Some things are worth the wait. Sure, it’s been decades since the original Friday the XIII shocked audiences. Now, ace producer Michael Bay continues the tradition in a very stylish horror thriller. Lots of buzz has been hovering over this film since it began shooting. Now the proof is in the pudding and horror fans should be very pleased with the results.
Smart storytelling can win an audience over. Thanks to the first Friday gore fest and whole string of follow-ups were made, with one being shot right here in British Columbia. Class stands the test of time and this new version wisely takes us back to the origins of this masked man’s mayhem.
Director Marcus Nispel has sure stepped up to the plate big time after earlier helming the laughable House of Wax. Audiences don’t quite know what to expect when the lights lower but we are treated, yes treated to an opening that reminds one of the pre credit sequences to the Bond films. How so, you may ask? Well, quite simply before the credits were are treated to a little get to know Jason interlude that perfectly sets the stage for the terror that’s about to follow.
Sly tongue in cheek humour that teens and even dare I say justice/police officials (sorry, again quite relevant to present day B.C.) can related to gets things off to a cheeky if not rousing start. From there we return to that idyllic Crystal Lake setting. When a girl goes missing it’s up to her brother Clay Miller to make the requisite inquiries. Unfortunately, as one character says, no one goes missing in these them parts, they end up dead.
Clay does what he can to find his lost family member while another group of eager campers (really partyers) begins to set up shop at, you gessed it, that infamous Crystal Lake cabin. Each of the assembled yahoos are perfect examples of modern youth: young, freewheeling and ever ready for a good time. Too bad for them a rather angry intruder makes their quest for good old sex and relaxation hard commodities to come by.
Watch the body count soar as a mystery man (?) in a hockey mask strikes terror at these young adults. Gruesome ways to dispose of the innocent are fine-tuned here as you just know bad things will come of these visitors. Seeing the characters play off one another is also great fun as they are truly well defined and interesting, making this film, in essence, a cut above, way above, your typical slasher flick.
Unlike a lot of lesser thrillers here the music is never overdone, the ingenious assaults well planned and executed and the dialogue quite believable. Lust and drugs are high on these kids’ agenda with Travis Van Winkle (Transformers) spot on as a rich twit and Jared Padalecki the kind of brother every girl wishes she had.
Above all else people flock to these films for the villain. Derek Mears (Mr. and Mrs. Smith) gives great goose bumps as Jason Voorhees, the maniac from hell. Campy in the extreme, Friday the XIII is full of suspense (and excess) and the pacing and tension never slows down during its 97 minute bloodletting. Perfect timing with its release on Friday the thirteenth ensure this film will be huge hit with long legs (except for one poor victim’s of Jason’s carpentry skills).
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