Friday the 13th (1980) vs. Friday the 13th (2009)
In The Red Corner: Friday the 13th (1980)
Directed by Sean S. Cunningham featuring Adrienne King and Betsy Palmer.
In the Black Corner: The 2009 remake (sequel? reboot? desperate push for greenbacks?)
Directed by Marcus Nispel with Jared Padalecki and Danielle Panabaker
By J.W. Brewer
Let’s Get It On!: The original cash-in slash-in Friday the 13th is in the house to represent against its own parasitic offspring. Ch-Ch-Ch-Ah-Ah-Ah away!
Round 1 – Director: Cunningham’s point and shoot style, mixed with stalking camera work and love of violence, puts up solid points for the original. While not as revolutionary as his contemporaries, Cunningham’s style would be emulated for the next decade by up and coming horror directors. The remake boasts Marcus Nispel, who also tackled the better than it could have been TCM remake. He gives the flick a solid visual style and some interesting shots, but really struggles with pacing, especially in the second act (more on that later).
Round 1 Score: 1980 – 22 / 2009 – 18
Round 2 – Cast: Adrienne King’s Alice is drafted with the quickest of strokes, but that doesn’t stop her from being a solid final girl. Betsy Palmer is great as the deranged / devastated mother, which gives the third act a much needed punch in the intensity level. The rest of the cast (including all seven degrees of Kevin Bacon) are solid if not long lasting. The remake does okay; problem is, most of the characters are making bone-headed moves left, right, and center. Despite some major development problems, Jared Padalecki comes off well. The same can be said for Ms. Panabaker’s literal girl next door. One wonders how she could have such a dick boyfriend. Speaking of that, if there was an Oscar for playing a dick, Travis Van Winkle would get it. I wanna punch that guy!
Round 2 Score: 1980 – 20 / 2013 - 18
Total – The Original’s in charge – 42 to 36.
Round 3 – The script: The original’s script is pretty basic. Its roller-coaster structure is enjoyable and efficient, allowing for much running in the dark and slaughter. The remake doesn’t fair nearly as well. Not only are the characters idiots in the highest degree, they’re making all kinds of dumb moves. What makes the whole thing worse is that the title break occurs 24(!) minutes into the flick. That means we’ve only got an hour with our main characters, so none of them are developed in the least. Even a major twist at the end fails to impress because we don’t know or care about these idiot characters. The quality actors can’t save it.
Round 3 Score: 1980 – 20 / 2009 – 7
Total – The original takes a seemingly insurmountable lead, 62 to 43.
Round 4 – Effects: F13 1980 boasts a slit throat, arrow wounds, axe to the head, and plenty of ugliness. The remake is no slouch either: stabbings, arrows to the head, cooking folks in sleeping bags, and fun with a wood chipper. Despite this, I was really hoping the remake would go further, especially with the recent High Tension and Hatchet on the scene.
Round 4 Score: 1980 – 22 / 2009 – 25
Total – The redux isn’t out of it yet, but is still down, 84 to 68
Round 5 – Fear Factor: With its well-oiled, roller-coaster set up, the original works as a fun slasher flick. It’s not with you after you leave the theater, but it’s scary enough while you’re inside. The remake doesn’t fare quite as well. Scenes are intense, sure; but, a lot of the horror is a bookend, occurring in the first twenty and last twenty. The middle is a kind of a horror-less wasteland.
Round 5 Score: 1980 – 25 / 2009 – 20
Total – The original is laying into the newbie, 109 to 88
Round 6 – Overall Film: Friday the 13th (1980) spawned a dozen other flicks and one of the most financially profitable movie franchises of all time. The remake didn’t manage to get the title card in the right place.
Round 6 Score: 1980 – 28 / 2009 – 10
Final Result: The winner, by knockout, is the original Friday the 13th! Final score: 137 to 98
- J.W. Brewer
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