The Review at a Glance: (max score: 5 )
Audio/Video total rating:
( Max score: 100 )
Studio and Year: New Line - 2009
MPAA Rating: R
Feature running time: 97/106 Minutes
Disc Format: BD-50
Video Aspect: 2.40:1
Audio Format(s): English Dolby TrueHD 5.1, English/French Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish
Starring: Jared Padalecki, Danielle Panabaker, Aaron Yoo, Amanda Righetti, Travis Van Winkle, Derek Mears
Directed by: Marcus Nispel
Music by: Steve Jablonsky
Written by: Damian Shannon & Mark Swift
Region Code: A
Blu-ray Disc release Date: June 16, 2009
"You know his name. You know the story. On Friday the 13th, witness his resurrection"
College kids seeking a weekend of kicks have made a horrible mistake. They've come to party at eerie Crystal Lake, the deadly domain of machete-mad killer Jason Voorhees. Terror goes to extremes in this reimagining of the Jason legend for today's horror fan. Enter for the first time the subterranean lair that is Jason's den of torture and fear. See him discover the mask that hides his deformed face. Experience a whole new level of fright. And try to remain calm. The intense violence, the unique kills, the jolting scares: live them all in the all-new Friday The 13th.
Admittedly, I found the first few original Friday the 13th movies to be fun, scary, and memorable. Of course back then I was a young teenager and the 'new' teen scream horror/slasher flicks were all the rage. Jason Voorhees has of course gone on to obtain iconic status as an unstoppable killing machine that has thrilled audiences for many years now. It seems that lately Hollywood has been inclined to re-make some of the horror classics and this is the latest. Screenwriter's Damian Shannon and Mark Swift penned this script which offers fans a new spin on Friday the 13th part 2. A group of teenagers decide to go on a camping trip that lands them on Crystal Lake. The story of what happened there years ago involving a group of camp counselors that were murdered by a machete wielding woman that blamed them for her son Jason's death is told around the campfire and is given legend status. Those events are depicted at the beginning of the film in an opening black and white flashback sequence. Anyone who has seen any of the Friday the 13th films knows what comes next. They are brutally picked off one by one never to be seen again. One month later Clay Miller (Padalecki), the brother of one of the missing victims arrives in Crystal Lake looking for his sister Whitney (Righetti). Arriving at the same time is another group of young people who are spending the weekend at a family cabin near the lake. As Clay desperately searches for Whitney by knocking on doors and passing out fliers he comes in contact with them and is befriended by Jenna (Panabaker). Jason, doesn't like new faces and sharpens up his machete for another round of blood and mayhem. His ability to move in and around the lake area is helped greatly by a series of underground mining type tunnels. As he begins to zero in on this group he encounters a bit of formidable resistance but of course there is little that he can't handle. Clay's search for Whitney lands him right smack in the heart of Crystal Lake and Jason's territory. This is a place that few come back from but he is determined to find out what happened to his sister. As the body count rises there a few left to tell the tale. Fans will find that the ending may seem a little familiar
I didn't mind this film but ultimately felt that it didn't bring anything new to the character or story. It predominantly stayed true from a thematic standpoint and had all the requisite thrills, blood, potential for jump scares and of course the typical teen love making victims that we have all come to expect from movies like this. The addition of the tunnel system as an explanation for Jason's ability to seemingly be in three places at once was okay but unnecessary. The fact that he could turn up at any time or place was something that we expected and is part of his boogeyman type charm. This lacks the originality and freshness of the earlier franchise films but does have an updated set of special effects, and newer audio/video elements. That in and of itself isn't enough to make this better than the original (s) but I appreciated the effort.
The rating is for strong bloody violence, some graphic sexual content, language, and drug material.
AUDIO/VIDEO - By The Numbers:
REFERENCE = 92-100 / EXCELLENT = 83-91 / GOOD = 74-82 / AVERAGE = 65-73 / BELOW AVERAGE = under 65
**My audio/video ratings are based upon a comparative made against other high definition media/blu-ray disc.**
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)
- Low frequency extension:
- Surround Sound presentation:
- Dialogue Reproduction:
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)
- Black level/Shadow detail:
- Color reproduction:
Friday the 13th: Killer Cut comes to Blu-ray Disc from New Line featuring 1080p VC-1 encoded video that has an average bitrate of 23 mbps and lossless Dolby TrueHD 5.1 channel audio that has an average bitrate of 1.8 mbps.
