Friday the 13th (2009) (DVD / Blu-ray)



Friday the 13th (2009) on DVD and Blu-ray (Click here for larger image)Reviewed by Uncle Creepy

Starring Jared Padalecki, Amanda Righetti, Derek Mears, Danielle Panabaker

Directed by Marcus Nispel

Distributed by New Line Home Entertainment


Those of you out there who are familiar with me know exactly how I feel about Platinum Dunes' remake of Friday the 13th. It infuriates me, but not because it's bad. Truth be told, it's not a horrible movie; it just never feels like a Friday the 13th flick. Take a listen to the F13 Dinner for Fiends episode for an in-depth spite-laden discussion of what went wrong.

A week or so after the film was released in theatres, Platinum Dunes producer Brad Fuller wrote this on the official Platinum Dunes Blog:

"We are finishing up on the Unrated DVD this week. That DVD will rock! We have a different cut of movie, that not only has more violence and sex, but it has an additional storyline that is totally different from the movie you will see in theaters. Its not like we just cut a few things differently, the DVD version will feel like a different movie."

Fans everywhere, myself included, were intrigued. When the product came in for review, I went immediately to my home theatre system to drink it in. Could it be? Would this new "Killer Cut" fix at least some of the problems that existed in its theatrical cousin, and more importantly, would the difference in the cut really be that drastic?

Allow me to be the first to call bullshit. It's mostly hyperbole. Let me dissect --

Friday the 13th (2009) on DVD and Blu-ray (Click here for larger image)"We are finishing up on the Unrated DVD this week ..."

The "Killer Cut", which clocks in at 106 minutes (the theatrical cut was 97 minutes), is still rated R. Curious.

"We have a different cut of movie, that not only has more violence and sex, but it has an additional storyline that is totally different from the movie you will see in theaters. Its not like we just cut a few things differently, the DVD version will feel like a different movie."

First the good. In terms of sex, yes, there's more to be found here. Fans who drooled over the chicks in theatres will be happy to know that even more "perfect nipple placement" makes it in, as well as some additional blood spillage and longer looks at some of the film's kills. It should be mentioned that said kills are still pretty uninspired, but at least they're a bit, and let me stress the word "bit", gorier.

Now the bad. The additional storyline. If you don't want any spoilers, skip this paragraph. We get one scene broken up into two parts: At one point when Jason comes home to his lair, he has another flashback of his mom being beheaded and proceeds to throw a hissy-fit by throwing stuff around. Once he storms away, his captive (since when does Jason take hostages?) Whitney (Amanda Righetti) escapes by picking her lock. From there is a cool little moment as she falls into the room in which Jason stockpiles his corpses and immediately flees for her life, only to have Jason grab her at the point of freedom to chain her back up. That's it. How in the world this scene can constitute a bold statement like, "the DVD version will feel like a different movie" is beyond me.

Friday the 13th (2009) on DVD and Blu-ray (Click here for larger image)In fact, these changes aren't even close to drastic. I'm sorry, Mr. Fuller, but you did "just cut a few things differently". Nothing more. Still, I'll give them this ... this cut, if only for the few more seconds of sex and violence, plays better and is a bit more of a fulfilling experience than what we got in theatres.

Yet, in the end, these additions do nothing more than put a band-aid on a gushing wound. The film still has its problems. Instead of faux grit, Nispel gives us blue lens flares by the dozen. The music is miscued. The "captive" storyline is senseless and completely out of character. The kills are too basic ... I can go on forever.

Here's all that had to happen: Kids show up. Kids die. Roll credits. That's it. It's really that simple, and how this formula got screwed up is a complete and utter mystery. The Friday the 13th remake is over-produced, over-shot, over-thought, and not over soon enough. But its biggest sin? It's just not fun, and that's something that every Friday film, for all of their missteps and misfires, homo-erotic shaving bits and imposters, were.

The only really good thing I can say about it is that Derek Mears was amazing as Jason. He was the only one who seemed genuinely concerned with making a good Friday the 13th movie. It's a shame he didn't get more to work with. I pray that in the future he'll return to the role with a director at the helm who actually understands the series. We shall see.

Friday the 13th (2009) on DVD and Blu-ray (Click here for larger image)Now let's talk supplemental features, shall we? DVD owners? You're out of luck. All the really good stuff is on the Blu-ray, which I'll get to in a second. Standard def fans will have two short things to sift through, an eleven-minute examination of what it took to ready the masked one for a new audience entitled The Rebirth of Jason Voorhees, and a few deleted scenes that include the original way Jason got his hockey mask, which was way better than what we got in the theatrical version, and the original way Jason was dispatched, which was pretty pitiful. That's it.

