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


    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

    Dude, argue as much as you want; you're just getting more ridiculous. I heard your same pathetic argument then, and I even just referenced specific segments of it.

    And even on a regular line, Creepy's so boisterous that the neighbors can hear him. ;-)

    Submitted by Messiahman on Thu, 06/11/2009 - 8:53pm.
    krawlingkhaos's picture

    There was a DFF that covered Friday the 13th (2009): "Friday the Third Taint" I believe. I think everyone agreed to disagree and no one really liked it.

    Submitted by krawlingkhaos on Thu, 06/11/2009 - 7:40pm.
    moderator For the record ... I haven't
    Steve Barton's picture

    For the record ... I haven't lost a war of the words since pre-school. And when I did I smacked the kid across the head with a chair.

    Submitted by Steve Barton on Thu, 06/11/2009 - 7:36pm.
    Messiahman's picture

    Well, call Guiness, because me and my joie de vivre are moppin' the floor with ya. ;-)

    Submitted by Messiahman on Thu, 06/11/2009 - 7:44pm.
    moderator Dude, I'm not even arguing
    Steve Barton's picture

    Dude, I'm not even arguing with you here. You see things your way (which is dead wrong) and I see it mine (which is Right). :-)

    Here are the facts ... people are going to either love or hate this flick. Either way its only because we love the series so much that we're passionate about it.

    Submitted by Steve Barton on Thu, 06/11/2009 - 8:19pm.
    Messiahman's picture

    It's so cute how you say I'm wrong after I kick the hell out of both you and Andrew in a debate.

    Maybe we should stage a DFF rematch... I mean, it doesn't look like kane86 is gonna be responding any time soon. ;-0

    Submitted by Messiahman on Thu, 06/11/2009 - 8:48pm.
    moderator What kind of "hell" exactly
    Steve Barton's picture

    What kind of "hell" exactly did you kick out? Just because your dribbled out several paragraphs of nonsense doesn't make your flagrantly ludicrous, shit-for-brains pertaining to this subject douchebaggery any more relevant. ;)

    Submitted by Steve Barton on Fri, 06/12/2009 - 12:21am.
    Messiahman's picture

    Please explain to me how anything I said was nonsensical. After all, I'm curious what constitutes nonsense to someone who continually blathers "Jason wouldn't do that" ad nauseum.

    The only nonsense is your repeated insistence that only you seem to know "what Jason would do." What you're attempting to do is take fan ownership of a complete non-character. THAT is nonsense of the highest order, good sir.

    For someone whose many positive reviews of terrible films often amount to nothing more than "what can I say, I had fun with it," you'd do very well to stay away from the subject of relevancy.

    Submitted by Messiahman on Fri, 06/12/2009 - 8:21am.
    moderator No matter who wins ... we
    Steve Barton's picture

    No matter who wins ... we lose. Oh, look. An AVP reference. Daniel Pearl phoned it in on one of those flicks too didn't he? ;)

    Pearl was the least of the villains here. I said in the review that the movie looked good. It was Nispel's direction and an unusually dull script that were at fault here.

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

    Who knows what Daniel Pearl really did on that AVP flick? After all, they completely killed any of his compositions with the darkest color correction I've ever seen.

    You can't blame the guy for what happens to his work in postproduction.

    As for Nispel's direction, I found it just fine. The kids died on cue and the setpieces were suitably tense (indeed, the killer cut features an incredibly well-directed scene that times Whitney's escape with a multiple orgasm that tops off the "perfect nipple placement" bit). Jason's attack on the house is also well-handled, with some truly iconic hero shots nicely thrown into the mix.

    And the script was no different than ANY of the scripts that came before, aside from the fact that it had a sense of humor that actually worked for once. Sorry, but I found Aaron Yoo very funny, and I laughed aloud at the aforementioned "perfect nipple placement" scene.

    As I said already, the only thing the film is guilty of is NOT being different than the films that preceded it.

    Submitted by Messiahman on Thu, 06/11/2009 - 7:53pm.
    moderator What can I say other than
    Steve Barton's picture

    What can I say other than you have a shit sense of humor? There was nothing, funny nor charming about any of it. It was just stale --going through the motions-- bullshit.

    The original films were fun. YES they weren't the best movies, and YES they were only made to cash in on the Friday craze but the directors that they had at their helms had and put energy into their work. They were all void of sense and sported that fact in an unabashed manner.

    Friday '09 plays more like a blundered attempt to bring Jason into a more stylized, glossy, mainstream light.

    Even the most key ingredient was thrown to the wind -- the kills.

