FRIDAY THE 13TH is returning for a more violent and fresh take on Jason

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When it comes to horny adolescents at summer camps, there’s only one natural predator out there who can remind them of their place in the horror movie food chain, and that’s an unstoppable mute giant who happens to have a certain love for machetes and hockey masks. It’s been a long time since Jason Voorhees scared audiences, with his last appearance being a 2009 reboot that starred a quicker and meaner version of the slasher.

Friday the 13th movies are by their nature absolutely terrible, but there’s a certain genius behind each one that balanced the cheesy violence with some world-building and gruesomely poetic death scenes. A bad movie can still be good, if that makes any sense. Maybe that’s where the 2009 remake went wrong, as the lacklustre success of that reboot kept Jason down longer than any other Friday the 13th protagonist has been able to over the years.

Eight years without a single sign of the Crystal lake phantasm now, which is really a shame when you think about it. But Jason will rise again, as Platinum Dunes producers Brad Fuller and Andrew Form spoke about the challenges of getting the slasher back on his feet after so many years with a new angle in his genre. “In terms of fun, making [the 2009 film] was so fun,” Fuller and Form explained to Collider.

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The cast was great, we were in a great setting, everyone got along. We had a lot of fun making that movie and we always wanted to go back to Crystal Lake and make another one. There were so many obstacles to surmount to get to where we are today. I’m not going to bore you with all of them but for a long time, there was a rights issue between Paramount and Warner Bros.

Then there was an execution issue. At one point, the studio wanted us to make a found-footage version of that movie and that was deeply concerning to us because we didn’t think we could execute the movie in the right way if it was a found-footage movie.

No, Jason is a POV movie. So, it was very hard to wrap our head around how you would do a Friday the 13th that was found footage, knowing that we really need the Jason perspective of watching. We didn’t want to break the DNA of that. We also battled: do we do a sequel to the original? Do we pick up where we left off with Jared and Amanda at the end of the movie? Somehow, that didn’t find a home.

So, it’s been eight years. It will be eight years since we made the last one. I’m here to say that we found the location. We have found the lake, we have found the camp. We found an amazing script by Aaron Guzikowski. Breck Eisner is directing the movie. That movie is shooting in early Spring.

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Oh thank goodness. While the idea of a found footage Jason movie would work in small doses, there’s no way in any hell that anyone would want to sit down for close to two hours of shakey-cam madness and murder. So what can fans expect from this new Friday The 13th flick? Apparently a return to the 80s, as the producers hinted at a back to basics approach with some hard violence:

There’s been a lot of mileage between the 1st one and the 13th one. What we don’t want to do is alienate the audience who hasn’t seen the preceding 12 Friday the 13th movies. Aaron Guzikowski’s job, as challenging as it is, is to come up with a movie where if you haven’t seen any go the other ones, you can still come and see this one and love it and not feel like you’ve missed out on anything.

And if you have seen the other ones, we want this to feel fresh. That’s what took the longest amount of time: coming up with a story and then executing a script that fulfills both those mandates.

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There’s such a fine line that needs to avoid being crossed in Friday the 13th movies. There needs to be a mythology present, but just enough to have Jason remain as a mysterious bloodthirsty phantom. A movie where you’re trapped in a summer camp with a machete maniac in a hockey mask is a perfect premise to build back on, especially when you consider how Jason managed to dominate the box office for years and years throughout all of his movie appearances.

Basically, it’s time to reflect on that old Drowning Pool adage: Let the bodies hit the floor.

Last Updated: October 26, 2016

Darryn Bonthuys

Word-slinger at Critical Hit. Inventor of the macho Swiss gym chocolate known as Testoblerone. That's...that's about it really.

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