The Blu-ray has those bits, both in HD, and more. First the extraneous stuff. Included with the Blu are both the "Killer" and theatrical cuts of the film, a standard def digital copy, and Warners' version of BD-Live, which allows you access to exclusive downloads, etc. Good stuff. From there we get a pop-up Terror Trivia track, which allows viewers to test their knowledge of the franchise as well as dig on some behind-the-scenes footage, all while the movie is playing. Nice. Next up we get the Hacking Back/Slashing Forward featurette, which explores how the cast and crew of this latest entry feel about the Friday franchise in general. This was actually pretty cool because it conjures lots of nostalgia. "Where were you the first time you saw ..." type stuff. Lord knows we all have those stories. And finally, we get The Seven Best Kills featurette. Not of the franchise, mind you -- just the Platinum Dunes remake. Really what this is, is just an account of how some of the film's key F/X sequences were pulled off, but it's presented in probably one of the most masturbatory "Look what a great job that we did" ways imaginable. I'm still kind of taken aback. Whatever.

It should also be mentioned that the Blu-ray looks and sounds amazingly better than its DVD cousin. One thing is for sure, in 1080p, the film looks absolutely jaw-dropping. Rarely do I find myself saying wow, but in this case? WOW!

And there you have it, folks. The bottom line -- Friday the 13th 2009 is at its heart a mediocre slasher film that just happens to have Jason in it. If you're cool with that, you'll probably love this, but for us faithful extreme Jason fanatics? Our best days with Big J are either behind us or have yet to come. A Part 2 is inevitable, and I, like many, am still keeping my fingers crossed. Please, Platinum Dunes, give us what we want -- imaginative kills, gore-a-plenty, and bring back Mears!

Special Features

  • Bonus digital copy (Blu-ray only)
  • Warner Bros. BD Live Enabled (Blu-ray only)
  • Terror Trivia Track (Blu-ray only)
  • Two cuts of the film (Blu-ray only)
  • Hacking Back/Slashing Forward featurette (Blu-ray only)
  • The Seven Best Kills featurette (Blu-ray only)
  • The Rebirth of Jason Voorhees featurette
  • Additional Slashed Scenes

    Film:

    2 1/2 out of 5

    Special Features:

    3 1/2 out of 5

    Discuss Friday the 13th (2009) in our Dread Central forums!




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    Messiahman's picture

    Goddamnit. I had this terribly witty retort all planned out, but then the visual of me and Creepy embracing on a beach got me all flustered. Curse your manliness! :-D


    Submitted by Messiahman on Fri, 06/12/2009 - 2:46pm.

    Just in case no one else got this. The WHOLE reason why Jason kept that girl hostage was because she reminded him of his mother.Plain and simple.


    Submitted by mrmordrid on Thu, 06/11/2009 - 11:45pm.
    moderator Dude, everyone got this. The
    Steve Barton's picture

    Dude, everyone got this. The problem is that the notion of Jason keeping anyone alive is ridiculous.


    Submitted by Steve Barton on Fri, 06/12/2009 - 12:18am.
    ZOMBIEFRIENDS's picture

    You seem to be defending your opinion like myself and H2, But I have to agree with you, Jason would never "keep pets" nor hostages, Ever!


    Submitted by ZOMBIEFRIENDS on Sat, 06/13/2009 - 11:25pm.
    Messiahman's picture

    You're a broken record.

    The only ridiculous thing here is your continued insistence to truly understand a character who was never defined beyond the need for sequels. A character who was reinvented for a remake.

    Sorry dude, the motivation for him taking the girl as a keepsake was given. It's right there in the movie. You're judging based on OTHER movies because you're clearly incapable of separating them and seeing this film as a separate entity, thus your argument is inherently flawed. You fail to grasp that you don't even HAVE an argument.

    But I get it. I'm addressing logic and structure, while you're only concerned with emotion tied into past films (no newsflash there - your past reviews haven't EVER leaned toward logic). And never the twain shall meet.

    So do us a favor and top calling yourself "objective" - every post you've made saying "Jason wouldn't do that" proves that you don't know the meaning of the word and marks you as a hypocrite. You're as far from objective as I am from getting Paris Hilton's phone number.


