Obviously, the entire audience (sizable for an early Monday show) was excited about the Transformers 2: Revenge of the Fallen trailer. But the laughter and excitement that greeted the trailer for Miss March was really uncalled for, especially considering that no one (not even an untrained expert such as myself) can identify any substantial differences between that and the trailer that followed it, Fired Up
  Marcus Nispel, director of Friday the 13th (95 minutes), has a puzzling career. He directed the violence-as-pornography Texas Chainsaw Massacre remake, AND the Amy Grant video “House of Love.” A man following a career path that takes him from “House of Love” to man impaled on a meat hook is bound to have made some interesting choices in his life. Of course, one of those interesting choices was Pathfinder, so clearly some illegal substances were involved. He doesn’t offend me nearly as much with this remake as he did with Chainsaw, but somehow it still lacks heart. At least My Bloody Valentine included some literal heart (bloody and fabulous); Friday the 13th doesn’t even get that far in the carnage. Compared to other, similar movies, the death scenes seemed restrained, boring and uninspired. There were one or two excellently visceral scenes, but overall there wasn’t anything new here.
  {mosimage}The film opens up in 1980 on some elements from the first movie, slightly re-written, summing up the original nicely. We segue into the genre standard group of unlikable Barbie-and-Ken dolls, walking through the woods. Their names are mostly unimportant because you won’t remember any of them five minutes after leaving the theater. They wander around looking for a very special crop of a very illegal substance, and end up camped out near the all-but-forgotten Camp Crystal Lake from the first set of Jason movies. Interesting to note is the puzzling choice of music playing over some of these scenes.  “Sister Christian?” Really?  Really?    Their curiosity overcomes their common sense (duh) and they explore the camp, which doesn’t end well. Well, at least there’s a ton of nudity mixed with violence.
  Flash forward about six weeks. Turns out that Barbie doll number one, Whitney (Amanda Righetti) has a very concerned brother, Clay (Jared Padalecki). Clay thinks that the local law enforcement aren’t trying hard enough to find his sister, and he spends his days broodily roaming town on his rebellious motorcycle, flipping his chestnut hair and pouting his full, well-defined lips at the townies.
  Eventually, Clay meets up with the rest of the cannon fodder…I mean, characters, and the body count quickly rises. Playing the “good” girl in the midst of the “bad” slacker, stoner, over-privileged dregs is Jenna (Danielle Panabaker Hey! It’s That Girl from Sky High!), who naturally decides to ditch her companions and walk off into the woods with the cute stranger.  Next we get more nudity, more sex and more violence.  What we do not get is more plot.  
  This is no case of style over substance because frankly there wasn’t a whole lot of style. Even so, it was fun keeping track of how many people were getting killed, and the pace moved along quickly. This film isn’t going to make great remake history, but it did entertain. Perhaps adding a little 3D action would have left me feeling more satisfied. Are you listening Last House on the Left?   

Contact Heather Griffiths at tim@upandcomingweekly.com

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