Friday the 13th (2009)(Blu-ray)
A group of young adults discover a boarded up Camp Crystal Lake, where they soon encounter Jason Voorhees (Mears) and his deadly intentions.
If you thought a bigger budget and an A-list producer (Michael Bay) would go to Jason's head, well, forget it. The indestructible villain of so many bottom-of-the-barrel shockers isn't about to change his shtick, and the 2009 Friday the 13th proves it. This, the umpteenth sequel (nope, it's not a remake of the origin story) to the original 1980 movie, gives us a clever prologue that manages to fit an entire Jason Voorhees killing spree in a brisk and bloody 20 minutes. Jumping ahead six weeks, the film introduces a carload of clueless teens headed for a weekend at a lakeside cabin, plus a lone motorcyclist (Jared Padalecki) in search of his missing sister (Amanda Righetti). When the "lakeside" happens to refer to Crystal Lake, of course, there can be only one outcome. Cue the hockey mask, and pass the machete. Bay and director Marcus Nispel, who collaborated on the Texas Chainsaw Massacre remake, are surprisingly indifferent to changing up the formula this time, although there's more care taken in building up a few characters, and for once the comic relief (mostly supplied by Aaron Yoo and Arlen Escarpeta) is pretty funny. You might even regret the slaughter of a couple of these young folk, which is an unusual feeling in Friday-watching. The film's Jason is quite the athletic fellow, and he's assembled an elaborate underground corpse-hiding lair in the vicinity of Crystal Lake. How he's been able to live down there for 30 years (if the film's own timeline is to be believed) and had enough unwitting campers pass by to keep himself entertained is anybody's guess. But if they keep coming, he'll keep slashing. --Robert Horton
Also on the disc
The Blu-ray disc includes both the extended Killer Cut (which is 106 minutes compared to 97) and the theatrical cut, though it defaults to play the Killer Cut; if you want the theatrical cut, you have to select it on the special-features menu. It's hard to imagine choosing to watch the theatrical cut, however. In addition to some more of Amanda Righetti and of Jason, the extra nine minutes is mostly more gore in the gory scenes and more sex in the sexy scenes. If you're squeamish you might not want those things, but if you're that squeamish you probably don't want to watch Friday the 13th in the first place, right? The longer cut will give you more of the stuff that you probably watch this movie for. But the theatrical cut is on the disc if you want it, as well as a couple of 11-minute featurettes on the new movie and the franchise, three deleted scenes (a different version of Jason getting his mask, the police response to the phone call, and a revised climax), and "The 7 Best Kills," which provides behind-the-scenes info on key deaths. A commentary track, which combines movie and franchise trivia with picture-in-picture footage of crew members discussing the film, is pretty sporadic (it tends to appear more frequently on the important scenes) and repeats some of the info in other features (which is pretty common). --David Horiuchi