    Submitted by Messiahman on Fri, 06/12/2009 - 9:11am.
    moderator Talk about a broken record.
    Steve Barton's picture

    Talk about a broken record. I could accept the above IF you were actually a fan of these films and held them with some degree of regard, nostalgic or otherwise. The fact is you've made it abundantly clear several times that you aren't. That being said, I'm not entirely sure that you're even cut out for this discussion much less have the chops for it.

    What the remake did with Voorhees for me, speaking as a fan, is akin to taking Rambo and turning him into a florist. As a reviewer I've stated many times that the film, while not horrible, is just a mediocre slasher flick that happens to have a hockey masked killer in it named Jason.

    Being that you're neither a fan nor a critic your petty argumentative insults and aforementioned douchebaggery hold about as much water for me as a fishtank fashioned from nylon.


    Submitted by Steve Barton on Fri, 06/12/2009 - 2:01pm.
    Messiahman's picture

    Actually, it's not being a fan of the original films that makes me truly objective. N'cest pas?


    Submitted by Messiahman on Fri, 06/12/2009 - 2:37pm.
    Emilie Noetzel's picture

    "N'cest pas?"

    You probably mean "N'est-ce pas?"

    ;)

    Careful when using another language's expressions... Switching letters around can make the meaning change greatly.


    Submitted by Emilie Noetzel on Fri, 06/12/2009 - 5:26pm.
    Messiahman's picture

    I only took one year of French in high school.

    And that's just because all the hot girls were in that class.


    Submitted by Messiahman on Fri, 06/12/2009 - 7:25pm.
    Emilie Noetzel's picture

    Ah, that explains it.

    Then maybe you should leave the French language to those of speak it fluently.

    I know a bit of Spanish, Japanese and German but rarely use them as I would most likely end up making a mistake and looking like a fool.


    Submitted by Emilie Noetzel on Mon, 06/15/2009 - 12:49pm.
    Heather Buckley's picture

    So he is hanging with Leatherface AND Norman Bates. When is New Line making this flick? My 3 Psychos (daaa daa da da da daaa daa...)


    Submitted by Heather Buckley on Thu, 06/11/2009 - 11:53pm.
    zombiekiller81's picture

    I'm with Uncle Creepy on this one Jason does not take hostages period I felt like I was watching Leatherface in a hockey mask not Jason Voorhees. I mean let's see Leatherface took hostages, set traps, etc but not once did I ever see Jason in the original series take a hostage. The fact that they had him do that in the remake is a spit in the face to the loyal fans of the original series that and there is no imaginative kills. I can only hope that when they do the sequel Jason doesn't take a hostage that reminds him of his father lol


    Submitted by zombiekiller81 on Thu, 06/11/2009 - 10:45pm.
    Heather Buckley's picture

    Well maybe Leatherface and Jason frequent bars together and they share secrets. The redux of Leatherface acts A LOT like Jason he's bigger, a juggernaut, lacks any sorta lil' kid cuddle factor. I am telling you it's true.


    Submitted by Heather Buckley on Thu, 06/11/2009 - 11:10pm.
    Rob's picture

    In terms of the kills, while I think they could've been more creative (mainly Aaron Yoo's death and the redneck), that wasn't my main issue with the second half. It was how Jason killed. In the opening, he didn't fuck around, and tore through the first group fast, brutal, and with a bit of a mean streak (the sleeping bag kill). With the second group, I don't know, I felt like they could've used a few more kids because the deaths were stretched out more and screwed with the pacing, and none of the kills were carried out as viciously as the opening ones were, but that's just my opinion.


    Submitted by Rob on Thu, 06/11/2009 - 8:52pm.
    rupp30's picture

    I agree 100%. I thought the opening 20 minutes were great and carried some fun to it. It's the rest of the movie that really ruined it for me. Jason isn't supposed to be a smart killer. He is supposed to be a ruthless mean killing machine and that's exactly what he was with the first group of kids. The next group comes along and the next thing you know he's holding a girl captive, he's using people as bait to kill others? It just wasn't the Jason I'm used to I guess. I did love Mears as the character but the direction for everything after the opening twenty mintues put the movie at a level of mediocrity for me.

    Hey, at least it wasn't near as bad as that dreaded Jason X though, right?

    _SedanHollows_


    Submitted by rupp30 on Thu, 06/11/2009 - 9:07pm.
    vorodex999's picture

    I'm glad everyone wants Mears back as Jason, He did a really good job and he's and awesome guy also he's quite funny. I was able to see him and Tyler Mane at Texas Frightmare Festival here in Dallas and they had a Boogeyman Discussion Bopard with them both and they are both equally hilarious but totally devoted fans of horror.