    How in the world you OR ANYONE could say that the kills here were enjoyable is a mystery to me. They sucked. The ones found in MBV3D put EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THEM to shame.

    There was no tension. There was barely any gore. And they lacked any and all irony that made the series so toungue-in-cheek ghoulish to begin with.

    How do you start a Friday flick with an offscreen kill that has ZERO payoff once the body is found? HOW?!? That alone is grounds to tell this movie to screw off!

    Submitted by Steve Barton on Thu, 06/11/2009 - 8:31pm.
    Messiahman's picture

    W"hat can I say other than you have a shit sense of humor?"

    What can I say other than that you have demonstrated for years that you have mostly shitty taste?

    How about I just parrot what is now commonly known as The Creepy Defense: "What can I say, I was entertained. I liked it."

    Sounds familiar, doesn't it? How many hundreds of truly godawful films have you used that one on now? I've certainly lost count. ;-D

    Submitted by Messiahman on Fri, 06/12/2009 - 6:59am.
    Sirand's picture

    I wanted Aaron Yoo's unfunny ass to get butchered horribly in the toolshed full of cool instruments of destruction. Unfortunately the movie lacked the fucking foresight to do anything cool with that.

    Seriously, what kind of film introduces a woodchipper and doesn't even use it properly?

    Submitted by Sirand on Thu, 06/11/2009 - 7:57pm.
    Messiahman's picture

    Yoo was great and was funnier than any of the humor in the earlier movies. It's your sense of humor that sucks, as we've already established.

    And you apparently weren't paying attention, as Yoo was killed horribly by having a screwdriver from the toolshed slowly rammed through his throat(even more gorily in the killer cut).

    The woodchipper also figured prominently in the climax. It was used to dispatch Jason himself. Apparently, you don't seem to understand the structure of "setup" and "payoff." But then again, you also confused "ironic kills" with "lame visual puns," so I guess I'm not surprised.

    Seriously, what kind of person demands things from a movie that are already there?

    Maybe you stepped out for popcorn a few too many times.

    Submitted by Messiahman on Thu, 06/11/2009 - 8:08pm.
    Didn't See It Coming's picture

    Yoo's stoner was NOT funnier than Glover's dance. I'm callin shenanigans!

    Submitted by Didn't See It Coming on Fri, 06/12/2009 - 12:44am.
    Sirand's picture

    A screwdriver. In a toolshed of power blades, chainsaws, hooks and other wild weapons, we get...a screwdriver.

    If your idea of "payoff" is to see the opening of a woodchipper bang a guy in the back of the head and knock him unconscious for the grand finale, you're simply too easy to please. That kind of uninspired bullshit made the ending of Jason Takes Manhattan seem like Chinatown.

    Submitted by Sirand on Thu, 06/11/2009 - 8:12pm.
    Messiahman's picture

    The woodchipper is used to first hang Jason, and then its blades actually SAW INTO the back of his head. There's a nice closeup of the blades biting into his skull (again, I'm referencing the director's cut). And the screwdriver kill is great - Yoo grabs it as a weapon and has it turned against him. It's bloody and slow. Nothing wrong with that.

    And incidentally, it wasn't a toolshed filled with implements of destruction. It was a garage filled with non-lethal junk.

    Again, I prefer this back to the basics technique for the reboot; this Jason is mean, quick and lethal. The over-the-top kills of the later films (which are the ones you seem to like) would have been completely out of place here.

    You'd know that if you understood anything about the tone of the movie.

    But you clearly don't.

    Submitted by Messiahman on Thu, 06/11/2009 - 8:50pm.
    Sirand's picture

    Please. There was no tone. It's a movie that wanted to have it both ways by being a fun body count film with kills that tried to be disturbing and realistic.

    To me, "back to basics" simply means "we couldn't come up with anything ourselves."

    Submitted by Sirand on Thu, 06/11/2009 - 9:02pm.
    Are you still
    Messiahman's picture

    Are you still talking?

    Because you're not saying anything new or valid. ;-)

    Submitted by Messiahman on Fri, 06/12/2009 - 1:44pm.
    moderator 120% agreed. Come on, man,
    Steve Barton's picture

    120% agreed. Come on, man, really.

    Submitted by Steve Barton on Thu, 06/11/2009 - 8:32pm.
    The Buz's picture

    One day I'm sure you guys will admit to yourself that the only thing that is making you say the original movies are better than this one is silly fan boy nostalgia.

    You can say this movie is crap all you want, because honestly, it is, however the reasons you give for not liking this one can be applied to EVERY SINGLE FUCKING FRIDAY MOVIE EVER MADE.

