Sunday, November 21, 2010

Initial Thoughts: Friday the 13th (2009)


(Truth be told, this is an old post from what was basically the prototype for this blog (some would argue this place is still in the beta phase which I wouldn't disagree with). I figured I'd post it here for archival purposes before its other home disappears. (Myspace, what the hell happened to you? It's like you're an assault victim desperately clinging to the idea that everything's fine.) Plus, I figured it'd be a nice companion to tomorrow's post where I'll do the same format for another film. Bet you can't guess which one?

Anyway, after I saw this thing in the theater, I was still so frustrated with it that I had to spit out the points that were bothering me in order to find the peace within once again. Sadly, I'm not exaggerating. Just ask my wife who witnessed me have an emotional freak-out while stuck in the theater, something I think I've just now gotten over from tomorrow's movie. Looking at this now, it strikes me as being even more profane than I usually am but I attribute that to the anger the movie induced. I'd like to imagine my writing's improved since then, an old adage I'll be saying about this come two years from now. There's probably more bitching points forgotten that I'll remember whenever I revisit the movie, but for now I'd like to think these are enough, even now almost two years later.)

Originally appeared on 2/19/2009:
Okay, so I'm skipping class and having to use the school's computer since mine's screwed up right now, but I figured I'd have to vent while it's fresh. I liked the Leatherface remake enough and dug the hell out of the prequel, so I was wasn't expecting horrible things; and it's not like any of the original Jason flicks were that good. The only one that comes close to being a truly good movie was the very first one. The rest were just really fun in a schlocky way, so it's not like this one had too far to go to top the others. I just don't know how they could possibly fuck it up. Wow. Here's some individual thoughts. Beware, much of the film's....."plot" is spoiled below.

-The opening credits almost sent me into a seizure. By the time your eyes adjust to being strobed, they hit you with another one. From the very first second, the movie was just inviting The Rage out of me.

-Jason's mother sounds like she couldn't punish a poodle let alone kill a whole camp. She looks like she should be selling bibles.

-Okay, so we're introduced to the first group of losers. In a slasher, these are typically the opening fodder dispensed with in five minutes to set the rest of the movie up. But guess what? These fuckers hang around for what feels like half an hour at least. Maybe it was only fifteen minutes but it easily felt like twice that.

-What makes that all the worse is that these guys are insufferably annoying. Hell, if they had a black guy with them you already have all the stereotypes in the first batch. The jock, the vapid girlfriend, the stupid-ass comic relief, the survivor girl, and her helpful but naive boyfriend who'll get it in the end right before the end of the movie. That's right, this is it's entirely own movie, one that's completely uninteresting and boring as hell since you've already seen it a hundred times.

-Oh yeah, this movie has nudity out it's ass, as though that's going to make up for the rest of horseshit slung around. This movie has enough silicone and plastic to give Cher a new lease on life.

-So the chick finds a locket with a photo of Jason's mother on it, which apparently she looks like. Yep, at the 7 minute mark, I already knew the ending.

-So, uh, when did Jason become a Graboid? Call Kevin Bacon.

-Why the fuck does a summer camp have a boiler attached to labyrinthine tunnels? Were they smuggling slaves in the Civil War? Why does Fuller and Form think every horror movie has to have a set stolen from the Goonies and pumped up to be grittier?

-Oh, there's the title card. Shouldn't it have a "Part 3" by now?

-Oh, GODDMAMIT!! Are you fucking telling me we have to sit through a whole other half hour of setting up even more vapid characters than the first group? AHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!! I literally almost walked out at this point.

-I swear to god, Trent is the love child of Tom Cruise and Christian Bale. Look:

-I almost want to say that the only character even remotely likable is Jared Paladecki, but then I realize that's only because I like him in every single other thing I've seen him in. His character in this is just as one note and flat as any other, it's just that he's trying hard to make it better. The Asian guy is the only one that's tolerable, and even that's only for a couple of scenes.

-When the hell did the 70's flocked haircuts comeback? I know dipshit skaters have had them for a while now, but when did the rest of the world drink the Kool-Aid? This movie is more flocked than most major migration paths for birds.

+Awesome! The Sentinel's playing the sheriff!

-...who only gets two lines.

-I honestly haven't heard just outright retarded dialog like this in years. Who fucking talks like that? At one point Trent complaints a woman's chest in mid-coitus by calling them "stupendous". Whaddafuck?

-Basically, this movie's concept for Jason was take Leatherface from the remake and make him look like a bum. Sorry, it doesn't scare me at all. In fact I ended up laughing at him in every scene. I've seen scarier looking people at the bus stop. Mentally stunted, clodding, something-not-quite-right Frankenstein's Monster Jason was freaky to me. Meth-head homeless Joe Jason is not. Simple.

-The mask's big reveal issss.....(drumroll)...under a pile of dirty linens and random shit that he slips on without even really giving a shit, helping us to not give a shit either.

-The kill's in the movie aren't even entertaining, which could have been it's only saving grace, but they all feel like a twelve year old tried to emulate shit from a Hostel movie. The weakest kills in the whole series to me.