    Submitted by vorodex999 on Thu, 06/11/2009 - 6:34pm.
    rupp30's picture

    Brad Fuller is completely full of shit. If I had the chance to meet him I'd hit him in the face real hard.

    I agree that it wasn't a bad movie but in no way, shape, or form was this even remotely close to the Jason films of the 80's. I would have liked to have seen someone like Adam Green direct this movie. He understands what a slasher films is, understands the grittiness, he gets it. And remember the deaths in Hatchet? So fucking creative. Why couldn't they do that for this instead of making it the most disappointing movie I've seen in a long time?

    _SedanHollows_


    Submitted by rupp30 on Thu, 06/11/2009 - 6:25pm.
    moderator All this talk about how this
    Steve Barton's picture

    All this talk about how this flick was "the same" exact kind of movie as the originals makes me laugh. That couldn't be further from the truth.

    As I wrote in my review ...the original series for all its missteps, shortcomings, and nonsense were still fun and brimming with energy. The remake with the exception of the opening had none of that. It was just your stale, standard, slasher fare.

    Metaphorically speaking ... the old films were like getting a greasy burger served to you on a stained sliver of cardboard. This one was like getting a burger -- who the chef claims is absolutely healthy for you -- served on a piece of fine china.

    Again, I'm not saying this movie is horrible. It's not. It's just kind of there, and in the end the formula and the fun got lost in the mix.

    Marcus Nispel was the wrong guy for the job. He obviously didn't get the previous films or he thought they were all shit (which is admittedly hard to argue) and figured he'd "show us" by making the movie "his" way without any regard for what came before.

    Just because a killer with a hockey mask is in the movie doesn't make it a Friday the 13th movie. If I showed up at your house with dough, sauce, and cheese, that doesn't mean I could make you a good Pizza with out understanding how its done by the people who have made it before me.


    Submitted by Steve Barton on Thu, 06/11/2009 - 2:12pm.
    Messiahman's picture

    "Just because a killer with a hockey mask is in the movie doesn't make it a Friday the 13th movie."

    Actually, yes it does. Toss out as many absurd fast food analogies as you want, but the fact is you're comparing apples and apples.

    ALL the movies are stale slasher fare, made cynically with only money in mind and no concern whatsoever for quality. Nobody who worked on this series (at least in the early going) gave a shit about it - it was only created as a cheap quickie ripoff of HALLOWEEN. That's why they're such shitty horror films. Fans only embrace them due to pure nostalgia. The only hilarious thing here is your continual wrongheaded assertion that they are nothing alike simply proves how blind and stupid nostalgia makes people.

    They're EXACTLY the same. EXACTLY. And no amount of nostalgic masturbation can change that. Fuck, they were even made for exactly the same reasons - to make cash off a formula.


    Submitted by Messiahman on Thu, 06/11/2009 - 7:02pm.
    Matt Serafini's picture

    You're being awfully presumptuous when you say that none of the early Friday filmmakers gave a shit about the material. I have a feeling Joe Zito and Tom McLoughlin might beg to differ with you.

    The new Friday missed the mark because it's not the same as the originals, despite claims from the filmmakers that they were adhering to the first four.

    There's no tension, no suspense and a whole lot of stupid characters. If the older Friday fodder weren't exactly fleshed out characters, they weren't degenerates either. Sure they smoked pot and had sex, but they weren't DEFINED by these things. As soon as one of the characters in the new Friday pulled a special bong out from a protective case, I knew these guys didn't understand what made the originals work.

    They original Fridays existed because they were cheap and lucarative. NO KIDDING. But they were also effective at what they tried to do. They offered creative deaths, some scares and suspense. The new one couldn't get one of these things right, let alone all of them.

    Creepy is right, Nipsel wasn't the man for this job. He ended up remaking HIS Chainsaw film again more than giving us a proper F13 film. But hopefully they'll get it right next time.


    Submitted by Matt Serafini on Thu, 06/11/2009 - 9:21pm.
    Messiahman's picture

    "There's no tension, no suspense and a whole lot of stupid characters."

    You just described every single one of the F13 movies. None of them are scary or suspenseful (unless you're a preadolescent who doesn't get out to the movies much) none of them have anything other than broad character types defined by single characteristics (I find your argument to the contrary to be hilarious beyond belief, incidentally). The F13 films contain some of the worst character writing in history, and to deny this is to be utterly blinded by nostalgia.


    Submitted by Messiahman on Fri, 06/12/2009 - 7:13am.
    Sirand's picture

    You can't argue quality when it comes to Friday flicks. They were all technically BAD slasher knock-offs.

