THE LAIR EXPERTS
Matt: This was a tough film to rate. The challenge was to rate it as a stand-alone, even though it clearly had big shoes to fill. I admire what the writers and producers attempted to do, but they missed in a lot of ways. First off, where was the signature "ki ki ki" sound effect throughout the film? Aside from the beginning credits and when Jason finds his mask, it was noticeably absent. And what is with the music? Steve Jablonsky's score sounded like it was lifted straight from the 'Texas Chainsaw' remakes, and the token rock and rap songs were terrible and did not fit in at all. 'Sister Christian'? That was just awful. This would have been much more effective and creepy with some classic Harry Manfredini musical score. The other main thing that hurt this film was the fact that there weren't actual campers staying at the camp. I went into this expecting them to stay in the cabins and actually be at the camp, not around it. That was a major disappointment.
I also didn't agree with the fact that there was a mine underneath the camp. Sure, it explains how Jason navigates the camp so easily, but at times, it seemed like I was watching another incarnation of 'My Bloody Valentine' instead of 'Friday The 13th'. It just didn't fit. Some of the casting was questionable as well, particularly the old lady and the old man with the tow truck, who were recycled from the 'Texas Chainsaw' remakes. You couldn't tell if the old lady was telling Clay about Leatherface or Jason, and that also hurt the film. On the positive side, Derek Mears really delivered as Jason, and the kills were very top-notch. That campfire kill was very original and made me cringe (which isn't too easy anymore). In general, the rest of the cast was passable at best. Travis Van Winkle played a good dickhead as Trent, and the girls were off the charts hot. The sex scenes were also very hardcore, and definitely rank up there among the best in the history of 'Friday The 13th'. Overall, the film was the best in the franchise since Part 7, but for the reasons I mentioned above, it's not a classic by any means. 6 out of 10.
A.J.: This remake definitely blew a breath of fresh air into the deflated 'Friday The 13th' series. Producer Michael Bay took Jason home, where he belongs, to Crystal Lake, and devised some of the most gruesome and intriguing kills of any horror movie, not to mention some hardcore borderline porn sex scenes. He definitely had all of the ingredients of a classic movie, including gory kills, hardcore sex, and Jason back in the woods mowing down horny drunken teenagers. However, where this movie excels in the above mentioned, it fails miserably in just about every other aspect. The musical score is beyond horrible, with cheesy unpopular songs playing during key parts of the film. The acting was average at best, although I must tip my hat to Derek Mears who played one hell of a Jason, and in my mind is now THE Jason. I can't bash this movie too hard though because it is so hard to rate the remake of an all-time classic. I guess what it boils down to is Jason is back at camp (not space or New York), doing what he does best. What more can you ask for? 7 out of 10.
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