Friday the 13th Blu-ray: Review By Evan "Mushy" Jacobs

Can't the Friday the 13th genre, the one that set the stage (and standard) for the modern slasher film, rise above merely cherry-picking characters from Wrong Turn 2?
  • OVERALL
    3.5
    GREAT
  • Feature
  • Picture
  • Sound
  • Extras
  • Replay Value
THE GOOD
The Friday the 13th series lives on!
THE BAD
The Friday the 13th series lives on!
THE FEATURE
The most original thing about this new Friday the 13th film is how basically in the first 10 minutes of the movie we are taken through the best films in this series. No, we don't follow Jason to Manhattan or outer space or any of the other nonsensical places, rather we stop pretty much at the 5th or 6th movie, though, it's never truly delineated where we end up in the franchise. One has to love how in the opening credits we're basically taken through the first 2-3 films.

In this new version a young man (Jared Padalecki) is on the hunt for his missing sister. Along the way he meets up with a bunch of hot guys and girls who are going to a cabin for the weekend (at least I think it was a weekend). Of course the young man gets into a fight, and shows up, the rich kid whose parents own the cabin. We then follow these young frolickers who suddenly begin to die at the hands of Jason Vorhees. The young man ends up coming upon the cabin where he and one of the young girls (of course), must fight for their lives if they are going to defeat this unkillable killer. In the process, they end up finding the young man's sister who Jason has inexplicably left alive.

All in all this new Friday the 13th isn't terrible but it really isn't good either.
THE EXTRAS
Hacking Back/Slashing Forward

Why in the world they didn't just cut this piece together with some of the other featurettes on this disc and make one big featurette is beyond me. This high-definition short subject looks at the original film and sadly doesn't give us any new information. That said, one cannot really fault the creator's of this piece because if you have seen any doc*mentary's on horror films about the movies from the 1970s to 1980s, then you know the story. The fact that there are doc*mentaries just devoted to this franchise (ie. His Name Was Jason) also lets you in how well worn this story is. So, if you are brand new to this franchise, which surely a new generation of moviegoers are, then you will probably glean a lot from this featurette. If you already know the story of Sean Cunningham... you can skip this.

Terror Trivia Track with Picture-In-Picture

Explore the Rebirth of Jason Vorhees

No! What this HD segment is is a look at what they have done to update Jason Vorhees for today's viewers. He's bigger, he's badder, and he lives underground in the woods. My gosh, are all the screenwriters in Hollywood on cruise control? Is this really the best that they could do? I know that Jason is supposed to be this deformed child who drowned and then inexplicably came back to life, but does he need to go underground like almost every other hillbilly or mutant killer. Can't the Friday the 13th genre, the one that set the stage (and standard) for the modern slasher film, rise above merely cherry-picking characters from Wrong Turn 2?

Additional Slashed Scenes

7 Best Kills

If you want to know how the 7 best kills were done in this movie then I would say watch this. Truthfully, out of the all the features on this disc, this little HD gem was probably the most entertaining. When I watched this film I can't say that I had some burning desire to know how the characters were offed, but this featurette very simply showed me that. It is incredible, when one considers just how long a kill lasts on screen, that so much work goes into making those moments come off just right. Fans of the movie and would be makeup people should check this out.
THE VIDEO
1080p High Definition. 16x9 - 2.4:1. The special features are 1080p High Definition while others are 480i or 480p standard definition. This film looked good in the theater so I wasn't thinking that there would be a decline with the Blu-ray disc. Still, with the all the technology and variables in the way that things are transferred one never knows, right? Let me just say that the Paramount Blu-ray watchers got this one right. I noticed no moments of pixilation. At times the images were so clear I noticed things (like certain tools in Jason's lair) that I didn't see upon my initial viewing. While I don' t think that director of photography Daniel C. Pearl has done that amazing of a job here, I do think that this movie has the ability to look gritty and slick at a moments notice.
THE AUDIO
Dolby TrueHD: English 5.1, Dolby Digital: English and French 5.1. The Special Features are in Stereo. Subtitles: English SDH, French and Spanish. On select bonus features viewers can access English and French subtitles. The audio was pretty pulverizing on this disc. I found that I did a lot of raising and lowering of the volume between kills. The fact that the violence in this movie is so plentiful, I didn't have to do it a ton but it was noticeable. I also thought that I would hear more intricacies with the audio but that didn't happen really. The sound was full but it seemed sort of flat and not really that multilayered. Maybe if I had speakers surrounding me I would have felt more engrossed by the audio?
THE PACKAGE
Jason, which his crooked eyes, is shown to us on this embossed front cover. The back features one behind the scenes shot (I have not just seen that since I bought the Trick Or Treat dvd!), a Special Features listing, cast list and technical specs. There isn't really anything else to the packing but something tells me that Paramount might be planning something bigger down the road.
THE FINAL WORD
What bothers me the most about these remakes of the slasher films from my youth is the fact that they try and make these characters have depth. In trying to give us some backstory on Jason or even his foils in the movie, they have undermined what made those first films so great. We didn't watch the original Friday the 13th and hope that the the people in it where redeemable. We didn't want them to beat Jason. The fun was seeing Jason go after them and then see how he killed them when he got them. That was it. To try and humanize the characters and Jason with these inane backstories, basically means that the movies are doomed to the realm of forgetful.

Yes, they have made a lot of money. However, when people start looking back on the horror of the new millennium, are they going to be talking about the retreads like Friday the 13th or are they gonna be discussing a movie like The Devil's Rejects? As for the Halloween reboots...

Don't even get me started.

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Comments (2)

  1. SlysnideII: Angel Eyes

    haha. I like how your good & bad on the film are both the same.

    5 years agoby @slysnideiiFlag

  2. 313td

    Nice review.

    5 years agoby @313tdFlag