Revisiting Remakes: Friday the 13th (2009)
I recently rewatched the 2009 remake of Friday the 13th. It's the impetus for the series of articles that I'm going to affectionately refer to as Revisiting Remakes. The reason is simple. I never understood why this particular movie got so much hate from fans of the series. It's certainly not high art, but when has the Friday the 13th franchise ever been high art? Never, that's when!
This 2009 remake is exactly like the first 4 movies in the series. In fact, it's basically a compilation of those films. It takes aspects from those original 4 and makes into something cohesive.
Let's be honest, there's no where that the Friday the 13th series could have gone. Jason Voorhees had long since stopped being frightening. In fact, he arguably could have been considered an anti hero. By the final film in the original time line, Jason had transitioned from a cold blooded inhumanly (but still human) strong killer into an undead zombie. He had fought a girl with telekinesis. He had taken a boat ride to New York. He had turned into a giant slug type creature. He had a showdown with Freddy Krueger. He had been to fucking space! There was NO where for this franchise to go. The only two options remaining would be to just kill it off or reboot it. Personally, I'm glad that they chose the latter.
|Disposable cast? Check.|
The 2009 remake took Jason back to his roots. He was no longer a zombie. He ran after his victims. This reset the mythology while still keeping the character's main traits and motivations in place. It put him back in Camp Crystal Lake where he belongs.
I remember when this movie came out and the fans of the series lashed out on how terrible it was. I didn't get it then and I don't get it now. They complained that Jason ran after his victims. They complained that he set traps for them. They complained that the characters were one sided and caricatures. I hate to break it to them, that's no different than the original series. Jason did all of those things in the original series at one point or another. The ONLY difference is that we don't have the fog of nostalgia for the 2009 release. It may be a little glossier, but that's simply a matter of the time it was released. There's definitely some brutal kills in here and while some of the characters are a joke, they never make a joke of Jason.