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Friday the 13th

a film by Marcus Nispel

Jason Voorhees, the man-about-camp of the seemingly endless Friday the 13th series has been to Hell and back (literally!) - and so has his equally impossible-to-kill franchise. With forays into space and 3D, as well as that alluded to trip to Hell and back, even a mano y mano battle royale with Freddy Kruger in what may very well be the most ludicrous of the whole kit-and-kaboodle franchise, Jason and his seemingly infinite number of comebacks, have now finally come full circle - and landed smack dab back at the beginning again in what is the series' first actual remake (as opposed to sequel, prequel or what have you). This rebirth is of no help whatsoever though.

No matter what this latest (re)entry into the franchise (number nine for those of you keeping score at home) vomits forth in typical ridiculous plot line and succession of bloody, crank-fuelled, genre-bred death screams - a necessity in such a film - Marcus Nispel's Friday the 13th, lacks in any sort of giddy, genre-specific fun - also a necessity in such a film. Unlike the recently 3D-revamped My Bloody Valentine, which seemed to revel in its very audacity (a thing surely helped along by the spectacle-for-spectacle's-sake 3D graphics), this latest in the never-dying series ends up as nothing more than yet another banal orgy of blood and gore attempting to pass itself off as horror. In a genre where audacious whimsy should be the norm and not the exception, Nispel's retread merely doles out what is just another tired attempt at franchise elongation. [02/22/09]

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