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TAC Reviews...The Best Character in 2009's Reboot of Friday 13th

 

I acknowledge the title of this article is a bit of a mouthful and you may also have noticed, loyal reader, that it has been a couple of weeks since my last review. That is mainly because I have been struggling to think of anything interesting enough to want to talk about, I am planning on seeing Thor Ragnarok this week, so I’m sure that will be reviewed in the next week or so. Still, I wanted to do something so I thought I’d talk about one of the characters from 2009’s reboot of Friday 13th 

 

Firday 13th Reboot Poster

 

Now if you don’t know the original Friday 13th came out in 1980 and starred a young Kevin Bacon. The premise of the film was that a young boy named Jason Voorhees drowned whilst at Camp Crystal Lake because the teenage counsellors were not watching him (they might have been having sex at the time but in all honesty I haven’t seen the original so I am not sure). Anyway, years later a masked killer stalks the counsellors at Crystal Lake in revenge for Jason’s death, this murderer turns out to be Jason’s mother who is killed in the film’s climax. However, just as the credits were about to begin, a disfigured child (Jason) rose from the waters of the lake to grab the surviving counsellor. From this point (an adult) Jason took over the role of the killer that stalked those foolish enough to come to Camp Crystal Lake and as the series went on became more and more super powered and supernatural as he eventually is impossible to kill.

 

Over the years I have probably seen bits and pieces of the subsequent sequels and the basic formula remains the same, teens in and around Camp Crystal Lake looking to get drunk and/or laid, Jason shows up, and hunts them down killing them one by one.

 

The films went on to have ten instalments with Jason X in 2001 being the final one, in which Jason ending up on a spaceship in the distant future. He was finally killed when he fell into Earth’s atmosphere and burned up on re-entry (apparently being unable to ever die didn’t include being burned up on entry to a planet’s atmosphere). Since Part II the films had basically just had the same premise, teens arrive at the camp, some have sex, others drink, some drink and have sex, and Jason kills the majority of them in a variety of different ways.

 

Similarly to Nightmare on Elm Street or Halloween which also had multiple sequels, and also ran out of steam before finally getting rebooted (or “reimagining”), Friday 13th got a reboot in 2009.

 

However, with such a basic premise –Un-killable murderer slaughters teenagers – what could a new reboot do different to the ten previous films??

 

I haven’t seen the reboot of Halloween but in the reboot of Nightmare on Elm Street it was implied that Freddy Kruger might have been innocent and the kids lied to their parents because they didn’t like him, which lead to the parents coming after him and his subsequent death. I really, really wanted this to be the direction the reboot took because it would have been way more interesting as the parents burned alive an innocent man who then gets revenge on the kids that lied about him, but sadly the film didn’t have the stones to follow that idea through. So we got another film about Freddy stalking and murdering the kids in their sleep, which had been done to death (not pun intended) already.

 

With the appearance of Friday 13th – The Game my interest in this particular franchise was renewed and so I decided to give the reboot film a watch…now initially I was planning on doing a review of the film itself unfortunately I only made it about forty-ish minutes in before I was so mind numbingly bored I gave up watching. The last thing I saw was the topless wakeboarding woman getting stabbed in the head by Jason whilst she tried to hide under a jetty.

 

Despite the fact I am not reviewing the film itself, I will give you the low-down on what I saw up until I abandoned it, before I get to the person I want to actually talk about.

 

Basically we have a prequel sequence in which…you’ve guessed it, a bunch of sex-mad twenty-something teenagers end up camping in the woods near the former Camp Crystal Lake and are promptly murdered by Jason.

 

We cut to a few weeks later in which Clay (the brother of one of the women we saw in the opening) is searching the surrounding area where she went missing in the hopes of finding her. Here he meets up with the film’s second group of twenty-something teenagers who are heading to their friend Trent’s parents cabin for a weekend of drinking, sex and so on (naturally they fit all the clichéd criteria - the slutty girl, the stuck-up rich kid, the stoners, etcetera, etcetera). At a convenience store Trent clashes with Clay when the latter asks the shop clerk if he can hang up some fliers of his missing sibling, which naturally causes rich-asshole Trent to get irritated whilst waiting in line behind him.

 

The teen’s head to the cabin and Clay continues his search, and it was during one of these scenes when the only interesting thing happens in the film. A creepy cat-lady tells Clay to give up his search and not go near the lake because “He just needs to be left alone”. Then when she is questioned about who “He” is, she refuses to answer and simply goes back in doors. So it is heavily implied that the locals are aware that Jason is up at the lake and basically just stay away from there.

 

Once the teens get to the lake Trent reinforces his role as the film’s dick-head by being an arse to his friends for selfishly trying to have fun, and basically just brought them up to the cabin to show off how rich and spoilt he is. His girlfriend, Jenna goes off with Clay when he arrives at the house still handing out fliers with his sister’s name and photo on them. Two of the others head off to do some wakeboarding on the lake, but Jason attacks and kills them both…it was at this point that I switched off because Trent is a total asshole, his friends are boring, and Jason is about as interesting as a tree with an angry face drawn on it.

 

Still credit is where credit is due because Travis Van Winkle does exceptionally well as Trent, really too well as Trent was the main reason I stopped watching, but I’ll get onto that in a minute.

