Halloween Marathon: Friday the 13th (2009)

The 12th movie from Friday the 13th franchise! We’re finally here! However, this is not a continuation but rather a remake set in very much the present.  And you know what? I actually know some actors and actresses in this one.  Thats already a good start :) That was literally my reaction when the names were popping up in the opening credits. Silly things to be excited about, but I was.

Let’s check out this remake, shall me?

friday the 13thDirector: Marcus Nispel

Cast: Jared Padalecki, Danielle Panabaker, Amanda Righetti, Travis Van Winkle, Aaron Yoo, Derek Mears, Jonathan Sadowski, Julianna Guill, Ben Feldman

Twenty something years has passed since the events of Jason’s drowning and the killings and Pamela Voorhees was murdered on Camp Crystal Lake, the town has been peaceful for ages and many have forgotten the events.  A group of kids go to camp there and eventually get hunted by Jason Voorhess.  All of them go missing.  A few weeks later, one of the girl’s, Whitney (Amanda Righetti) has a brother, Clay (Jared Padalecki) that comes to look for his missing sister to find out what happened and brushes past a group of teens going for a weekend away at one of the guy’s family cabin near Crystal Lake.  As Jason slowly picks down the group, Clay starts following a trail to figure out what happened to Whitney.

friday the 13th 2009

Friday the 13th remake in 2009 is a little confusing if I put a little more thought to it.  For one, was the purpose to ignore that the past 11 movies happened and to revamp the franchise completely? I’m not familiar with the franchise so maybe some of you can enlighten me on that.  It might change how I actually feel about it.  However, it does feel like a combination of the 1st and 2nd because we start with Jason and his sack mask.  This one is definitely less effective than the one in Part 2 and it minimizes the death of Pamela Voorhees to emphasize his revenge rampage and they even have the teens mention it to show how no one really remembers or knows about Jason’s existence and Camp Crystal Lake’s happening.

If you remember, because it was the beginning of the month that I reviewed it, I liked Part 2 quite a bit and found the 1st one a little slow and boring.  Friday the 13th remake starts off in an extremely fast pace.  When the beginning sequence ended and Friday the 13th light up the screen, I was thinking that if they kept that pace, we were in for an awesome ride. Especially since the girl who plays Whitney is Amanda Righetti and I love her in The Mentalist.

friday the 13th

Except right after that intense opening sequence, things hit the brakes and there was a lot of meaningless build up that didn’t include a lot of Jason’s appearances.  The concept behind searching for the missing persons was a good one.  Eventually, people are bound to search for the reasoning behind their loved ones disappearing.  Plus, the actors include rather more known actors/actresses including Supernatural’s Jared Padalecki, The Flash’s Danielle Panabaker and another little actor in more minor roles called Aaron Yoo.  I couldn’t help to feel good watching just that.  Sure, there were some stupid moments and the pace was really killing the whole atmosphere but when the last quarter or third, it started picking up pace again and things started being a lot more fun to watch all over again.  It helps that the whole searching for a missing person and wondering if they are actually missing is a good premise to work with.

Friday the 13th

At a certain point, I realized that its really trying to figure out who is the next one to kill or how and when Jason pops up to kill the targeted person.  Its usually pretty easy to figure out the order of the kills but how they do it is pretty different. Its here, I need to stop and talk a little about Jason. If you have just burned through 11 movies with Jason Voorhees, there are a few things you will notice.  For one, the sack mask was better than the hockey mask and they do give Jason here the opportunity of finding that mask and using that instead of his sack over his head.  Not quite as fun as the originals but I’m not too picky on how he finds it.  Next, Jason has ridiculous aim in all the past flicks and in this one, man, he has a sharp eye.  There is one commendable thing about this one and thats the kills.  They are pretty entertaining. Plus, this Jason is pretty effectively creepy especially in that scene next to the lake.