This video presentation utilizes lots of uneven light and dark environs that may challenge displays that have trouble producing good shadow detail. My JVC 1080p front projector and newly added Oppo Blu-ray player I saw excellent delineation in backgrounds and revealing gradational stages in blacks. Sequences like those that were lit only by moonlight had a varied luminescent quality as its glow reflected off of objects. This gave them incredible depth of field and three dimensional highlights. Blacks weren't inky but were strong and had ample punch when onscreen with mixed content. Images were resolute and crisp which aided in the perception of definition and fine rendering in both brightly lit and dark segments. There were many times when the video had superb dimension, clarity and lucid perspective that was visually engaging. Unfortunately there were instances where the image lacked focus and a bit distorted. This could occur within the same shot but be camera angle dependent. One viewpoint being clear and next viewpoint appearing defocused. It happened in both light and dark scenes and didn't lasted longer than a singular viewpoint. Quite honestly I couldn't say whether it is innate to the photography but I would assume so. Either way I found it to be distracting. Contrast was stable and balanced which helped drives bright sequences and give colors plenty of zip. Color fidelity appeared intact as they looked vibrant and natural, with lustrous hues and lifelike tonality. Fleshtones were equally impressive and looked gorgeous. I didn't detect any obvious signs of video related artifacts or anomalies.
The Dolby TrueHD multi-channel audio had no trouble delivering the elements contained within this surprisingly front heavy soundtrack. Voices had excellent intonation and variable description that penetrated well into the room as it held sway over the front soundstage. The blend of dialogue, typically eerie music and sound effects were perfectly in synch across the front of the room which cut a wide swath that reached beyond the physical boundaries of the speakers. This is an excellent recoding that delivers high level clarity and potent dynamics. This enhanced the quality of sounds which made them easily definable and clearly articulated regardless of their spatial placement. For a film of this type I was surprised that this didn't contain more of an active surround mix. When engaged the rear channels were used to good effect at different points during the film. When applied envelopment was appreciable (especially in the opening sequence) as it created a dimensionally satisfying and creepy immersive atmosphere within the room. Bass response wasn't earth shaking however when applied it had ample solidity and palpable presence that added emphasis where appropriate.
- Theatrical & Killer Cut versions of the film
- PiP BonusView Trivia Track that spans the entire Friday the 13th franchise
- (HD) The rebirth of Jason Voorhees - 11 minute featurette
- (HD) Hacking back/slashing forward - 11 minute featurette - Cast & Crew discuss the past and future of Friday the 13th
- (HD) The seven best kills - with optional intro
- (HD) 3 additional scenes
- Digital Copy Bonus Disc - A standard definition version of the film that can be downloaded from a compatible PC to a portable media playback device
- Warner Bros. BD-Live enabled
The original Friday the 13th is a tough act to follow in terms of going for a straight remake. It had a lot going for it at the time that made it the success that it was. Trying to produce the same results today can be an exercise in futility unless there is something tangibly new to invigorate the story. Unfortunately this films fails to feel like anything but a rehashing. I didn't feel that this was a bad film but when all was said and done it wasn't a memorable one. The high definition presentation is quite good and I appreciated the Blu-ray exclusive and fan friendly pop-up trivia track which spanned the entire franchise. Genre fans will appreciate its penchant for quick kills and bloody gore which are strongly steeped in the franchise. For those hoping to be enlightened give it a rent and see what your take is.
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Reference Review System:
JVC DLA-RS20 1080p High Definition Front Projector (Calibrated by Jeff Meier)
Carada Precision Brilliant White 96" Screen
Oppo 970HD universal disc DVD Player (480i HDMI)
Toshiba HD-XA2 HD DVD Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
Oppo BDP-83 Blu-ray disc Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
Sony Playstation 3 Blu-ray disc Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
Marantz DV7001 Universal Disc Player
Denon AVR 5308CI THX Ultra 2 Preamp/Video Processor
Sherbourn Technologies - 7/200 Seven Channel Amplifier
Philips TSU9400 Pro Series Touch Panel Remote Control
Canton "Ergo" Series speakers
Axiom Audio QS8 Quadpolar speakers
SV Sound PB-13 Ultra (Rosenut finish)
APC AV S15BLK Power Conditioner/Surge Protector
Furman SPR-20i Stable Power Regulator
Wireworld, VizionWare, Audioquest, Best Deal Cables - Audio/Video/Speaker Cabling
Cool Components - CP-CP102 cooling package