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DVD Review: Friday the 13th: Killer Cut

fridaythe13thkillercutdvdcoverart-061509Searching for his missing sister, Clay Miller heads to the eerie woods of legendary Crystal Lake, where he stumbles on the creaky remains of rotting old cabins behind moss-covered trees.  And that’s not all.  Against the advice from locals, Clay pursues what few leads he has with the help of Jenna and a group of college kids who are up for a getaway weekend.  But little do they know, they’ve entered the domain of one of the most terrifying specters in American film history–the infamous killer who haunts Crystal Lake, armed with a razor-sharp machete…Jason Voorhees.

College kids seeking a weekend of kicks have made a horrible mistake.  They’ve come to party at eerie Crystal Lake, the deatly domain of machete-mad killer Jason Voorhees.

Read my review of the DVD after the jump.

Friday the 13th: Killer Cut

Available To Own On (click to purchase): DVD (Theatrical Cut and Extended Killer Cut) and Blu-ray

Also Available On Demand and For Download (click to purchase): iTunes and Amazon.com

Official Site Link: www.fridaythe13thmovie.com

Release Date: June 16, 2009


I should probably preface this by saying that I’m not really a horror fan.  I’ve seen some of the more well-known in the genre, but it’s not usually a type of movie I actively seek out.  Despite that, the reboot nature of Friday the 13th intrigued me to check it out and I would say that for the most part the film is sufficiently creepy — although not as scary as it could be — and mostly entertaining.

Friday the 13th starts off with about a 3-minute backstory of Jason’s mother Mrs. Voorhees (which if you know your Friday the 13th history, was actually the killer in the original film) which basically recounts the first film.  The movie then moves into a basic plot: a group of college kids head to Crystal Lake for a camping/hiking getaway, and in search of weed, before getting knocked off one by one, with the exception of Whitney (Amanda Righetti) who while we’re led to believe is killed by Jason, is actually captured by him and brought to his lair.  The 106-minute film then follows Whitney’s brother Clay (Jarde Padalecki) who comes looking for his sister just when another set of young-adults decide to spend the weekend at a nearby cabin.

There are certainly some creepy aspects of the film and I truly found the first 20 or so minutes fairly entertaining stuff.  But as the movie’s plot advanced, I became less interested.   It’s not among the best in the horror genre, but on the positive it sets itself apart from the very worst as well and ultimately falls somewhere around average.

I didn’t watch the movie in theaters so I wasn’t sure what was added from the original for this “Killer Cut”.  Upon looking those facts up, the biggest addition appears to be the scene where Whitney escapes Jason’s lair only before shortly being re-captured.

I also should note that I didn’t at all like the ending.  If there’s one aspect I felt could have been improved the most, it was definitely that.  It’s better than the original one shown in the special features but I find it hard to believe they couldn’t come up with something even better.


  • Featurette – “The Rebirth of Jason Voorhees” (11 minutes) — Featuring director Marcus Nispel, producers Brad Fuller and Andrew Form, screenwriters Mark Swift and Damian Shannon and some of the cast, this is basically a run-of-the-mill featurette.  The most interesting part of the special feature, I felt, was a longer look into how the filmmakers settled into showing Jason put on the mask.  They show some of that scene here, but in full in the Additional Scenes featurette, which I talk about below. They also focus in on their decision to have Jason traverse around the shores of Crystal Lake through an extensive set of underground tunnels.  The reasoning for incorporating that, of course, is to not make it seem so implausible when Jason always seems to be two steps ahead of his prey.
  • Additional Scenes (8 minutes) — The title is misleading because there’s actually only one additional scene (the second).  The first is the original “Jason discovers mask” scene which was discussed in the “” featurette, and the third is slightly tweaked scene that appeared in the film near the end.  Unfortunately it’s unclear if that scene was intended to be the final scene of the film, or they were just going to have the scene play out differently.  Seems like it was an alternate ending.  The second scene is an extension of the 911 call to the police station.  It’s bascially from the point of view of the cops.  The dispatcher blows off the call because he’s familiar with Clay and thinks he just messing with him again.  It’s not really necessary so I understand why it was taken out.
  • Digital Copy — There’s an insert included with the DVD containing a code to download a digital copy of the film.
  • For any Blu-ray users out there: That version has a couple exclusive special features: a Picture-in-Picture “Terror Trivia Track”, and two additional featurettes; “Hacking Back/Slashing Forward” and “The Seven Best Kills” as well as a Sneak Preview (through BD-Live) of Warner’s upcoming Trick ‘r’ Treat.  All in all, it’s more than 30 minutes in additional special features.

Overall this is a very thin slate of special features.  I was most disappointed by the absence of a commentary track. I mean this is a reboot to to a fairly popular horror franchise and there’s not commentary?  That would have been fine had the special features dug deeper with the producers, writers, director and cast, but they don’t.


My basic end judgment is strong Rent/weak Recommend.  The production values are of high quality so you’re in for a good audio/video experience and while it’s not terrifying per se and doesn’t match the best of the genre, there are some mildly creepy elements and overall if you can overlook some weak plot elements and scenes there’s more here to like than dislike.  I give this film and DVD a score of 3/5.

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