 

There was nothing original about the film, and as I sat watching it I kept wondering how Trent’s parents could have a cabin on the lake if Jason murders anyone who goes there. It must have been built at some point so why weren’t the builder’s killed?? It is not implied that Trent hasn’t been to the cabin before or his parents have only recently purchased it, so if he was able to travel there safely in the past, why is Jason only now going after them?? If Jason’s whole deal is killing teenagers then why does he kill the group at the beginning who are clearly out of their teens?? If Jason only kills teens then do you escape him by showing him your birth certificate to prove you aren’t a teenager?? If the locals know about Jason (or they are implied to) why isn’t there a massive fence around Crystal Lake with signs warning of the deranged murderer roaming within which would stop anyone attempting to go there?? Did Trent’s parents get a good deal on the cabin because there is a high priority anyone visiting it would be dead by dawn?? So the list goes on…the one interesting premise, the idea that the locals know he is there and just leave him be was forgotten almost as soon as it was mentioned. Plus there is a Redneck guy that goes to some barn to smoke weed who is killed by Jason, again, surely he must have gone to that barn before, so why is now Jason finally deciding to attack him??

 

Plus I was aware that Bree, played by Julianna Guill ends up having wild sex with Trent. The scene has become infamous amongst horror fans because Guill shows off her amazing body (well amazing for a human) and rides Trent like her life depends on it whilst filming the encounter with a handheld camcorder. It is a genuinely hot sex scene. The thing is with Trent being such a complete knob-head I wasn’t exactly thrilled that he is the one who gets to have wild sex with Bree. I hate to see twats (even fictional ones) getting lucky with hot women when, rich-guy or not, they shouldn’t have any friends or women interested in them at all. Even the prospect of him dying at Jason’s hand wasn’t enough motivation to keep me watching because he was too much of a dick, and I don’t want to spend my time watching dicks, so I turned Friday 13th off.

 

So only getting half way through film, nothing but shit up to that point so Thumbs Down, job done, right??

 

Actually no…

 

You see after losing interest and switching the film off I was idly flicking around on the Villains Wiki, which if you don’t know, is a Wiki for looking up different villains (obviously). It’ll tell you about their back-stories, powers and abilities, have galleries of images, and stuff like that. What drew my attention was that naturally Jason was listed on there, but also listed on Friday 13th 2009 Reboot villains list was none-other than Bree.

 

This, by the way, is Bree…

 

 

I clicked on the link and discovered that apparently during the course of the film, Bree was intentionally trying to get Trent into bed, basically so she could film them having sex, get pregnant by him, and then blackmail him later…that is a way better plotline than the boring as hell Jason killing teens thing.

 

Why couldn’t we have had a film about Bree’s character??

 

Think about it, a woman seduces a rich-guy who not only already has a girlfriend but also has unprotected sex with her, she films the encounter happening, gets pregnant by him, and then forces him to look after her financially or she’ll release the sex tape…why was such an interesting subplot in a Friday 13th film??

 

She knows Trent is an asshole and is just using him, which is a much better comeuppance for a rich twat who thinks he can do whatever he wants because his parents have money. Yes, Jason kills him later on but so-fucking-what. He gets the ride of his life from Bree then gets murdered. Screw killing him, let him have to live with his actions as she squeezes him for every penny he has, let his parents refuse to bail him out because he was the one who stupidly stuck his dick in someone he shouldn’t have. She didn’t force him to do anything he didn’t want to do, he wasn’t drunk when she had sex with him, he was fully aware that she was filming them, and so he would have no leg to stand on if she sued him for child support payments.

 

Honestly I want to see a film about that, she is a villain I guess as she is threatening to blackmail him, but sorry chap unwanted pregnancy is a potential side effect of having unprotected sex with a woman. I don’t know how such a film would work because I don’t know what the resolution would be, but it just strikes me as an interesting idea that should be explored. Rich people doing whatever or whomever they want because they are rich and can get away with it, getting their comeuppance from someone who was far more than just a pretty face is something I don’t think audiences get to see very often. Bree is not someone that is evil, she is conniving certainly, but she wouldn’t have been able to seduce Trent if he hadn’t let her.

 

Jason was an irritation in the film, and I kind-of want to go back and resume watching just so I could watch Bree’s seduction of Trent, and see how she manipulates him until she finally gets him into bed. Sadly I know that I’ll have to sit through Jason killing people…which is boring, the other characters being tired and predictable…which is boring, and the walking clichés that exist to get killed…which is boring. Plus from what I read on the Villains Wiki when Jenna (I’ll remind you, Trent’s girlfriend) returns, Trent has an argument with her because she went off to help Clay put up his fliers despite the fact that only minutes before hand he [Trent] was balls deep in Bree. Naturally as two people who have had sex in a horror movie, they both end up dead anyway so I would have never got to see how Bree’s plan would have turned out in the end.

 

As far as Friday 13th goes it is another boring reboot that doesn’t have the nerve to try anything different, with a subplot and side-character that is far more interesting than Jason or any of the other dead-teens-walking.

 

I hope that someone capably of making a good people-drama (if that is a thing) comes across this idea because if done well it could be amazing to see on screen. It could almost serve as a cautionary tale for all the rich-assholes out there about what can happen if you have unprotected sex with someone that would use their body to get what they want then take the chump for every penny they can get out of them.

 

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© Chris Sharman