All in all, I liked this one well enough.  The 1980 version has a more campy and low budget feeling to it.  This one covers a bit of the story from the first to the third like sack mask, finding the hockey mask, his mother being beheaded.  Its a different story rebooted in the present.  Jason’s body count doesn’t slow down and the whole opening and ending sequence are extremely entertaining to watch.  There are some corny one liners that might get a chuckle/giggle out of you (as it did for me) and the cast is a good one even if the characters for Friday the 13th are never very deep.  Still, its pretty entertaining.  Maybe its because it lacks the style of the old one and the essence will always be in the original version, but this one does a well enough job as a remake, a whole lot better than I imagined.  Not a whole lot of substance but a ton of entertainment (if that makes sense) :)

What did you think about the remake? How many movies of the Friday the 13th franchise of you seen? I’ve heard about favorites, which is your least favorite among the 12 movies?

Thats the end of the main feature of this Halloween Horror Month.  Don’t leave just yet! October 31st isn’t quite here yet and I still have few reviews to go up and don’t forget my Halloween special! I’m not exactly sure what and when it is but it will be there some time on Halloween night, with a little November announcement as always :)

Halloween Marathon:Freddy vs. Jason (2003)

Suffice to say that I’m pretty happy that this is nearing the end of the franchise for me.  Jason X gave me glimmers of hope that this franchise can still go in the campy fun area and really roll with it.  Next up is the 11th in the Friday the 13th franchise and something like the 8th in the Nightmare on Elm Street one.  I haven’t seen any Nightmare on Elm Street and till 2 years ago I didn’t even know how to differentiate between Jason Voorhees, Michael Myers and Freddy Kreuger and which franchise they went with, nor did I know what it was about.  I’m a bit more knowledgable now especially after this one because I will be experiencing the first time who Freddy Kreuger is while continuing this crazy Friday the 13th journey :)

Lets hope its a good one, right? Especially since next year, I’m betting that I’ll be doing the Nightmare on Elm Street franchise provided I find all the movies.

freddy vs jason Director: Ronny Yu

Cast: Robert Englund, Ken Kirzinger, Monica Keena, Jason Ritter, Kelly Rowland, Chris Marquette, Brendan Fletcher, Katharine Isabelle, Lochlyn Munro

Freddy Kreuger (Robert Englund) has been stuck in hell for a long time.  He’s decided to hatch a plan using Jason Voorhees (Ken Kirzinger) to bring back the terror into the kids and teens of Elm Street. Their fear and remembering him will strengthen him.  Except Freddy never imagined Jason to go on an uncontrollable killing spree which leads them to not only leave a blood trail separately but eventually they have to fight each other because either won’t step aside easily.

freddy vs jason

I’m a bit stuck on how to review this one.  For one, how can I evaluate Freddy when this is one of the later movies (need to check that).  However, as a movie which is supposed to follow that horrific 9th movie where Freddy’s arm shows up to pull Jason to hell, this does tons better.  I think it has to do with the whole being a more recent movie.  Freddy Kreuger is an interesting character and I’m definitely down to watch the Nightmare on Elm Street franchise.  If anything, his burnt distorted face and the premise of entering dreams and killing is an effective one.

Freddy vs Jason is one of the better ones out of the last few I’ve seen.  I had a really good time with it.  Its way excessively bloodier than the others.  Jason goes on killing spree but we get to see how he does it brutally.  There’s never a lot of blood.  If there is blood, its shielded by the rainy weather or the dark surroundings.  This one is different.  I put an example below.

freddy vs jason

Two crazy men in their ways lusting over killing and both unkillable in their own senses makes this a pretty good flick to watch.  Plus, the idea of tying a new scenario like Elm Street and then going back to the roots in Camp Crystal Lake gives familiarity to both sides of the fans and a refreshing moment for Friday the 13th.  In the 11th film, after travelling to space and all, its a refreshing moment.

