film fails to provide the exhibition of nudity expected of horror films that cannot deliver on the previously listed criteria.[58] Mark Olsen of the Los Angeles Times felt that Nispel managed to capture the despair that he created with his Texas Chainsaw Massacre remake, but agreed that the film failed to provide the "giddiness", "teenage lust", and "rambunctiousness" that made the previous Friday the 13th films work.[59] Wesley Morris believed Friday the 13th did have humor. He noted that the characters continually act the clichéd role of would-be-victim, which made it hard to fear for their safety. In his opinion, the 2009 film lacked the "psycho-social" aspect—a mother killing out of revenge for her son's death—crafted by its 1980 predecessor, and ultimately the film is "more hilarious than terrifying".[60]

The New York Post's Kyle Smith felt that Nispel made no attempt to create a movie beyond blood and guts, and even those attempts were "forgettable". Smith noted that, apart from Clay and Trent, the rest of the cast were merely "faces in the crowd" with no attempt provided to give them any sort of backstory.[61] USA Today's Claudia Puig wrote that the 2009 entry keeps to the same formula as its predecessors, with a story that adds little to nothing to the franchise. However, Puig noted that Padalecki and Panabaker filled their lead roles well enough, and that Aaron Yoo's comic relief made him one of the most likable characters on screen.[54] Rob Nelson of Variety also praised Panabaker and Yoo's performances.[54]

In contrast to the film's detractors, The New York Times's Nathan Lee believed that the film managed to "reboot the concept" of the original films, and do so with style. Lee stated that the film takes pleasure in killing off each of its characters. Lee pointed out that there is a desire among cinemagoers for this type of material, and Friday the 13th satisfies that desire.[5] Adam Graham, from The Detroit News, remarked that the 2009 film is the most effective and scary film in the Friday the 13th series, praising the film's choice of allowing Jason to run after his victims—as opposed to slowly walking behind them, as had become prominent in later sequels—as it made him more "menacing". Graham further pointed out that the film does not "soften" Jason's scariness by providing a sympathetic backstory.[62] Entertainment Weekly's Clark Collis believed that director Nispel made a competent film that performs better as a whole than the previously released remakes of Prom Night (2008) and My Bloody Valentine 3D (2009), although it does provide a few too many unbelievable character moments.[63]

Jason Anderson of the Toronto Star felt that the film succeeded in adding freshness to the standard formula of the previous films by focusing on the chasing and killing aspects, instead of lingering on the prolonged suffering of victims like the Saw films.[64] Concurring with Puig's evaluation, IGN's Chris Carle felt that Aaron Yoo stole the film with his comic timing and with what Carle saw as his "memorable death". Commenting on Derek Mears' portrayal of Jason, Carle noted that he brings more to the character than being simply a stuntman; Mears's subtle movements, athleticism, and physicality created an "imposing" image of Jason.[55]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Young Jason Cast in Friday the 13th remake". FearNet. May 15, 2008. Retrieved May 28, 2008. 
  2. ^ a b c d e "Daily Box Office Calendar". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved February 15, 2009. 
  3. ^ a b c "Total Gross (Main Page)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved May 31, 2009. 
  4. ^ Joal Ryan (February 16, 2009). "Sorry, Shopaholic, Hockey Masks Are the New Black". E! Online. Retrieved February 20, 2009. 
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External links[edit]