Hey look, kids, it’s a script review for a horror movie! And not just any horror movie, but the upcoming Michael Bay-produced remake of “Friday the 13th” to boot. Yup, you know, the one with the big guy in a hockey mask and machete going around chopping up promiscuous young ladies, thus making it harder for the rest of us normal males to get lucky in a creepy lake at night? Yup, that guy. Anyways, reader B. Monkey just sent over a review of the script by Damian Shannon and Mark Swift, and he seems to really dig it. He says there are MINOR SPOILERS in his review, so be forewarned.
Script Review of “Friday the 13th” Remake by B. Monkey:
I’ve got a nice little surprise for you and your readers in the form of a script review. What blueprint for what highly anticipated upcoming film am I about to spill my thoughts about? Hold on a sec. Rather than flat out tell you, let me give you a goofy little sound cue: ki-ki-ki-ma-ma-ma…
That’s right. I literally just read “FADE TO BLACK” on Damian Shannon and Mark Swift’s gleefully demented kick-start of the FRDIAY THE 13TH franchise!
MINOR spoilers herein:
Let me start off this critique by stating that I consider myself an avid fan of the Voorhees family’s — both insane mother and mongoloid son — slasher outings. I’m not a rabid devotee like a better left unnamed father that I met at a recent Fangoria convention (altering ones infant son’s appearance to look like their favorite movie maniac is definitely out there…not to mention slightly abusive), but I will say that I’ve thoroughly enjoyed every film to date (…yes, even A New Beginning). So when I found the script for Platinum Dunes’ upcoming redux waiting in my inbox, you can bet I was a little giddy, but not so much so that I ended up storing it away on my hard drive for about a week until I finally got around to read it.
And let me tell you that’s it’s something I’m glad I read. I’m kicking myself for not getting to it sooner, but we can’t turn back the hands of time now, can we? I wish that I would have gotten to it sooner because it completely restored my faith in the ill-advised remake and made me no longer fret over whether or not the damn thing will be halfway decent. Cause it will be decen– no, it will be great! The script is so fun, so simple, so strong, so true to the mythology of the franchise that even the most incompetent director would have to struggle to fuck this one up. I take that back — it would be a piece of cake for Eli Roth.
The story doesn’t stray too far off the beaten path of it’s early predecessors which nostalgically follows a group of attractive, hot-blooded counselors at the infamous Camp Crystal Lake as they struggle to not meet the business end of a machete that’s being wielded by the hockey masked Jason Voorhess. But what sets this story apart from Jason’s last three outings and the slew of recent slasher remakes is that it knows exactly what its audience demands and gives them it in heaps — FUN! It doesn’t shamelessly delve into the psyche of its villain (cough, Rob Zombie). Or restrain the horror for younger crowds (Prom Night). This is the slasher film at its finest. And the very definition of a “body count picture” — a term coincidentally coined by it’s 1980 original.
Things are very routine for the first 30 pages as we are introduced to the latest batch of well-toned meat for Jason’s grinder. There’s WHITNEY, our virginal hero. LAWRENCE, our token black guy. And a slew of other one dimensioners that aren’t the least bit important…at least until they die. Yada. Yada. Yada. It isn’t long until a very lively Jason makes his appearance by hacking his way through tents, suvs, cabins (and just about everything else), leaving a graveyard of bodies in his wake.
Cue The Final Chapter as we are introduced to CLAY (to be portrayed by Jared Padalecki of “Supernatural” fame) who is thick in the search for his little sis Whitney. It seems as though Whitney hasn’t been in contact with her brother for a couple of days — something that she has never done in the past — so big bro has taken it upon himself to find out the reason why. Plus the legend of a vengeful mongoloid murderer lurking in the woods of the camp grounds she’s volunteering at prevents him from calmly waiting things out.
And that’s basically the set up of the film. It’s about as simple as kindergarten math, but it works. The film’s story does slow down a bit and takes on a grimmier Vanishing-esque tone when Clay arrives at the camp, but once Jason makes his presence known, it’s back to the good old fashion hacking, decapitations and chases that the series is known for as Clay crosses paths with some characters previously assumed to be dead.
If done right, the deaths presented on the pages of the script will undoubtedly go down as some of the grisliest of the genre. Every bit of graphic detail is described (right down to the strands of sinew that are plucked from the spine of a severed spine) and the sense of brutality and power associated with each offing backs up Jason’s standing as cinema’s most experienced butcher. Speaking of which, let’s talk about the mama’s boys…
He seems to be fashioned after the Jasons of the first 4 films. His contorted mongoloid form is described as a mixture of parts 1 and 3. And his ability to lung and RUN has been taken from those two films, plus the 2nd and 4th. Our characters have a hell of a time getting away from him in several sequences — one particular in which two characters desperately try to unbind a chained up character as a pumped up Jason sprints towards them. He’s not undead, nor does he read to be supernaturally charged (aside from his ability to bust through doors with a couple swings of his machete). Yet he does take some notable damage but keeps on ticking. His introduction to the hockey mask is equally chilling as it is well-handed. And it’s obvious he’ll be around for another slashfest, should the film earn the necessary buckaroos.
Jason’s mother, PAMELA VOORHESS, is another well-handed aspect of the script. I won’t spoil anything, but thanks to a shocking twist and a few graphically written acts of violence, she’s even more madder than she was in the original. And Betsy Palmer was fucking insane! Nana Visitor has definitely got her madness all spelled out on the page for her. Hope she goes all out for the role.
As I’ve said before, minus the overly retro first 30 pages, the script is a blast to read and will make for the ultimate modern slasher film. What Mark and Damian have written here is less of a remake of a popular film as it is a gory, energetic send up to the legacy of series of films that just won’t die. They both know Jason Voorhees is not going anywhere. And they’ve done their absolute best to amp him back up and feed him to a new generation of jaded fright fans to ensure his cinematic survival.
So, for all of you who are worried that the 30+ year old hockey masked maniac is going to suffer a similar fate as Michael Myers, let this review assure you that Jason’s sole return to the big screen will be both like — and unlike — everything you’ve seen him in before. The swing of his machete hasn’t weakened one bit.
– B. Monkey
Gosh, I feel like Harry Knowles and shit.
Anyways, the movie is being directed by Marcus Nispel, produced by Michael Bay, and stars Jared Padalecki, Danielle Panabaker, Amanda Righetti, Travis Van Winkle, Derek Mears, Aaron Yoo, Arlen Escarpeta, Julianna Guill, and Willa Ford.