For me, the highlight and familiarity came in the director Ronny Yu.  While most of you on the blogasphere is familiar with these iconic horror figures in your youth, I was a child surrounded with Hong Kong films.  Ronny Yu has contributed some good and memorable 90s movies.  I’ve never seen him do something in the horror but I think he brings a nice style to it :)

freddy vs jason

The rest of the cast being teens from Elm Street were all pretty good.  The story is solid.  At least I believed it because I haven’t seen any other stuff from Elm Street.  As usual, there is campy dialogue and teens are teens where some get drunk and others get high and Freddy does the whole getting into their heads and controlling them or something at one point, but thats ok. I can accept it because its a fun movie to watch.  I don’t think I’ve felt this entertained in the Friday the 13th movies in a while. I liked Jason X but there was still something bordering the “so bad its good”.  Something about Freddy and Jason makes this better than that.  Its actually a decent flick and  an unexpectedly good addition to the series.  Maybe its just having two bad-ass killers facing off that makes it all the better.

Have you seen Freddy vs. Jason? What are your thoughts on it? Is it a worthy addition? 

One more to go and its the remake in 2009!  Halloween is right around the corner, so is my work deadline.  Excuse me for the sporadic timing of the final reviews.  I promise you that I have a few reviews to go up by October 31st but it’ll be published at all sorts of times.

Halloween Marathon: Jason X (2001)

A major thanks has to go out to my boyfriend for pushing me forward when this franchise headed down the ridiculous road.  After Jason Goes to Hell, I really wanted to just stop.  However, on Saturday night, after that horrible movie, my boyfriend popped in the next one: Jason X.  Jason already could be all supernatural and body snatching and all that. Its not so hard to believe that its zoomed forward in time and invading space. It really isn’t at this point.  Anything that can happen as far as I’m concerned with this franchise.  Just depends who decides to take it on.

With that thought in my mind, I watched Jason X, still holding on to a little glimmer of hope that it can be okay.

jason xDirector: James Isaac

Cast: Kane Hodder, Lexa Doig, Jonathan Potts, Lisa Ryder, Peter Mensah, Melody Johnson, David Cronenberg

Jason Voorhees is captured and there is dispute as to how to be rid of him.  Some want to risk the chances of him escaping so that they could learn from his regenerative genes and others, like Rowen (Lexa Doig) just want to put him into cryogenic status so that he would be frozen forever.  After a mishaps, Rowen and Jason both are frozen until 2455, when a group of astronauts discover their bodies and bring them aboard their ship to defrost them.  Although Rowen warns the professor of the dangerous Jason Voorhees and that he isn’t truly dead, it is too late when Jason wakes up and starts to brutally attack everyone in this new environment.

Jason X

I can’t believe I need to refer to the last one right now because I really don’t want to. Jason Goes to Hell insinuates that Freddy Kreuger helped pull him into hell.  Its puzzling that Freddy vs. Jason only happens after this movie.  I guess it could be since we’ve obviously jumped into the future.  Goodness knows when he was captured and brought to that lab.  The continuity is yet not there.  Regardless, Jason is in space now.  Funny enough, that last one’s ugly weird alien baby looking thing doesn’t occur and he regenerates into a metal uber Jason (as IMDB calls him).

Jason X

We’re heading into the millenium so technology should look better but it doesn’t really for some parts.  This one has a lot of cheesy dialogue.  It seems 2455 and 1980 really didn’t make a lot of difference when it came to the level of campy and cheese that it was all about.  At least that part was kept in this.  Other than that, there’s acting and sex (plus weird sex-ish scenes).

To be fair, its not as bad as Jason Goes to Hell (sorry E!).  Its a tad lame and the story is full of predictable deaths and just really silly characters.  Nothing really makes sense as to what happens but its more eventful than the last one and you know what, despite saying that its campy and cheesy, it was pretty acceptable.

Jason X

At this point, the movies are feeling like the layout is extremely familiar and the deaths are more and more easy to predict.  Jason doesn’t really develop much except the scenario he is in changes.  The first 7 stayed rather true to the whole Crystal Lake thing but after he decides to head to new territory in Manhattan and now he’s in space, there really isn’t much else to feel the continuity.  I mean, you’d have guessed after the last one, we’d be heading for some Freddy and Jason fun but that comes after this one.

