So I watched the new Friday The 13th.
It was, not good. That’s why you come to this blog right the eloquence? The ways in which is was not good are long and varied. They’ve been listed before and I will not list them again. All I can say is it finally proved my greater Friday The 13th theorem wrong which heretofore had stated that a six pack of Budweiser, a pizza, and a Friday The 13th movie would always equal a good time.
On the surface it’s the exact type of movie I keep bitching at Hollywood to make. Unabashedly R rated with blood and boobs galore. But damnit it just wasn’t any fun.
It did bring up an interesting point though, which caused more personal reflection then any shitty horror remake would. Which is to say that the way that Friday the 13th was not good is the same way that the other films in the series are not good.
Let’s take a step back, Halloween. Love it or hate it Rob Zombie’s remake of Halloween is a completely different beast from the original. So if you don’t like Rob Zombie’s Halloween and you don’t like John Carpenter’s Halloween, it’s not going to be for the same reasons.
Objectively though, I have to admit that Friday The 13th is pretty damn similar to the original 80’s films. A cast of idiots go to the woods drink, smoke, fuck, and get killed by a giant undead backwoods mongoloid. This is not a bold reinterpretation of the work, this is a step by step recreation. Of what I consider to be the prototypical slasher movie.
So why didn’t it work for me at all?
It’s possible that I’m just an old fogey and the sight of stupid twenty something pretending to be stupid teenagers and then getting killed no longer has the same allure that it once did. But whose kidding who, I’m the guy with a poster from The Burning hanging on my wall. I love the sight of stupid twenty something pretending to be stupid teenagers and then getting killed.
One possible explanation is that I may have underestimated the kitsch factor that those eighties films had. Sure those films may have been stocked with characters just as unlikable as those in this one (Well maybe not quiet as douchey). Am I able to except those guys simply by virtue of the fact that they’re wearing knee socks rather then trucker caps?
I think part of the problem is the film just isn’t fun. Though it’d be wrong to call the Friday the 13th series tongue in cheek (at least in the beginning). It always managed to have a loose appealing energy to it. Here’s what I wrote in an earlier column.
The Slasher movies tended to fill that hour with nudity, sex, herb smoking, drinking, practical jokes, Hell if you subtract the killings most Slasher movies are films about a bunch of friends having a good time.
It’s this lack of lightness this dedication to being Totally eXtreme, squeezes all the fun out of it. I wouldn’t share a cab with anyone in the film, why should I want to watch them die?
I don’t know why I’ve spent so much time wondering why I didn’t like a bad movie. The answer seems fairly self evident, it was after all, a very very bad movie. But it’s also a movie that proved as much as I may like to deny it, that I have a Dogma, one as strange as exacting as any movie critic. And brother, this one doesn’t fit.