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Friday the 13th


Stars: Jared Padalecki, Danielle Panabaker, Amanda Righetti, Travis Van Winkle, Aaron Yoo, Derek Mears, Jonathan Sadowski, Julianna Guill, Ben Feldman, Arlen Escarpeta, Ryan Hansen, Willa Ford, Nick Mennell, America Olivo, Kyle Davis

Director: Marcus Nispel

Just about every horror movie, however awful, attracts sufficiently large audiences to make shockers the most resilient of film genres. And so it should come as no surprise that Michael Bay, the man behind such multiplex marvels as Pearl Harbor and The Unborn, should be one of the instigators of this multiplex-masses-aimed ‘reimagining’ (their word, not mine) of the seminal 1980 shocker.

So back comes hockey-masked multiple murderer Jason, this time taking his time to hack, slice, dice and generally dismember yet another slew of nubile teens unlucky enough to venture into his deadly domain at Crystal Lake. There’s a difference, of course, between this and the original. The violence is far more visual, the full-frontal gore and giblets all the more ‘realistic’ and, keeping up with modern movie predilections, there’s enough nudity and simulated sex to keep audiences amused between the savage slayings.

To be honest, it’s not so much ‘reimagined’ by screenwriters Damien Shannon and Mark Swift as re-jigged to include as much violence and visual excesses as the censors will allow. Characterization and motivation are created by cliche and casting, while acting is confined to simulating sex, unease and uncontrollable terror for as long as necessary before Jason violently removes the actor/actress from the screen. Cinemagoers with a taste for undemanding terror and, notably, completists, should just about get their money’s worth from director Marcus Nispel's (who made the 2003 version of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre) expertly exploitative celluloid bloodbath. But perhaps the most terrifying aspect of the whole enterprise is that a sequel is promised.

Alan Frank

USA 2009. UK Distributor: Paramount. Colour.
97 minutes. Widescreen. UK certificate: 18.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 3, Violence/Horror 3, Drugs 0, Swearing 3.

Review date: 22 Feb 2009