Jared Padalecki, Danielle Panabaker, Amanda Righetti
Damian Shannon, Mark Swift
A group of young adults discover a boarded up Camp Crystal Lake and hey soon encounter Jason Voorhees and his deadly intentions.
$40,570,365 on 3105 screens.
Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
English Dolby TrueHD 5.1
Runtime: 98 min. (Theatrical Version)
106 min. (Unrated “Killer Cut”)
Release Date: 6/16/2009
• Both Theatrical and Unrated Versions
• “The Rebirth of Jason Voorhees” Featurette
• Three Additional Scenes
• “Hacking Back/Slashing Forward” Featurette
• “7 Best Kills” Featurette
• Trivia Track
PURCHASE @ AMAZON.COM
Panasonic 50" TH-50PZ77U 1080p Plasma Monitor; Sony STR-DG1200 7.1 Channel Receiver; Panasonic DMP-BD60K Blu-Ray Player using HDMI outputs; Michael Green Revolution Cinema 6i Speakers (all five); Kenwood 1050SW 150-watt Subwoofer.
Friday The 13th [Blu-Ray] (2009)
Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (April 30, 2018)
When will the parade of horror remakes end? Never, I’m guessing – at least as long as they make money. Since the majority come with very low budgets, it becomes easy for them to turn a profit.
Case in point: 2009’s Friday the 13th didn’t light up the box office with its $65 million take, but given its $16 million cost – and the successful home video afterlife horror flicks enjoy – the remake made lots of money.
The 2009 Friday starts with a flashback to the original flick. It shows the demise of crazy Mrs. Voorhees (Nana Visitor) on June 13, 1980, and we see deformed young Jason (Caleb Guss) emerge from the shadows.
From there we leap to present day. A group of backpackers goes in search of a hidden stash of marijuana, and they wind up at the old Camp Crystal Lake location. This doesn’t end well for them.
Six weeks later, Clay Miller (Jared Padalecki) goes to find his sister Whitney (Amanda Righetti), one of the missing backpackers. He comes across Trent (Travis Van Winkle), a rich college kid who brings his friends to stay at his family’s lakeside vacation home.
While Clay searches for Whitney, the others party – and eventually encounter the adult, homicidal Jason (Derek Mears). This also doesn’t go well for them.
When I went into the 2009 Friday, I expected a fairly straight remake of the original. Instead, it takes the Superman Returns route and appears to essentially ignore the existence of all the sequels. Granted, it doesn’t overtly deny them, but it seems to act as an extension of the 1980 flick and shows no indication that all of the Jason-centered adventures from 1981 to 2003 existed.
I like that twist, and the 2009 Friday also offers a few other shifts from the genre clichés. However, I don’t think it shakes things up enough to become a successful reinvention.
A lot of the problem comes with the thin nature of the premise. Director Marcus Nispel offered a reworking of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre that I thought topped the original film.
However, that flick’s story had more potential depth to it, whereas every Friday movies revolves around little more than “crazy freak slashes people”. Oh, the series occasionally tried to flesh out background a little better, but the situations and scenarios remained painfully similar.
That means the series lives and dies with its kills, and I think that’s what the fans most like about the movies: the various methods Jason uses to dispatch his victims. During the opening sequence with the backpackers, Nispel accomplishes a good level of intensity and creates murders with more punch than the usual gross-out scenes.
For instance, Jason roasts a backpacker in a sleeping bag. That segment transcends the standard icky slash ‘n’ hack to become genuinely horrific.
Had the rest of Friday been similarly off-putting, the movie might’ve delivered more of a punch. Instead, Nispel goes with a generic recitation of the same old bloody nonsense. Of course, these scenes are also pretty horrifying – much gore ensues – but they’re so over the top that they don’t really scare us or make us upset.
And that’s probably fine with the franchise’s fans, as they want to see bloody kill after bloody kill. I just would’ve liked to see the series take a different path, and the opening led me to think it might do that.
The Jason of the first 20 minutes seems more suited to the 21st century than does the campy goof of the older films. The Jason seen in this film’s early moments here comes across as more genuinely unsettling than his cinematic predecessor.
After that fairly powerful opening, however, Friday settles into the same routine that marks virtually every other movie in the franchise. We meet a slew of attractive – and utterly expendable – young adults and watch them get killed. Again, a few minor twists occur, but for the most part, the new Friday just regurgitates the tried and true formula.
If that works for you, have fun, and I can’t say that I genuinely dislike the updated Friday, because I don’t. For better or for worse, it fit with the series’ traditions, so I can’t criticize it for remaining true to form.
Heck, it’s even better than the original Friday, though that’s not saying much. The 1980 film was popular and influential without actually being any damned good.
2009’s Friday the 13th isn’t particularly good, either, but it’s not bad. I do see it as a missed opportunity, though. It could take the franchise down a creative new path but instead it prefers to stay with the same old hack and slash.
The Blu-ray Grades: Picture A-/ Audio B/ Bonus B
Friday the 13th appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.35:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. I saw no obvious issues here.