    However, the old movies were FUN to watch. Creepy is dead on when he calls this film over-produced without much energy. That's exactly what it was. The trashy low-budget vibe is gone. "Comic reliefs" who are more annoying than the redneck family in Part V. The kills were lousy and uninspired and - WORSE YET - the film teases you with a hundred cool pay offs before going with the most dull scenario each and every time. It's like getting a bad hand-job where you leave frustrated that you didn't get off.

    The TCM remake was faux-grit, this film was faux-trash. It's generic Hollywood mediocrity, and nobody's gonna be talking about it years later. People still get together at revival screenings to get drunk and hoot and hollar with their buddies for the old Friday movies. No one will do the same with this film.

    How come MBV 3-D gave us more fun kills with a SINGLE weapon than this film did with an entire arsenal and a badass Jason? I'll take that film, Hatchet or Wrong Turn 2, which had an actual love and understanding of the slasher genre, over this poser bullshit.


    Submitted by Sirand on Thu, 06/11/2009 - 12:48pm.
    Messiahman's picture

    Actually, I'd say the low budget vibe is still pretty much there. Adjusting for inflation, this would've cost the same as Part 4 back in the day. It's just that this is the first film in the series that was shot by a talented cinematographer. Up until Part 6, the Friday films looked like absolute shit. Call it low budget charm if it makes you feel better. I'll still call it shit, and I'll take Daniel Pearl's cinematography on this one any day over the shitty palates of the others. Incidentally, what does "overproduced" even mean? That's just some hollow catchphrase you invented to bolster your nonexistent argument. Just because a movie is shot and lit well, you don't like it? It's not like it's filled with rapid-fire editing, jump cuts and tons of shaky cam. It just happens to be the first in the series that genuinely looks good.

    It moves quickly and doesn't pause much for character. Again, exactly what all the other films did, only this one has some better actors and a little more playful metahumor.

    As for comic relief and kills, that's where we get down to pure opinion. I say that it all worked perfectly, while you disagree. Which is fine.

    But then again, you're the guy who ranted and raved about TCM: THE BEGINNING as being one of the best horror films in ages (yeah, I brought it up - deal with it) so I think I can be pardoned for finding your opinion to be questionable in the least.

    But I'm beating a dead horse here. After all, Buz and A.J. Bowen already destroyed you and Creepy in that Dinner For Fiends debate you had a while back.

    Continue to argue that this film is OOMPLETELY DIFFERENT than all the other identical films, and I'll continue to laugh at your foolishness.


    Submitted by Messiahman on Thu, 06/11/2009 - 7:06pm.
    moderator Destroyed? Hardly. That call
    Steve Barton's picture

    Destroyed? Hardly. That call was beards vs. BRAINS. ;)


    Submitted by Steve Barton on Thu, 06/11/2009 - 7:12pm.
    Messiahman's picture

    You and Andrew grew out your beards for that one? ;-)


    Submitted by Messiahman on Thu, 06/11/2009 - 7:28pm.
    Sirand's picture

    Creepy and I got "destroyed?" Huh. And you would know this HOW? Seeing as how that DFF was lost and nobody ever heard the episode - in the words of Mr Clifford Blair - "I call bullshit on that."


    Submitted by Sirand on Thu, 06/11/2009 - 7:32pm.
    Messiahman's picture

    Are you forgetting that I was there for most of it? Although I wasn't on the line, I was hanging with you guys when it went down.

    Decision: Buz and A.J. ;-)


    Submitted by Messiahman on Thu, 06/11/2009 - 7:51pm.
    Sirand's picture

    You were hanging with Buz...which means you heard 1/4th of the argument. "Destroyed," my undead ass.


    Submitted by Sirand on Thu, 06/11/2009 - 7:52pm.
    Messiahman's picture

    Fact is, your argument was the same weak one it is here.

    And I've already trampled that argument into mush without even tiring my typing fingers. But then again, that's what happens EVERY time we argue over films, isn't it?

    Oh, and for the record, I heard every word (Buz had you on speaker). I especially liked it when you completely misused the word "ironic." Dictionaries are your friend.

    Just admit that I'm always right, and your life will be so much easier. ;-)


    Submitted by Messiahman on Thu, 06/11/2009 - 8:09pm.
    Sirand's picture

    Buz was on speaker phone? I think we would have been able to tell that...unless of course Buz has one of those high-powered NASA satellite phones.


    Submitted by Sirand on Thu, 06/11/2009 - 8:14pm.

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