Friday the 13th -- DVD Review

During the course of the past three decades he's survived cheesy 3-D, taken Manhattan, been to hell and back, gone into outer space and went mano a mano with Freddy Krueger.

And now, Jason Vorhees lives yet again thanks to a back-to-Square-1 relaunch from producer Michael Bay and director Marcus Nispel, who collaborated on 2003's re-imagining of "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre."

While Nispel managed to find a little more gristly meat on those bones -- not to mention $80 million in paying customers -- it's business as usual at Camp Crystal Lake, with very little in the way of fresh jolts or an innovative visual style that would have really revitalized the hokey franchise.

Jason's six-year absence from the big screen probably will ensure that the targeted young-male demo makes his day -- all those topless female victims won't hurt, either -- but it likely won't be enough to write home about.

For a moment there, it looked as if Nispel and writers Damian Shannon and Mark Swift ("Freddy vs. Jason") might have been onto something with an extended prologue that effectively set the stage for a leaner, meaner slasher flick.

But it all goes slack with the central story, which has a determined young man ("Supernatural" star Jared Padalecki) venturing into the creepy woods searching for his missing sister (Amanda Righetti), locking horns with the creepier locals and a bunch of obnoxious and/or boring college kids who are there to party.

And while Jason (Derek Mears) is there to greet them all with a sharpened machete, his intended victims prove to be as dimwitted as ever.

Although the writers have recast Jason as a quick-moving predator who covers his turf with a considerable deal of swiftness, the same can't be said for the rest of the picture, which, in between those disappointingly unimaginative kills, mainly sits around killing time.
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