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Friday the 13th Movie Review

Anyone entering a slasher movie hoping for a deep storyline is automatically going to be disappointed.
The 2009 movie “Friday the 13th,” is no exception to this rule. A “B” movie gussied up as an “A,” it romps through a number of meaningless deaths. Yet, what makes it somewhat frustrating of a watch is just how much potential was truly wasted.

It stars Jared Padalecki, who is seriously underutilized. As Clay, he is a desperate brother looking for his sister, who failed to show up at their mother's funeral. The story created for Clay is good, full of potential, and intriguing. The problem with it is we never see it truly flesh out.

Instead, we find ourselves following the canon fodder in Trent and his friends going to the cabin to drink, get high, have sex, and get yelled at by Trent a lot for doing all of those things. Right from the start, with no real explanation beyond that he's supposed to be the jerk of the movie, Trent gets in Clay's face about standing at the service counter too long. He doesn't care that Clay is trying to convince the clerk to put up a poster about his missing sister. Clay lets it brush off and moves on to question anyone in the area if they've seen his sister.

Trent and his posse arrive at the cabin and quickly get to work on breaking things, getting high, and having lots of sex. It becomes a game of “who will die at Jason's hands first?” Names are really largely useless as each person is pretty much more or less dead meat. A couple go off to ride in a boat on the lake together. The girl is water skiing when Jason shoots an arrow through the guy's head, leaving her to get hit by the boat. I couldn't help but yell at her to move, but she was just too stupid. I give her props for trying to hide under the dock, hoping that Jason would move along, but even before it happened it was obvious that she was going to get stabbed through the head.

Meanwhile, most of Jared's scenes consist of him riding around from place to place on his motorbike, (sans helmet cause it makes him look better) talking to people who live near the lake. One creepy old lady tries to warn him off without giving much detail as to why. The other guy he asks pretty much blows him off, except to get in a sexist joke about how he'd like to do Clay's sister.

Eventually, Clay and Trent cross paths again as he arrives at the cabin to hand out yet more fliers and ask if they had heard anything. Trent gets in Clay's face AGAIN, with no reason. First of all, Clay's three times bigger, and second, he's only asking for help concerning a missing person the cops have long since stopped looking for. Trent's lack of compassion makes me not care about him, and actually root for Jason---which seems counterproductive. I wanted really badly for Clay to just deck him and be done with it. Considering that everyone in that cabin will DIE, he could have saved all of them by hitting the douche and making them drive away somehow.

Meanwhile, the sister that Clay has been looking for all along is being held captive in some basement by Jason. In the beginning of the movie, when her friends go camping at the site they come across the house with Jason's bed and a photo locket. The guy with her says that she looks like the girl in the locket, but there's not much more explanation given than that to indicate exactly as to why Jason is even keeping her alive. Everyone else is killed quickly and efficiently by Jason, and even after an escape attempt she is simply locked up again. Jason doesn't even gag her, which is surprising.

Clay manages to get one of the girls in Trent's posse to listen to him and give him a hand, which only makes Trent angrier and make me want Clay to hit him all that much more. As they go off to investigate the area and leave Trent and the remaining friends behind, we switch to montages of them getting high and an inexplicable and obnoxiously drawn out sex scene between Trent and his girlfriend. It made me really wish that Jason would have just stabbed them and kill them in the midst of the act, really.

I had really hoped to hear more about Clay's relationship with his sister. We learn that they had fought six months prior, that their mother, someone who Whitney had taken care of day in and out had died from her cancer, and that Clay had really started to search for her when she failed to show at the funeral. It was intriguing and with Jared telling this aspect of the story it made me sympathetic. He really sold us the story here and I kept waiting for them to go somewhere with it. It had the potential to perhaps turn this genre into something more than just slasher fare.

Instead, we returned to the endless sex scene and the stupidity of the high college students who were picked off one by one. The Asian guy ends up in a shed killed, speared through his neck. The black guy goes to look for him and gets himself killed while Clay tries to keep everyone else inside, aware that each and everyone of them is being hunted. Trent, finally pulled away from his girlfriend due to all the screaming coming from outside and downstairs gets in Clay's face AGAIN. To make matters worse, he's also brandishing a gun, firing at anything and everything upon hearing any sounds. Clay, the lone voice of reason, tells him to stop, but stupidity this bad can't be cured at this stage in the game.

I couldn't help but notice that while Clay's character was supposed to be the star of the story that we spent an awful lot of time on Trent and his friends---and by this time none of them were worth the time they were given on screen. I cheered when Jason speared Trent on a stake jutting out of the back of a man's jeep. It was about time that loud mouth douchenozzle bought it in my book. I still really wanted to see Clay beat the tar out of him, but I'll take watching him get impaled, too.

As each remaining guy and gal is picked off, Clay runs towards Jason's house where his sister is being held captive. He hears her scream for help, gets her chains broken by beating on them with a rock, and hefts his petite sister up to bring her to safety. Unfortunately, with all of the cannon fodder finally used up by Jason, Clay's the only one really left for him to kill. Almost as if they're expecting Supernatural fans to watch the movie, Jason goes for the throat, choking Clay brutally. He manages to get away and run with his sister back out of the passage to get outside.

Jason is simply not ready to let his pretty girl prize go and is in hot pursuit. Most of the dialogue here centers on repetitious things such as “hurry, come on,” mostly said by Clay like a broken record. They finally get Jason “killed” and drag his body to the lake where we're about to have a touching moment between Clay and Whitney, one we're cheated from as Jason rises out of the lake and slashes at them with a heavy dose of fade to black. It's a cop out and a total set up for a sequel I hope isn't made unless Jared gets a huge and exorbitant amount of money for doing so.

The movie, for what it is, wasn't half bad really. It was mostly a slasher film with a lot of gore, drug use, and sex. The problem here is more or less the fact that we're teased with a lot of potential. Jared is largely cheated in so many ways, never really getting the chance to shine as he truly can. With so much emphasis being on the party house and its occupants and so little on his character and search for his sister, it's no wonder that it comes off as flat. He acted the movie extremely well, but the limited material largely held him back in so many ways. Just when he would get going and drawing us into the story, they'd flip to someone getting hacked to death or someone smoking weed or someone having sex. It was as if they were afraid to let him sell the story to us---or more likely, it is to cover up the shortcomings in the writing.

Most of all, it is the lazy writing that dooms this movie to mediocrity. It's not bad, but it's not good. It's alright. It'd be a good movie to slip in a slasher film marathon, but don't expect anything more from it than that. It would have been delightful and a rare treat to see a film like this crack the mold of its genre and go someplace they haven't before. The potential is there teasing us and that's what truly makes it so very frustrating. If anything, it made me want to see Jared get a role worthy of his talent and artistry—outside of Supernatural, that is.