A group of young adults discover a boarded up Camp Crystal Lake, where they soon encounter Jason Voorhees and his deadly intentions. Remake of the 1980 original.
If you thought a bigger budget and an A-list producer (Michael Bay) would go to Jason's head, well, forget it. The indestructible villain of so many bottom-of-the-barrel shockers isn't about to change his shtick, and the 2009 Friday the 13th
proves it. This, the umpteenth sequel (nope, it's not a remake of the origin story) to the original 1980 movie, gives us a clever prologue that manages to fit an entire Jason Voorhees killing spree in a brisk and bloody 20 minutes. Jumping ahead six weeks, the film introduces a carload of clueless teens headed for a weekend at a lakeside cabin, plus a lone motorcyclist (Jared Padalecki) in search of his missing sister (Amanda Righetti). When the "lakeside" happens to refer to Crystal Lake, of course, there can be only one outcome. Cue the hockey mask, and pass the machete. Bay and director Marcus Nispel, who collaborated on the Texas Chainsaw Massacre
remake, are surprisingly indifferent to changing up the formula this time, although there's more care taken in building up a few characters, and for once the comic relief (mostly supplied by Aaron Yoo and Arlen Escarpeta) is pretty funny. You might even regret the slaughter of a couple of these young folk, which is an unusual feeling in Friday
-watching. The film's Jason is quite the athletic fellow, and he's assembled an elaborate underground corpse-hiding lair in the vicinity of Crystal Lake. How he's been able to live down there for 30 years (if the film's own timeline is to be believed) and had enough unwitting campers pass by to keep himself entertained is anybody's guess. But if they keep coming, he'll keep slashing. --Robert Horton