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E.C. McMullen Jr.
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E.C. McMullen Jr.
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CEDO LOOKED LIKE PEOPLE
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Head Production Designer
JOSEPH CROSS, BRIANA EVIGAN,
Special Effects Make-Up
A SIERRA NEVADA
(MICHAEL MADSEN & JOHN SAVAGE).
"You're fucking lucky there, stretch! Came that close to hitting the start button on the whoop-ass machine, boy!"
Before he directed his first feature film (a remake of Tobe Hooper's 1974 film, TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE), Marcus Nispel was exclusively a video music director. He helmed a ton of them from such acts like Faith No More, Janet Jackson, Elton John, Billy Joel, and even in one instance, Tony Bennet. Though, he didn't log much time where it came to cinematic affairs, he did have a lot of directorial credits to his name.
I'm sure it played a big part of his getting the job for the remake of Hooper's film and the remake of FRIDAY THE 13TH originally directed by Sean S. Cunningham. Not too much more of note since, really. He directed a movie called PATHFINDER starring the great Karl Urban, two years before this movie and a reboot of CONAN THE BARBARIAN that for the sake of keeping the peace, we won't get into. But enough about, Nispel. We will get into the review instead.
A group of red-blooded teens out to do the activities you don't want to be caught doing by you know who (Drinking, doing drugs, screwing around... you know what things, for Christ sake! Just don't do 'em!) and are onto a rumored patch of superweed (never mind how they found out. It is never really explained. Heard it from a friend, who heard it from a friend who, heard it from a friend, who). Oh, they find the farm and its crops, but the bulk of them buy the farm a short time later. Twenty-Four minutes into the flick and the title card finally pops up.
(It was a mistake quoting Goddamn REO SPEEDWAGON! Now, that frikkin' song is stuck in my head.)
Switch to six weeks later, another batch of teens ripe for the slaughter appear to take their chances with the area of Crystal Lake. They run into a dude named Clay Miller1 (a clever homage to creator Victor Miller, played by Jared Padalecki: SUPERNATURAL [TV], HOUSE OF WAX, CRY WOLF, PHANTOM BOY), he of tall stature and fame.) who is out and about the community asking folks have they seen his sister, Whitney (Amanda Righetti: RETURN TO HOUSE ON HAUNTED HILL, PIPELINE, WANDERING EYE, CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE FIRST AVENGER, COLONY [TV], DERANGED GRANNY).
The newly arrived college group happen to cross paths with him and one of the group, Trent (Travis Van Winkle: LEFT IN DARKNESS, TRANSFORMERS, ASYLUM, 247°F, RITES OF PASSAGE, BLOODWORK, ) is a total jerk to Clay, for no other good reason than to be one. He is throughout the flick. I must hand it to Van Winkle, though. I have seen him in a few other things, and he seems to be a decent human being. Seems to be. I guess that's why they call it acting. In this version of FRIDAY THE 13TH, you wouldn't know it, because he is a prick the second he appears onscreen and every moment after.
Anyway, Jason Voorhees (Derek Mears: THE DEMOLISTIONIST, MEN IN BLACK II, CURSED, THE HILLS HAVE EYES 2, DRAGON WARS: D-WAR, RESIDENT EVIL: DEGENERATION, HELLBINDERS, PREDATORS, PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: ON STRANGER TIDES, HATCHET III, HANSEL & GRETEL: WITCH HUNTERS, PERCY JACKSON: SEA OF MONSTERS, DEAD SNOW 2, TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES , FREAKS OF NATURE, SLEEPY HOLLOW [TV], FROM JENNIFER, ALITA: BATTLE ANGEL, SWAMP THING [TV]) shows yet again what happens to trespassers if they invade the peace and solitude of Crystal Lake: he goes right to work, doing what he does best.
The bodies begin to pile up once more, which surprises no one. This is the plot of EVERY FRIDAY film in some form or fashion. Granted, they try different gimmicks to keep the series fresh, but it's all really the same thing with the same results in the end. The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. Not for anyone who makes a FRIDAY THE 13TH movie. Churning out those bad boys like bakery pastries, no matter how similar, is designed for one reason, and one reason only: To make as much cash as they can via the films and any merch the studios can hawk for the franchise. And let me tell you, peeps, they make a lot.
Some points to make before I close this review out:
The writers heavily discussed bringing Tommy Jarvis (Corey Feldman: John Shepherd, Thom Matthews) from the films FRIDAY THE 13TH: THE FINAL CHAPTER, FRIDAY THE 13TH PART VI: JASON LIVES back into the fold, but seemingly at the last minute, decided against it2. They didn't want to have a FRIDAY THE 13TH PART 11. The writers and Nispel wanted their own creation with a fresh start.
It's unlikely there will be a sequel to this flick. The opening weekend brought in 43.5 million dollars on a President's Day 4-day weekend, on an estimated 19-million-dollar budget. Though it made back over twice its initial budget, the movie dropped over 80 percent on its second week. Not good. Studios tend to balk at things like that.
The writers didn't want Jason to simply "appear" somewhere like he had in other entires of the original series when he was about to claim a new victim. It is for this reason they came up with the tunnel maze under the grounds of Crystal Lake.
Despite some of my own snarkiness and snide remarks where it concerns FRIDAY THE 13TH, I like this movie quite a little bit. I must admit though, much like ALIENS VS. PREDATOR (2004) and FREDDY VS. JASON (2003) such was not the case in the beginning. It took a few subsequent viewings to get me to this place. But hey! I'm a Jason mark all the way!
My three favorite franchises to follow are ALIEN, HELLRAISER and of course, FRIDAY THE 13TH. There are some real piles in all three, I will watch various films from each and give them more chances than I would some others. But I know when to say basta, however. I'm not going to waste what minutes I do have left on something I know really isn't worth it, no matter what the series.
I like this reboot just a tad better than the original, because I can buy Jason Voorhees as a crazed serial killer, more than his mother, Pamela (Originally, Betsy Palmer, reboot, Nana Visitor). Pamela Voorhees just didn't have that dynamic appeal that her son has that made him a legend.
According to co-writer, Damian Shannon, the character of Jason Voorhees was re-imagined as more territorial, like a hunter, someone who doesn't kill people at random, but will defend his territory from anyone invading it and then in the most brutal manner. Derek Mears says his interpretation of Jason, is inspired partially by the character, John Rambo, in FIRST BLOOD.
Three Shriek Girls