Its pretty interesting because I think starting at this one, they start talking about the kill count for Jason Voorhees.  I think they said 83 in this one.  I’m guessing its a random number because there’s sections in between of his life that we don’t get to see because I can’t seem to count anything close to that number in my head.  Or is there?

I’m straying away from the main point.  Jason X is not a bad entry even though its campy and cheesy and the premise is completely out there.  Anything is better after Jason Goes to Hell.  What can I say?  There’s only going up after absolute crap, right?

Have you seen Jason X? Did you enjoy it? What did you think of the whole space premise?

Halloween Marathon: Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday (1993)

This weekend was extremely efficient and I’ll be on track to get them all reviewed before Halloween arrives :)

Next up, its Part 9 of Friday the 13th franchise with Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday. It was released a few years after the rather destructive Part 8.  I’m a bit worried about how this one will go but I tried to be extremely objective with this.  With expectations as low as mine, I really don’t know how it could be bad.

Jason Goes to HellDirector: Adam Marcus

Cast: Steven Freeman, Kari Keegan, Kane Hodder, Steven Williams, Steven Culp, Erin Gray, Rusty Schwimmer, Richard Grant

A special FBI task force is sent in to trap Jason Voorhees and blows him up to pieces.  Picking up the remains, they believe that he is dead except he is not.  Coming back from the dead, he can now morph into whoever he “kills”. As he tries to trace back his path to find other blood-related Voorhees, the secret of what can really kill him is revealed.

As of today, I’m only one away from completing the entire Friday the 13th franchise.  Its hard to imagine how the last one I have to see or any other movie will have that crap factor more than this one.   Look, I thought Jason Takes Manhattan was bad.  I really just wanted to write “WTF This is crap” and end this review there.  This one doesn’t deserve the attention and time spent to even put this post together.

Jason goes to hell

So, for the sake of everyone, I’ll just do this in point form of why it doesn’t work:

- No continuity.  

Jason takes Manhattan ended where he was ruined by toxic waste and gone back to his child form. However, he is very much a grown and menacing man that Kane Hodder portrays him as.  So it just took back what Jason Takes Manhattan did.  Last I check, this franchise wasn’t rehashed till that last movie in 2000s.

- Supernatural body invasion stupidity

There are no words to describe how disgusting these scenes are to watch.  Its literally revolting…too revolting and yet so pointless.  What has this franchise turned into? WTF!

- Extremely low budget

None of the Friday the 13th flicks are high budget.  But this one owns up to it because it just feels like there was no money put into it at all.  The effects were bad, the acting was bad, everything was sloppy.  It was so messy.

jason goes to hell

I’m going to fume over how this wasted my time on a weekend that I could’ve used it for other or better movies.  Still, I watched this whole thing.  Word of advice: DON’T watch this for dinner.  I did that and I ended up not really eating much after the first scene and the following ones after that also.  It was pointlessly disgusting.  Probably as disgusting as it is crappy.

I get wanting to put an origins story on this but seriously, it was pretty ridiculous.  Oh right, and that ending.  Dragged into the ground..to hell, I presume. And that alien looking thingamabob at the end sequence.  WTF!!!

Its a short write-up because it really doesn’t deserve more of my time than this. I have no good words for this one.  If Shitfest was going on right now, this would be a worthy one for it.

Onto the next one! Let’s hope it gets better, right?

Thoughts on Jason Goes to Hell?

Genre Grandeur – Erin Brockovich (2000)

Kim @ Tranquil Dreams:

Check out my review for Movierob’s Genre Grandeur for Biopics. One of my favorite is the story of Erin Brokovich directed by Steven Soderbergh and played by Julia Roberts in one of the best roles I’ve seen her in.
Next month’s Genre Grandeur is themed with 80’s action flicks. If you have a favorite that you want to review, remember to send a review over to Rob and join in on the fun :) Also, remember to check out the other biopic faves that other bloggers have reviewed!

Originally posted on :

For our next review for this month’s Genre Grandeur – Biopics, here’s a review of Erin Brockovich by Kim of Tranquil Dreams.

