Uh-oh! A negative review?
Well, not ALL negative, but yeah, sort of.
I had really high hopes for this one. I guess this is all I should have expected from it. The majority of the later Friday the 13th movies were all about the killing, less about story. The fans were fine with it, really. Youpee! Jason is killin' some dudes! That's what they were looking for. But me, I enjoy a horror more when it has a decent plot to back it up. I'll begin with the bad, then move on to the good later.
Trailers ho! (Youtube, Apple)
First of all, Vanessa of Cinema Coquette mentioned that I don't really hate on the acting in the movies I've reviewed so far. Well, she'll be delighted to know that that's just what I'm going to do in this case. Simply put, the acting was bad, or at least had no feel to it. Not horrible, per se; horrible does come along, but I reserve that word for the worst of the worst. Still, you could pick up a teen off the street or off the set of any soap opera (oho! a low-blow to the soap operas!) and have a cast mostly on-par with what we seen in this movie. "Hyuk, hyuk, I'm a teen and like sex and drugs, hyuk!" I couldn't find any inspiration to root for a character's survival. I'll pretend I'm going to find some deep meaning to this film and say that the lack of any depth meant that nobody was really there, and it was all a dream, the end.
The next problem was the plot. Basically, they jammed two movies into the first 30 minutes, and the rest was a third movie. They were all slightly related, but they didn't need each other. The first two were just another half-hour of sex and gore for the audience and back-story that us viewers could deduce perfectly well on our own. So what's this 'story' I keep talking about? I don't need to put it in a nutshell for you, it's already in there. Some teens go to a lake to party, one guy is looking for his missing sister, and Jason decides to kill them all for being there (that's HIS territory, punks!). He also randomly goes and kills some dude who has been living in the area for quite a while. I guess the characters in the movie are like items on clearance at your local superstore: ALL THINGS MUST GO! He got introduced as a character, so I suppose the movie makers decided they might as well kill him too. Why not, right, we're on a roll.
They had a steady formula for the movie: introduce teens, kill teens; introduce more teens, kill 'em some more. Nothing in between. You get just as much story as a McDonald's ad. And to put it simply, there wasn't much in the form of scares either. Sure he jumped out at you a few times, and maybe you jumped too, but otherwise no. Anything worth drawing out some fear was used in the commercial anyhow.
(I'm totally not right behind you.)
My goodness, I sound like a professional critic! For once we're on the same wavelength, and I think that's the scariest part about this movie! Mr. Allan Hunter puts it very nicely on Rotten Tomatoes.
"Golly, do you have anything nice to say to this poor defenseless film?" Oh, yes, that's next. Because, you see, if senseless violence in the form of a large amount of slaughtered teens is what you were looking for, then this is the movie for you! In fact, you get two whole bunches of them looking for love and marijuana, just asking to be slasher victims. And for those of you who say "that is horrible!" keep in mind that what I just said is the main reason people go to see this movie: to watch whatever creative ways the makers have put together for people to die. If looked at only from that point of view, this was a great movie. Not much else going on.
But the one thing that I personally found to be a treat in this movie is the new and improved Jason. If you've seen the old movies, you remember the slow, clumsy, indestructible brute that was Jason. Now, not only is he stab-proof, but he's cunning (traps, plans, etc), he's fast (what's scarier, a guy with a machete walking at you, or a guy with a machete RUNNING at you?), and he's agile (more stealthy then ever, with smooth deadly movements). They took a threatening dude and made him into an even more unstoppable monster. In my opinion, seeing that was the main reason to watch this movie.
(I've been exercising! Can you tell?)
Overall: Critically, it's not a good movie. I might rent it when it's in the cheap-movie isle at Blockbuster, and that'll be the end of it. But, if you're in the mood for a movie with a decent kill-count and fair variety of ways to pull off said kills, then go ahead, have a ball. Heck, you might love it. I enjoyed it fine. Still doesn't make it good.