Sharpness worked fine. Even in wide shots, the movie remained concise and accurate, which was more impressive given all the low-light shots on display.
Moiré effects and jaggies failed to appear, and I witnessed no edge haloes. In addition, source flaws were completely absent.
Friday featured a restrained palette that veered toward teal and amber. Within those choices, the hues looked well-rendered.
Blacks appeared dark and tight, while shadows seemed smooth and clear. Across the board, this became a strong presentation.
I also found the Dolby TrueHD 5.1 soundtrack of Friday to be pretty positive, though the soundfield really only came to life during a few action sequences. The opening rampage provided fairly good material from the side and rear speakers, and the climax also used those speakers to reasonably positive effect.
Otherwise this was a mix heavy on atmosphere. Those elements created a nice sense of place but lacked a lot of active material.
Audio quality satisfied. Speech sounded crisp and distinctive, and music appeared robust and full.
Effects were accurate and dynamic. Low-end response showed good thump and richness. Nothing here dazzled, but the audio merited a “B”.
How did the Blu-ray compare to the original 2009 DVD? Audio was bolder and more dynamic, while visuals seemed tighter and more concise. The DVD was decent but the Blu-ray improved on it easily.
The Blu-ray includes the same extras as the DVD and a few others as well. In a change, the Blu-ray presents both the theatrical version of Friday (1:37:14) as well as an extended ”Killer Cut” of Friday (1:45:30). The DVD only came with the “Killer Cut”, so it’s nice to get the theatrical edition as well.
Since I never saw the theatrical version, I can’t comment on the changes. I’m glad that we get the choice between the two here, though.
Found on the DVD, The Rebirth of Jason Voorhees runs 11 minutes, 24 seconds and provides comments from producers Andrew Form and Brad Fuller, director Marcus Nispel, writers Mark Swift and Damian Shannon, special effects makeup artist Scott Stoddard, and actors Derek Mears, Jonathan Sadowski, Willa Ford, Danielle Panabaker, Nick Mennell, Amanda Righetti, Julianna Guill, Kyle Davis and Travis Van Winkle.
“Rebirth” looks at the reinvention of the series and story elements, cast and characters, makeup effects, and an alternate scene. Should you expect more than fairly standard promotional material here? Not really.
We get a decent look at the Jason makeup, and we learn why they reshot a sequence that we’ll find in the “Additional Scenes”. Otherwise, there’s not much meat here. It’s watchable but insubstantial.
Three Additional Scenes last a total of eight minutes, 19 seconds. One expands the killing in which Jason gets his hockey mask, while another shows the call that brings the police to help Clay and the others. For the final clip, we get an alternate ending.
Scene One is superfluous, and Scenes Two and Three are a little more worthwhile, but they would’ve slowed the film when it doesn’t need to decrease its pace. Scene Three would’ve fit the final cut the best since it includes action, but I think the existing ending fares better because it more closely connects to the original film.
Exclusive to the Blu-ray, we find a Trivia Track. This isn’t just a text piece, though, as instead, it delivers a picture-in-picture experience with written production notes, footage from the shoot and interviews.
We hear from Form, Stoddard, Mears, Fuller, Nispel, Sadowski, Swift, Shannon, Mennell, Ford, Panabaker, Guill, Van Winkle, Davis, and actors Ben Feldman, Jared Padalecki, America Olivo and Ryan Hansen.
The “Track” covers story/character areas, cast and performances, makeup and effects, sets and locations, stunts and action, and editing. The piece starts out well and gives us a good variety of notes for the first act but then it starts to fade.
As the movie progresses, we get fewer and fewer tidbits, so the “Track” becomes more frustrating. It still delivers a reasonable amount of useful information, but don’t expect consistency from it.
Hacking Back/Slashing Forward runs 11 minutes, 41 seconds and provides comments from Nispel, Swift, Shannon, Righetti, Padalecki, Van Winkle, Guill, Sadowski, Mears, Fuller, Ford, Form, Stoddard, and actor Arlen Escarpeta.
They discuss memories of the franchise and the reboot’s expansion of the series. We don’t get a ton of substance here, but there’s enough meat to make it worth watching.
Under The 7 Best Kills, we get a 22-minute, 33-second compilation that looks at many of the movie’s death scenes. We hear from Panabaker, Van Winkle, Form, Mears, Sadowski, Nispel, Swift, Shannon, Feldman, Stoddard, Olivo, Ford, Guill, Hansen, Mennell, Righetti, and Padalecki.
We learn the ins and outs of how these sequences came to be. Though it can be fluffy and full of praise, “Best Kills” includes a fair amount of good information as well.
While I’ve enjoyed a few of the modern horror remakes, the updated Friday the 13th does little to improve the old model. Indeed, it feels like more of the same but with 21st century production values. The Blu-ray delivers excellent visuals along with good audio and bonus materials. I find this to be a quality release for an average film.
To rate this film visit the DVD review of FRIDAY THE 13TH