Friday, February 13, 2009

Mama's Boy

Platinum Dunes has quite the reputation when it comes to the horror remake. I guess they should, considering that is all they seem to "know" how to do. Tonight's midnight screening of their new Friday the 13th reboot was met with fairly low expectations, and, maybe because of it, I had a good time.

The problem I have had with PD's past remakes are, well, they suck. Texas Chainsaw Massacre is the closest to being alright, not the prequel however, that was pure crap. Chainsaw's biggest flaw, of which there are many, is how they portray Leatherface. He is buffed up and made out to be this hulking brute killing machine, none of the character's flaws which made him so disturbing are there. He is not just another slasher villain. When tackling Jason Voorhees, that is completely acceptable. He is the dark, giant killing machine. Director Marcus Nispel, who also helmed the TCM remake, hit closer to gold with this one in overall feel.

The other big thing you have to worry about in a slasher film is the script. HA! Of course, I'm only kidding. The validity of the story is one of the furthest things down on the slasher film checklist. Next up are the conventions this genre has become known for; impurities for which our young cast will be punished - or drinking, drugs and premarital sex. One thing you cannot say as this flick's credits roll is they skimped in this department. You are practically inhaling the weed (did you know there's a hidden pot crop by Crystal Lake?), tasting the copious amounts of alcohol and you would swear you can feel the plethora of boobs hitting you in the face. I felt like shoving dollar bills in the projector.

Lastly, and probably most important, are the inventive ways these kids will meet their end. Kill scenes can really make or break this type of film. Luckily there are plenty of good ones to keep the horror newbie in the audience shrieking as the veteran gorehounds lean back and smile. A sleeping bag is deployed as a sort of weapon for a third time in the long series, but it is in a much different way this time. A way that caused me to smile. I don't really want to talk about these too much, it's really the best part of any slasher. So, be surprised.

The bad? Well there are a few things I would do a bit differently, but I didn't make the movie. Most of these would be spoiler related so I'll just mention one - the music. I guess you really cannot get around using popular music in a "present day" set film, but it does get a bit annoying. Slashers, to me, should have a background track of some ambient tones or shrill strings. This film did have that at times, but others had the teens racing through the woods as heavy industrial blasted its way into your eardrums. This company already completely misused Nine Inch Nail's "Closer" in their redo of The Hitcher, now they berate us with more industrial rock. Am I watching a horror flick or in a goth club?

Overall I would say this is a fun film. No way can it ever take the place of the original series. You cannot erase that kind of nostalgia or cheese the 80s delivered. I can't speak for their upcoming Nightmare on Elm Street reboot, but it seems Platinum Dunes finally did something right.

Here's a little treat from Friday the 13th Part VI - Jason Lives (my favorite of the series) courtesy of Mr. Alice Cooper... and You Tube, of course.


Post a Comment