-Sorry, I was wrong. Jason's apparently patterned after Ted Nugent. He sure is a good shot with that bow and arrow.

-Jason wants to hide from the world. This movie teaches us that the best way to do that is to light up your stomping grounds like a fucking funpark. "They'll never find me under these stadium lights." But there really is no explanation why every other scene at night is lit like there's a high school football game going on next door. You can actually count how many spotlights are being used in every shot. Platinum Dunes might want to look for at least one new guy to rig their lights. I know that guy with the hairlip has been around for a while, Mr. Bay, but I think it's time we let him go quietly into that good night.

-I swear to god, at least 30% of the movie was out of focus. I thought at first it was just the projector, but no, it was for specific shots. Hell, some shots would start in focus and then go completely soft by the end for no justifible reason. I can get why people use shaky cam, as much as I hate it. But if out of focus shots combined with fucking shaky cam becomes the new trend, then we, as a collective human race, are retarded. As someone who's capable of sight, I like to be able to see my movies.

+The only, and I mean only, good scene in the movie is when the black guy gets it (as though you didn't think he would). He's laying out there with an axe in his back and screaming, then it cuts back to the cabin where Trent is doing the whole "You're full of shit. There's nothing out there" spiel while you can still hear the black guy screaming for help offscreen. I was fucking dying laughing. I couldn't breathe. Holy shit. "It's cold out here" hahahahahahahaha

-Wow, Trent's death is very anticlimatic. I wish the truck driver had gone "Fuuuuuuuccck this" and peeled out. I know I would have laughed.

-Ohhh, the survivor girl got killed. What a twist! Maybe it would have mattered if anyone gave half a damn for even one of the characters instead of simply filling the quota of stock characters.

-You know the ending of Rob Zombie's Halloween where Michael's playing Rob Villa in the old house with the 2x4? Just take that but change it to homeless Jason in the tunnels (which somehow empty into an overturned bus? Huh? Was I seeing that right?) and there's your ending.

-See the sister there doing the whole momma routine? Yeah, I harken back to the seven minute mark.

- Really? That's how you try to top the last minute ending of the original? Just have a seat over there. We need to have a talk about some things.

-The credits are just now rolling but I swear to god this movie ended a lot earlier. My brain feels like it checked out halfway through.

The sad part is there was at least twice as many mental notes I had watching it, but even as I was leaving it was hard retaining any of them. The movie was so goddamn vapid I could barely hold onto a cohesive thought about it. I know I had watched it, but nothing stuck because every single thing was so meaningless throughout the entire movie. To put it in perspective, I wasn't this angry or frustrated coming out of The Unborn last month. Hell, I actually think I like Zombie's Halloween a little more after this. At least that could be entertaining as you watch it. This was just tedious. It felt like work sitting through it. Never before have I literally felt like I should be paid for watching a movie. The old movies, while not being very good, were a blast to watch. They're great for horror kids to watch and adults can get cheesy kicks out of them. Jason X is one of the most rewatchable movies to me just because of how fun it is. The pretentiousness of the remake just sickens me. It feels like they thought "Oh, we're going to make an actual good Jason movie" and were snubbing their noses at the past films, when those were at least enjoyable. The My Bloody Valentine remake puts it's bootheels to this movie's neck, man. You can tell it was made by people that really respect the original and other slsashers of the time and paid tribute while still doing their own thing. That movie grabs you by the throat by the opening shot and screams in your face "YOU READY FOR SOME FUN, FUCKERS? WOOOOOOOO!!!!!" And it's in 3-D. And it's got Tom Atkins. And 3-D midgets. Who get spiked to the ceiling. Holy shit, that sounds awesome, and I've already seen it! Go see that instead.

I'll let you know if the unrated Blu-ray of Friday the 13th is any better when I eventually buy it.

God, I'm such a tool.

(For the record, I did end up buying the blu-ray for about six bucks, proving that: indeed, I am a tool.)

These two have ruined studio horror as well as childhood memories for years. Consider them the Fiend's Most Wanted.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

I'm Not Dead Yet!

Hope you enjoyed what’s pretty much the one big “hurrah” for us horror fiends, sorry I haven’t been around much lately to celebrate it. What was supposed to be a pretty big month for the blog turned out to be complete absenteeism on my part. I had lists and features and all sorts of nerd boy rantings planned but unfortunately real life decided to kick my ass. Family health problems as well as having to shoot my thesis film robbed me of my writing time, soooooo…uh…..look forward to Halloween Fest 2011 here at DVD Fiend! But I do hope you stick around as things are starting to wind down a bit out here in the real world and the urge to blather about on here is coming back fierce. There should be new stuff soon and eventually I hope to be back into the full swing of things. There’s still the Road to 500 countdown which despite everything else, I’ve still had time to watch movies somehow. I think I left off somewhere around title #80 and I’ve watched weeeellll beyond that so I think I’ll be able to make my goal for the year, even if I end up still trying to catch up blog-wise well into next spring. I can tell you this; I will not be remiss for writing topics anytime soon.