Friday, February 13, 2009

Friday the 13th: Do You Feel Lucky?

Today is Friday the 13th and after a long absence a new Jason movie is opening. Way back when I was in high school, tonight would have been an event. When a new Friday the 13th or Nightmare on Elm Street movie came out, we were there in force. We’d high five and cheer after each kill. Inevitably, some would yell “Don’t go in there!” to some doomed coed heading into a basement or some other dark, deserted place.

Jason, along with Freddy Krueger, Michael Myers, Pinhead and Leatherface, are the next generation of classic movie monsters after Dracula, Frankenstein and The Wolf Man.

As with almost every other genre, we have recently seen a rash of remakes and re-imaginings of these classic horror icons. A while back I posted an entry about my mixed feelings about the upcoming Star Trek reboot. My feelings are a bit different with horror. I don’t have much of a problem with it. I don’t have high expectations either. After all, there are countless variations and versions of Dracula, Frankenstein and The Wolf Man. It’s what keeps the legends going.

Personally, I saw no need for a remake of the Texas Chainsaw Massacre. It is one of the all time classics. I thought the new version was okay, but that may owe more to Jessica Biel in a tank top than anything else. The Halloween remake did not do much for me and the remake of The Amityville Horror was just plain terrible. But as a horror fan, bad movies come with the territory. I still enjoy them all on some level.

I speak fondly of the old horror movies, but to be honest, some of them have not aged well and the sequels to most of these movies are dreadful. And let’s face, I’m not a kid anymore. I still love horror, but it takes more to impress me these days. These movies are aimed at teens, not old farts like me.

I just found out that they are working on a new Nightmare on Elm Street, and that is the one that probably bothers me the most. C’mon… Robert Englund is Freddy. There is no Freddy without him. But maybe that’s what they said about Bela Lugosi and Dracula. Maybe the character is bigger than the actor. But I doubt it in this case.

It’s different with Jason. I don’t care who plays him. He’s been different in every film. He didn't even have the hockey mask until the third one. And the films got worse as the series went on. The important ingredients are a hockey mask, a machete, some pot smoking teens, some scantily clad girls and most of all blood. And this franchise could use some new blood. It really all about seeing some good kills.

If they can reboot the series and bring back the gory excitement that I remember as a kid, then I am willing to try my luck with this new Friday the 13th.

I don’t suppose Jessica Biel is in this movie by any chance, is she? One can only hope.

I’ll post a review once I get around to seeing it. Promise.

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