I got to see it with a pretty lively crowd, and as expected, it really did enhance the experience. You get so used to watching these movies on DVD at home that it's easy to forget how fun they can be as a shared experience.
Story-wise, it had its ups and downs, but I think it was a much more solid effort than most horror remakes. The obvious comparison is to Rob Zombie's Halloween
, but they're in two separate camps. (Sorry.) This movie made more of an effort to be fun, while Zombie was trying to go for a grittier experience.
The main criticism I have about this one is, after a great
opening sequence, the rest of the movie never really gets back up to that level. There are a few logic holes peppered throughout, but I guess that's Friday the 13th
Jason keeping a prisoner was really weird. I get the explanation for it, but it doesn't really ring true. It seems a little forced.
The direction was competent, but not really all that good. The camera movement was usually too jerky, and there were only a few jump scares, and some of those were cheap, like the dog at the screen door. But a lot more could have been done to build the suspense in most scenes. The death of the character they were setting up as the Final Girl should have been a huge shock, but it was really just like they were throwing in one more body. That one really
needed more build-up.
I also agree with some of the sentiments I've read that the kills weren't particularly inventive, for the most part. I get that, as that's always been a hallmark of the Jason films. You can't
go out of your way to show us a wood-chipper, then not use it.
One thing it really did right though, is it made the dialogue fun enough that it didn't feel like it was dragging toward each kill, which is another unfortunate hallmark of Jason flicks. There were plenty of funny exchanges, and they managed to make some of the characters pretty likable. When Chewie went into the shed, a woman behind me said, "Oh, I don't want him to die." So they did that job well.
Derek Mears was a great Jason. He was pretty intimidating, and while that's not hard to do at his size, he was clearly acting under that mask. He was putting out some genuine hate vibes, there.
Also, the reviews describing Jason as a pot farmer are silly. I don't even think the weed was bait, as I'd guessed. It seems like it cropped up because of the events described in the credits. Pamela whacked a bunch of pot smokers, and the pot left behind grew plants. Seeds tend to do that.
From some reviews, I half expected to see him watering them.
I rated it a B+. I can't be too harsh with it, because of the source material and the things they did right, and I had a good time seeing it, partially because of the movie itself, and partially because of the crowd.