Next month’s Genre chosen by Kieron of What About the Twinkie? is 80’s action flicks, so send me the review of your favorite film in that genre by 25th Nov to action80@movierob.net and I’ll post it.

Take it away Kim!

__________________________

erin brockovich poster

Before we start the the write-up, I’m really not much of a biopics person. So, my repertoire is not huge. If it has historical value, I may possibly have fallen asleep through it. Don’t say that I haven’t tried because I do own a few, I just never really make it past the 30 minutes point. However, when I do make it through, I take it that its done a good job, regardless of how accurate the movie portrayal is. I never go back to cross reference…

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Halloween Marathon: Wolf Creek & A Lonely Place to Die (Double Feature)

Its a bit hard to get so many movies up in a week so I’m going to keep up this double feature going.  It’ll help me cover a few more movies and not have to over analyze any of them.  How does that sound? The main features will get full reviews.

Next up was a last minute addition since it expired today: A Lonely Place to Die.  I like Melissa George a lot in thriller-esque movies so I was pretty excited to add this in.  Its more of a thriller than a horror but I like to group in thrillers for these marathons.  And for the next horror, I decided to finally watch Wolf Creek.  I wasn’t exactly sure what to expect for either so lets check it out! :)

 WOLF CREEK (2005)

wolf creek

Director & Writer: Greg Mclean

Cast: Nathan Phillips, Kestie Morassi, Cassandra Magrath, John Jarratt

Ben (Nathan Phillips), Kristy (Kestie Morassi) and Lizzy (Cassandra Magrath) all go on a backpacking/road trip. Their plans are to go hike to Wolf Creek before making it to party in Cairns. Outside Wolf Creek, the car ends up dying and they are stranded in the middle of nowhere.  Luckily, they get help from a man driving through the area.  This man offers his help however, it turns out he ends up taking them captive instead.

wolf creek

Wolf Creek is a pretty effective horror movie.  It builds up slowly in the beginning to how everything just turns to crap afterwards.  I found the ending bit a little bit predictable but the whole setup of the movie and the building up pulled me into the movie. There was a part where I was yelling at the character to do something. I usually am pretty contained when I watch movies so thats a pretty good thing.

wolf creek

I expected this one to be more gory than it actually was but then I’m not saying that the torture/kills weren’t sadistic because they were.  They were actually pretty different than others I’ve seen.  It really helps that the bad guy is extremely creepy and just gets under your skin (at least he got under mine). The three backpackers don’t exactly make great choices and some of the dialogue just makes this into a typical horror movie but the premise of it all, the sum of everything makes it a pretty good and effective horror movie.

What I’m saying, despite some flaws, Wolf Creek is a worthy horror film and I was highly thrilled and entertained by it (for the most part). :) If you haven’t seen this, you might want to give it a chance.

A LONELY PLACE TO DIE (2011)

A LONELY PLACE TO DIE

Director (& co-writer): Julian Gilbey

Cast: Melissa George, Ed Speleers, Alec Newman, Kate Magowan, Garry Sweeney, Holly Boyd, Douglas Russell, Alan Steele, Sean Harris, Karel Rodden

A group of five mountain climbers: Alison (Melissa George), Rob (Alec Newman), Ed (Ed Speleers), Jenny (Kate Magowan) and Alex (Garry Sweeney), go for a climbing trip in the Scottish Highlands.  While hiking to the mountain, Ed hears a sound and alerts the others. Following the sound, they find a breathing tube buried in the ground.  Collectively, they decide to dig out whoever is under there.  They find a frightened little girl, Anna.  When they pull her out, it becomes clear that she’s valuable to a hidden presence in the forest as they get targeted.

a lonely place to die

A Lonely Place to Die is a pretty awesome thriller.  There was a lot of evading, running in the woods and fast-paced action filled with bullets flying all over the place as they try to save Anna.  It was an exciting watch.  Unlike Wolf Creek, this one builds up pretty quickly and we never really quite get to know the characters before we dive straight into the action and adventure portion of things.  We quickly get an idea of where the story is headed but we never quite know at any point whether any of them will get out of this mess.

