Monday, February 16, 2009

Friday the 13th...the Musical!

So I was at the theatre today to finish up my assignment and had to check trailers for Friday the 13th. I decided to stay and watch the whole movie for two words: Jared Padalecki. While I used to call him a WB rat (his hair was just so damn annoying and he appeared in EVERY WB show imaginable), but now I really like him. Chalk it up to four seasons of Supernatural, a VERY good and creepy show that is really underappreciated.

I can’t say I hated the movie, or even disliked it, because I didn’t. It’s just that it was boring. I wouldn’t really classify it as ‘Torture-Porn”, because it wasn’t. Sure it was gorier than the horror/slasher films of yore, but that’s to be expected in this day and age. Yes, there was plenty of obligatory nudity (by nudity I, of course, mean topless women). Would it kill them to throw in a Padalecki with no shirt on once in a while? We see more skin on his network television show (See: Sex and Violence). And honestly ladies, this man looks good with no shirt on. And before any men start saying, “You only like him because he’s pretty”, remember that there are plenty of titties a-flyin’ in this movie; real and fake (IE: the first bimbettte to die. Man! Those things looked like two water balloons filled with cement and taped to her chest. If you are going to buy fake ones, get the ones that look/feel/seem real) so shut it! I know I am not the target audience, they aren’t out there thinking, “How can we get the average, funny, 28 year old female from the mid-west to go see Friday the 13th?” They want to gather those 18-34 year old males, the ones who want topless bimbos being hacked to pieces (which, to be honest, is a little disturbing and not just a tad masochistic/misogynistic) so they don’t care if I want to see Jared Padalecki with no clothes on, or hell, even a storyline that doesn’t bore me. I’m learning all about filming right now and the one thing we’re told a billion times is that you have a very short window in which to keep your audience’s attention; Friday the 13th didn’t really do that. That said, it was no Splinter/Hills Have Eyes. I say this being someone who generally likes all genres of movies and, though a female, likes things geared towards men (Battlestar, anyone?)

That brings me to what I am going to discuss in this little post: What happens in the movie. Oh yes, there will be spoilers. I don’t know what kind of spoilers you’d classify them as being, because it’s a horror/slasher movie…you know what happens in all of them, right? Right? No…? Are you a newborn or have you possibly been in a coma for the past 20 some-odd years? People get hacked up. That’s what happens, generally, ALL that happens. Friday is no different, there just wasn’t anything new, there was little to no suspense and the old adage that worked so well for so many “horror” movies of the olden days of my youth; It’s best not to see the baddy right from the get-go, was thrown WAY out the window. We all know what he looks like, but the characters don’t. What would Alien have been if we were introduced to the monster right away? What about Predator? They would have been boring as shit.

So what happens in Friday, you ask? What is the story? Well, let me tell you. It all starts out with a little montage of Mrs. Voorhees chasing some girl in the woods and girl cuts her head off and they make a point of showing a locket. Cut to present day, and there is a group of douchy- turds looking for a pot field. Yeah, a pot field. My first thought was, fuck Jason, whoever is growing that pot probably doesn’t just have it nicely planted in the middle of the forest for some retards to find and pillage. Apparently the pot growers in Friday are so stoned they don’t realize morons the world over are going to find their stash. So the group is all around a camp-fire. One girl pulls her soon-to-be-dead boyfriend away to tell him something important and wander around, in the dark. Annoying guy is told to get lost by the previously mentioned Cement-tits and her boyfriend. He dies first, after he stumbles upon the pot. Surprise(So Jason is a pot farmer. That’s why he wanted those pesky kids off his campground)! Cement gets it next, via a burnin’. And the other girl, Whitney, and her boyfriend find a cabin and poke around. It’s Jason’s cabin! Uh-oh…he no likey pesky kids and their rock’n’roll music. He offs boy and Whitney runs away. The boy with Cement has meanwhile stepped on a bear trap and he gets it when Whitney tries to help him. She screams…end scene.

Cut to more douche-nozzles arriving at a store and, look, it’s the guy who ALWAYS plays Trent. He played Trent in Transformers too (seriously) and a similar character in Accepted (yeah, I know). I don’t know what name he played in Accepted, but it was most likely Skip, Flip, Trip, Tad…you name it. So Trent sees Clay (Padalecki) inside asking to put up a flyer for his missing sister (Whitney) and for some reason he is immediately nasty to him. Why? Because it appears that’s all Travis van Winkle (yup, that’s his name) can play; jerks and tools. At least in this movie he dies. They all go off to their little cabin in the woods (little man by the window stood, rabbit hopping by…not included). They brought pot too! Apparently EVERY stereotype is fair game in this modern age. Also, does no one believe in blinds or shades in homes anymore? The whole damn place is nothing but windows. There’s more out there than a disfigured freak out for revenge against those pesky kids. There are aliens and monsters and aliens and maybe Terminators…you don’t know.

So, to make a long story short, the pesky kids get picked off one after another in bland, stupid and predictable ways; nothing new here folks. One of the new bimbettes skis (a character horribly acted out by Willa Ford. Ugh, just because she’s blond, cute and has a singing career and is willing to drop that top for a dumb skiing scene, doesn’t mean she should), with no top on, for some reason, and falls and sees Jason and dies. Blah. They make a wood chipper stand out in a wonderful scene of foreshadowing at one point. Looks like Whitney isn’t dead, see she picked up Jason’s locket back at his cabin and since she looks like his mother, he keeps her chained into what appears to be a sewer? Is Jason retarded too? He knows his mother is dead. Dying, dying, dumbing. Now Clay has realized his sister is down below and gets her out and they run and fight and Jason ends up getting choked by a chain that is thrown, you guessed it, into the chipper. They dump his body into the lake, along with the chain. And here is where they should have stopped. This is where the editor, the director, Michael Bay, the grip guy, the caterer, that homeless guy under the bridge, should have said, “NO! ENOUGH! LET IT GO!” But they didn’t. They couldn’t. Jason pops up, from UNDER the bridge, and grabs the girl…WTF? Why? Because there HAS to be a place where the movie completely derails and ruins whatever bland interest it held over the audience. You know what people did in the theatre at that moment? They scoffed. Yeah, they scoffed. Loudly. There were a few, “Oh come on!”-s too, one was from me; the worst part was that I knew it was coming.

Here were a few more things they could have quit after about the first use:

· - STOP the shaky cam. We know they are running. I have eyes, I can SEE them running. You don’t need to make the camera man run with a 75lb. camera backwards. Give the man a damned dolly! Once, I get it. Every time thereafter it’s just a wasted effect that looks stupid, feels stupid and causes motion sickness in your audience. Cloverfield worked because it was J.J. and because it was supposed to have an amateur look.

· - STOP having a sound effect that goes “SWOOSH” every time a flashlight pans past the camera lens. I mean EVERY time. Look left to right-“SWOOSH” back again-“SWOOSH. SWOOSH.SWOOSH”. We get it. Now knock it off!

· - STOP the blade going “SWINCK” every time something with a blade in unsheathed. Yeah, we know it’s a knife of some sort. Stop SWINCKing. Just stop.

All in all, it wasn’t a terrible movie, but was it worth making $42 million and convincing Hollywood to make a sequel that will be awful, and inevitably cause a downward spiral that leads up to a reboot of “Freddie vs. Jason (vs. the Argonauts)” or Jason X (I think the “In Space” one)? No. It wasn’t. And I better get some topless Padalecki in next weeks’ Supernatural (I’ll take Ackles as well) to make up for it.

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