Horror review: Friday the 13th



Boy, am I a sucker for punishment.

Back in 1980 I was so freaked out by the original Friday the 13th that ever since I’ve felt compelled to follow the gruesome exploits of Jason Voorhees, hoping to catch an equally terrifying buzz.

But as anyone who’ll sheepishly admit to seeing all the sequels will agree, the masked psycho’s antics lost their spark right after 1984’s Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter (they lied). By the time 2002’s Jason X had him stalking victims in outer space, it was clearly time to put the franchise down. Instead, Freddy Krueger was brought in and the two horror icons battled it out in 2003’s Freddy vs. Jason.

I forget who won.

After all those awful Fridays, I couldn’t have cared less if old Goalie Face ever swung an axe again. But then word got out that director Marcus Nispel—who’d done a wicked job updating Tobe Hooper’s The Texas Chainsaw Massacre—was remaking the original Friday. My unhealthy obsession with Jason flared up again. I even went so far as to invite Canada’s top horror author, Jay Clarke (aka Michael Slade), to the advance screening.

Huh? What’s that? Quit talkin’ about your old buddies and get to the part about the movie? Sure thing.

Five nauseating 20-somethings head out to Camp Crystal Lake to guzzle Pabst Blue Ribbon and have loud tent sex, but Jason roasts one of them like a weenie and says howdy to everyone else with the business edge of his trusty machete.

And that’s just the intro!

After that, a fresh batch of kids get systematically slaughtered, but in even less inventive ways, and with few accompanying scares. I wasn’t impressed, and neither was Clarke, who will no doubt seek revenge for the 90 minutes of suffering by naming a character in one of his novels after me and then brutally killing him off.


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