I always expect pretty good flicks when Melissa George is on board. I saw her in 30 Days of Night in last year’s Halloween marathon (review HERE) and it was pretty good.  There is no doubt that Melissa George’s Alison was the main character in this even though it didn’t really start that way.  Still, its not as much about the character as the situation they are in: stranded and preyed on in the middle of unknown grounds trying to get back to civilization where they will be able to get more help.  Whats nice in this one is that this one has really smart characters and they actually work out some viable and believable solutions.

There’s a whole lot to like about A Lonely Place to Die.  You want to hold on to the edge of your seats? This one is paced to be that way and it doesn’t fail itself.  Its remains a constant till the ending and that makes this an exciting experience.  Not to mention the Scottish Highlands are extremely beautiful to see, except I might want to hold off on any hiking trips there after this ;)

Have you seen Wolf Creek and/or A Lonely Place to Die? Thoughts on these two? 

Halloween Marathon: Scooby Doo & Looney Tunes Double Feature

After the Alvin & the Chipmunks double feature, I decided that I needed to add in some horror animation. Whats a horror marathon without appealing to all age groups, right? Of course, my inspiration could only happy when I saw that Netflix had a few more of these full-length animated Halloween specials.

SCOOBY-DOO ON ZOMBIE ISLAND (1998)

Director: Hiroshi Aoyama, Kazumi Fukushimi, Jim Stenstrum

scooby doo on zombie island

The gang reunite and visit Moonscar island, a place with a dark secret. Daphne wants more than just a guy in a costume, and they get more than they bargained for.- IMDB

This is my first time ever watching any Scooby-Doo.  It was never very apparent in my childhood and I think I only learned about it in my teens.  I’m not even sure when the show itself came out.  Either way, I felt like it would be a good time to give this a shot.

Scooby-Doo is a little harder for me to like.  The story itself is actually pretty good except the group itself takes a little time to acquaint with. However, they do have their charm once it gets going.  They each balance each other and the story of Zombie Island being on Moonscar Island has a nice approach to it.  It was a pretty clever way that they did it. Except it makes me wonder what age group they were aiming for with this because with animated zombies and ghost hauntings, I can imagine being a little scared if I was a kid.  It might also be that reason that I found this highly entertaining after I got used to the group and it wasn’t hard to before things got shady at Moonscar Island.

Its a pretty nice animation to check out.  Not too long and gives you a good share of zombies, ghosts and dives into the supernatural world.  Perfect for a light Halloween animation :)

LOONEY TUNES: DAFFY DUCK’S QUACKBUSTERS (1988)

Directors: Greg Ford, Friz Freleng

daffy duck's quackbusters

Daffy Duck opens a detective agency for the supernatural along side his Looney Toon buddies.-IMDB

Unlike Scooby-Doo, Looney Tunes has been part of my childhood.  Sylvester, Tweety, Porky Pig, Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck is always fun to watch.  It probably shows when I just bought a Merry Melodies T-shirt from Uniqlo this summer on my trip to Hong Kong.

Sure, its aged because its from 1988 but its still a lot of innocent fun.  The crew is always silly because they reflect how they are pretty oblivious to whats around them. Its pretty much set up with shorts to start it off with Daffy Duck and then leads into segments of little stories with Daffy Duck and how he opens the detective agency and then hires Bugs Bunny and Porky Pig to be his paranormalist partners.  Sylvester’s segments were fantastic.  There’s a part with Bugs Bunny that is pretty entertaining when he ventures into Hotel Translyvania.

Its not really from nowadays and its not really through and through as entertaining as I felt it was when I was a little girl but nostalgia has a funny way of making these things still fun to watch :)

 Are you a fan of Looney Tunes and/or Scooby-Doo? Did you grow up with them? Have you seen these full-length features?

**We’ll be heading back into full-on horror/psychological thrillers right into Halloween, even having posts going up on the weekend.  I have a bit of catching up to do on top of watching the last 4 Friday the 13ths also.  Lets finish this up in Halloween Horror style :)**