What I'm Watching: Friday the 13th (2009)

A little palate cleanser before I watch something serious, and it's leaving HoboMax tomorrow. I make sure to check the "Leaving Soon" tab near the end of every month; Hobo doesn't pay for these films in perpetuity, and really stacked the deck on launch. In a few months they may be down to nothing.

Dumb Millennials who act like high schoolers go camping/looking for a weed farm to rob, up near the site of Camp Crystal Lake… OMINOUS MUSIC. Two couples and a stoner, standard crew.

Zero star power or acting talent in this one. Ben Feldman, the douchebag lawyer in Silicon Valley. America Olivo, who's a stripper, opera singer, "professional" soap opera extra. Jared Padalecki, Sam from Supernatural and other male model shows, is great at looking confused or afraid, which are his only two emotional states. Derek Mears who plays him this time, is a long-running giant movie thug, and does a fine job physically; role doesn't require acting, and he couldn't deliver it if it did.

Typical idiots separating, fucking (all you see is some bouncing tits), being picked off, not particularly good kills, often just cutting to black. Except maybe what happens in the cabin, which sets up the final act of the film.

Record scratch. Pause.

So, here's the thing. Friday the 13th (1980) came out when I was a Boy Scout camp-going little Mark (you learn your survival skills where you can; but these days don't give BSA your money or attention, it's a shitty organization). Over the next few years they all came out on Beta and VHS, and of course we all saw them much too young. It is just a fact to me that there are undead psycho killers at all campsites, that's what makes camping exciting (just wait for season 2 of Yuru Camp vs Jason!). I've watched most of these, despite them all being trash except the first three and Jason X. A timeline:

  • 1957: Jason drowns at Camp Crystal Lake.
  • 1980: Friday the 13th: Jason's mom murders the counsellors (who mostly weren't even born when it happened!)
  • 1981: Friday the 13th Part II: Jason rises from the dead.
  • 1982: Friday the 13th Part III: Jason finds his face.
  • … A bunch of shitty sequels, psychic weirdos, death after death.
  • 1993: Jason Goes To Hell: Jason is blown up by the FBI, possesses a body. So there's definitely no more original Jason.
  • 2010: Jason X (2002): Despite this, Jason is captured by the military and cryogenically frozen. 400 years later he'll be in space and on another planet, but that's not important right now.
  • 2009: Friday the 13th (2009): Jason returns again. How? What Jason can possibly be here? OK, maybe this happens just before Jason X, but there's still no original body! I want answers, and this film isn't gonna give them to me.
  • 2011: The Cabin in the Woods: The world ends. "Okay, I'm drawing a line in the fucking sand, here. Do not read the Latin."

Spin on.

24 minutes in, and we're on team 2. Biker Loner looking for his sister (from first segment) is a good walk-on protagonist. Couple blow-dried douchebag bros, weird Chinese-American stoner, black guy who is stereotypically not stereotypical, three bimbos.

Loner finds a few scary locals/psychopomps to talk to. Cop is just a dumb obstructionist, but Cujo lady's good, and stoner hillbilly with woodchipper is fantastic. Really sells the "you don't wanna come round these parts" tone, and keep an eye on that woodchipper.

We haven't been able to clearly see Jason until now, but he finally finds both his burlap sack and then his real face again. Weird that he's been here all this time without them.

Finally after almost an hour of this, there's a new behavior. Something I've never seen Jason do before, and it's completely weird: He keeps a prisoner in his shrine/base, and… not communication, but there's a few moments where Jason and another character interact without killing, which is bizarre.

But back to formula, team 2 gets picked off, not generally interesting. In a big two-story McMansion by the lake, so it's the most generic set possible. A couple of them you kinda root for, but it's pointless. The only question is which of the Final Girls or Loner will survive? Orpheus and harem enter the Underworld. The entire end is shot in the dark and fake rain, so you can't see anything even when they're outside.

Really stupid denouement on a pier, which makes no sense that they'd go there.

★★☆☆☆ — Mostly just boring. I had more fun writing that timeline than I did watching anything in this.

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