Sunday, October 09, 2005

Friday the 13th


(1980) **1/2

I'm not saying the Friday the 13th series didn't get itself some game along the way, but this one reeks of knock-off right from the title sequence. The title zooms at us until it slams into some glass we didn't know was there, shattering it. Then the music kicks in...someone going for the strings of Pyscho but winding up with a cross between Stravinski's Rite of Spring and the tuba language of the Close Encounters mothership. Hoo boy.

I waffled on how to rate this, since it does set in place many, many formula elements that I've seen imitated more times than I can count. Things like the Old Man of Warning, or the systematic series of gory set pieces. But on its own, this movie didn't deserve three stars. So much of it felt like padding: scene after scene of getting to know these unappealing people, sometimes doing this from the bushes. After stalking with Michael, the POV shots just didn't do it for me.

And what's all this silliness with Jason's mom, anyway? Is this movie intended as a whodunnit? Because if it is, aren't you supposed to introduce the culprit sooner than two minutes before revealing them? If you're knocking off Halloween, the killer should be a big guy with a mask and many blades. Instead it turns out to be some woman who looks like she spends her time dropping bitchy, hurtful remarks at Crystal Lake bake sales, but now she's going "kill her, mommy, kill her!" Puh-lease.

In theory, the idea of a series of movies having an "intro" movie is kind of cool, like how The Hobbit relates to the Lord of the Rings books. (Kid Jason even looks like Gollum, now that I think about it.) But this one had me tapping my foot and looking at my watch.

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