I find it almost frightening how after near countless reiterations the Friday the 13th film series has once again failed to do anything to separate its most recent outing from it predecessors. While technically there are a few good things about this remake there is still too much gore and too little plot for the audience to care.
Same old premise equals same old story. Once more we follow a group of teenagers who are all slowly killed by the merciless murdering machine Jason Voorhees. While there are a few moments where the film attempts to tell a bit of story it is mostly lost (again!) amongst all of the silly death scenes which are exaggerated by the same old buckets of gore which have been reused numerous times before now. There is little in the way of surprises or jump scares which steadily degrade the film as it goes along. It all ends yet again with a last fight between the protagonist and Jason which concludes with the masked murder seemingly meeting his demise. Just wait, though, there will be another film sooner or later.
The effects are much the same as they have always been, minus the sloppy CGI. So quite predictably there is NOTHING, but an insane amount of blood which does not even begin to scare the viewer no matter how much it throws in. I guess after the mind numbing effects seen in Jason X this was the series returning to its roots which in retrospect does not make even the slightest difference. If I had a quid for every time this series attempted to frighten me with its tacky amount of gore I would be living in a mansion by now. At this point, though, it is useless to complain about the use of effects because by this point there is no chance that these films will ever learn their lesson.
The acting is better than in the first few films. Jared Padalecki portrays the protagonist Clay Miller who is probably the best of the cast and is hands down better than a lot of the undeveloped victims which inhabit this film series. Jenna is played pretty well by actress Danielle Panabaker who despite being mostly underwritten is about on the same level as Amanda Righetti who puts on a brave performance as Whitney Miller who is a complete wreck by the end. Some light comic relief is provided by Aaron Yoo who I admit has some funny dialogue, but it is just too sporadic to hold the viewer’s attention for long. Here’s a bit of a shocker, they didn’t just get a random stuntman to be Jason this time. Instead they got actor Derek Mears to portray him and despite being as silent as the rest Mears proves that it can make a difference to have a proper actor behind the mask.
The plain and simple fact is that the Friday the 13th films don’t have the capacity to distinguish themselves from one another. Every time it is the same old violence, the same old shallow story, and the same old gore. If the series was capable of changing the formula for once then this could have been a really good film.