The year: 1980. The place: Camp Crystal Lake. A woman named Mrs. Voorhees has just gone nuts and killed off a
bunch of camp counselors. Their crime: not paying attention to the woman’s mentally
challenged son Jason, who drowned while they were partying. We join up
with Jason Voorhees’ poor mother just as she’s about to deal with the
last camper, or so she thinks.


Backstory out of the way, we’re then introduced to a group of
campers in a very extended scene. It’s now present day and these kids
are camping in Jersey near Camp Crystal Lake.
They’re not there just for the fresh air and tent sex, however, they’ve
got a tip on some marijuana that’s growing out there and have big
dreams of smoking and selling a whole bunch of it. One thing they
didn’t know is that this is Jason’s stash… and he doesn’t share.


Over the
course of the night one of them tells the spooky story of how twenty years ago Mrs.
Voorhees chopped up all the campers, thus negating the need for the
intro scene at all. Soon the couples break off to have sex except for the
funny-yet-dorky computer guy, who heads off to the woods and finds a glorious
bounty of weed.


So begins the new Jason’s motivation. Rather than being pissed off
that kids are doing drugs, drinking, and having sex (and stopping them
at the most inopportune moments) it seems this new Jason just doesn’t
like people touching his weed. Most of the people he kills try to
steal it or go near it. Pot-head Jason needs to learn the cypher.


Cut to a few months later. That kid from Supernartural (you know, the one who wasn’t in My Bloody Valentine 3D)
is looking for his sister, who disappeared while camping at Crystal
Lake. There’s a fresh new group of young pretty folk coming up to be
murde- excuse me, coming up to take advantage of their rich friend’s
cabin. Guess who shows up and ruins their party?


Oh, Jason, it’s good to have you back. Friday the 13th
was never my favorite horror series (I was always more of a Freddy guy
myself) but that massive masked man was a big part of my upbringing,
and a reason I was glad my parents never had money to send me away to
camp.


They’ve done something very interesting with this remake/revamp in that it basically condenses the first three Friday the 13th
films and speeds through them. You’ll go from a very small scene with
Mrs. Voorhees (Her role is relegated to a tiny scene at the very
beginning, almost a cameo, in fact. The lady playing her is no Betsy
Palmer, either) to bag-head Jason to full-on hockey masked killer.


It’s interesting to note the schism between generations as you watch
this film. Kids might not understand why Jason shows up with rags over
his head in the beginning and wonder if he’s the real killer, while the
old-school slasher fans will wonder why he’s running around at full
speed. Not only can Jason run this time, but he’s a whiz at electrical
wiring and is an expert marksman. Honest- he’s got the archery trophies
to prove it. Some retard!


Some things haven’t changed since the 80s, however. For instance- the
stereotypical token black character, who makes a reference to his
blackness at any point he can. You know, just like real black people!
The minority comic relief persona has seemingly figured out
reproduction on the cellular level and split into two over the years,
and so here the black guy is also joined by an Asian guy. Progression!
Both are interchangable characters that could easily have been one
role, and add nothing to the story… although they are still
admittedly entertaining. But it’d be nice if a horror film could get
written by people who’ve had interactions with other races once in a
while.


The rest of the cast contains annoying pretty boys with shining blue eyes and
flowing locks of hair, and girls with really nice boob jobs
for the kids they’re supposed to be portraying. There’s a decent amount
of nudity in this one, thankfully. It’s always a shame to see neutered
slasher films not paying tribute to the two things that made the genre
so popular in the first place (blood and boobs) but you’ll definitely
get your money’s worth here. Too bad the characters have nothing
interesting to say or do.


But really, you’re not here for the character development… at least I
hope you’re not, because there is none. No, what you’re here is to see
a hulking madman tiptoe quietly up on victims and then splatter them
around the woods with various edged weapons. You won’t be disappointed
with that. Jason’s quite the tricky guy this time, setting up traps and
showing up at the best moments to make the characters and audience
jump. There are really no kills on par with the best in the series,
though… there’s nothing terribly memorable or original here. Some
good FX work, sure, but nothing as gory as Jason’s slide down the
machete in Part 4, or anything as outright funny as the sleeping bag kills in Part 7 and X.


Derek Mears’ Jason is a frightening monster, though, easily one of the
best Jasons in the series. He’s a big menacing character, faster and
more quick-witted than you’d expect.. Except for a couple of strange
choices for the character (oh, Jason kidnaps people now, does he?) he’s
the usual no-nonsense kind of guy.


But anyway. Despite a lot of the usual slasher movie stupidity this
film is a really fun time. See this in a theater with a lot of people
who’ll shriek and laugh at the right moments and you’ll be warped back
to the moments you had watching the originals. Whereas My Bloody Valentine 3D is a shitty slasher movie whose live experience made it worthwhile, this is an actually decent film, and a solid entry in the Friday the 13th series.


8 out of 10