    Submitted by The Buz on Thu, 06/11/2009 - 9:09pm.
    Didn't See It Coming's picture

    Actually, no it can't be applied to them. Well, I'm only speaking mostly about 2 and 4 which are my favourites, and I can't believe filmmakers are actually say this, but just because you have the same elements in place and basically the same set up, you don't have nearly the same execution. Nothing in the second half of the film sat well with me because it was uninspired. The ending was one of the dumbest I've seen in a while and to perfectly honest with you, nostalgia aside, they had an opportunity to try and make a GOOD, genuinely GOOD movie and opted for something dull.

    The funny thing is that you and MM are admittedly not big fans of the original series anyway so I can see your perspective in that respect, but as fans of the series we know what we were looking for and the first 20 minutes blew away what I was looking for. I couldn't care less that Jason took a plaything or whatever because it wasn't in his "character", but rather because it was a weak and transparent plot device to mislead the audience on who the final girl actually was. Was it really a suprise when whatsherface died? If it was then I feel sorry for that person because they need to watch more movies.

    I don't have a problem with Jason shooting arrows, or throwing axes. I have a problem with Jason using a machete through 90% of the kills and in a boring way.

    Mind you all, I NEVER said I hated the movie, I just feel like they could have done so much better than what they did. Yes, the originals are bad movies, but again, they're fun. Something I didn't feel in Friday after the title screen.

    I honestly think the movie we're working on will have more of the Friday spirit than this did, which is a shame because I was hoping for something a damn site better than OK.

    Submitted by Didn't See It Coming on Fri, 06/12/2009 - 12:56am.
    moderator You feel this way Buz
    Steve Barton's picture

    You feel this way Buz because -- as you've stated before -- you don't really give a shit either way because you're not a big fan of these films.

    Talk to me after the eventual Marcus Nispel helmed Platinum Dunes version of JAWS in which the shark is only interested in looking good in front of a lens flare while rounding up swimmers, instead of biting people and causing terror on the beach.

    Huzzah! I rest my in my case! SCIENCE! ;)

    Submitted by Steve Barton on Fri, 06/12/2009 - 12:29am.
    Didn't See It Coming's picture

    Personally I thought Wrong Turn was the better of the two. Part 2 was just kind of "meh" for me mostly due to the acting and the characters. But I do agree that it was a much better slasher movie than this Friday the 13th.

    Submitted by Didn't See It Coming on Thu, 06/11/2009 - 2:51pm.

    I have no problem with him keeping Whitney in his lair. As far as he's concerned, she's his mother. He has to keep her around and alive. I thought it was an interesting extrapolation on the ending of part 2. If things had worked out differently for Jason, maybe Ginny would've ended up locked in the shack for a while. I'd buy it there. I bought it here.

    Submitted by Cody on Thu, 06/11/2009 - 12:43pm.
    moderator Yeah, but that plot device
    Steve Barton's picture

    Yeah, but that plot device worked in Part 2 because Jason was a mongoloid and easily confused. If he were like that here I'd have little to no issue with it, but in comparison to any other Jason this one is friggin' Einstein.

    Submitted by Steve Barton on Thu, 06/11/2009 - 1:56pm.
    PelusaMG's picture

    You telling me that only mongaloids get confused by women, but smart guys see right through them?

    Submitted by PelusaMG on Thu, 06/11/2009 - 2:01pm.
    moderator Dude, regular confusion is
    Steve Barton's picture

    Dude, regular confusion is one thing ... genuinely thinking they're the person who reared you is quite another. LOL

    Submitted by Steve Barton on Thu, 06/11/2009 - 2:14pm.
    PelusaMG's picture

    I'm willing to buy into the idea that Jason could have been so traumatised by the death of his mother, that he takes a young surrogate as her replacement. I mean, no-one bats an eyelid when Norman Bates keeps the corpse of his deceased mother around, and even dresses up like her to kill the guests, but suddenly there are issues with Jason doing something 'out of the ordinary' in response to the normal human feeling of grief (I use those words deliberately by the way). I mean, sure Jason is a superhuman killing machine, but lest we forget that despite being 'super', he is also still 'human'.

    Submitted by PelusaMG on Thu, 06/11/2009 - 2:26pm.
    moderator Bates and Voorhees are
    Steve Barton's picture

    Bates and Voorhees are apples and oranges, man. No matter what argument you make, or no matter how you spin it, Jason Voorhees his long and blood soaked career would NEVER have taken a play thing, a hostage, or even a spare second before killing someone. You got in his line of fire. You died. Simple.

    And by the way ... Jason stopped being human after part 4.

    Submitted by Steve Barton on Thu, 06/11/2009 - 2:36pm.

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