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Finally, Something No One Wants: Found Footage in Next "Friday the 13th"

By Steven Lloyd Wilson | Trade News | October 2, 2013 | Comments ()


2009_friday_the_13th_0031.jpg

Found footage films work very occasionally and under very specific circumstances. They work when characters can be reasonably expected to be filming events, and when the events that will occur are freaky in the margins, on the edges of the screen. They exist in order to let the audience see things that the characters don’t at the moment. Having a rationalization for keeping filming is also important. Something in the vein of “we’re doomed if we don’t capture this on film to convince people it’s real, so we keep rolling even at the worst” is the typical excuse.

That’s about the opposite experience of a “Friday the 13th” movie. There’s a dude in a hockey mask killing the teenagers in the woods. Oh, I know! Let me just hold this camcorder with the recording button taped down. That seems like a perfectly rational survival strategy. Why don’t you put the camera down and run, dear victim #4? Well how else will the police believe me when I tell them there’s a psycho with a machete up here? Everyone knows that 9-11 calls are not responded to without shaky cam evidence.

I can appreciate them trying to find a new spin for the inevitable next movie, but this is not it. The response to “we ran out of ideas eight movies ago” really shouldn’t be “ok, so what gimmicks are on the table.”

If you’re going to make another one of these, allow me to make an outline of things to avoid:

1. Don’t throw gimmicks at it.
2. Don’t just throw ten times as much fake blood into it and pretend you’re being dark and edgy.
3. Don’t make it ironic or self-aware.

Those are the cardinal sins of movie makers drowning in trying to revive horror franchises with more films than characters with last names. Bring some creativity to the table.




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Comments Are Welcome, Bigots and Trolls Are Not


  • You know how when you have a BBQ, there is always that one hot dog that get left on the grill too long and no-one wants to eat it and it just sits there getting blacker and more withered until finally you throw it to the dog and even he won't eat it even though he was eating his own shit not 45 seconds earlier? Found footage movies are even more over-done than that hot dog.

  • Dragonchild

    Fake blood and no-name actors are cheap. As long as these movies cost less than $10 million to make and bring in several times that, they're almost impossible to screw up. I know that a "found footage" slasher flick is trying REALLY hard to screw it up, but I'm guessing it'll be at least mildly profitable.

  • Some Guy

    Didn't anyone ever think that maybe Jason's mask was made by google? It could be from his perspective...

  • Ben

    oh shit, I would watch the fuck out of that. Found footage film from Jasons perspective?! Hell yeah.

  • They already did ironic and self aware in the largely enjoyable part 6, "Jason Lives". The recent reboot was a dismal, awful movie. As much as I enjoy the 80's era Jason Voorhees exploits I'm really not looking forward to more of this reboot version.

  • bleujayone

    That's some sickly green water she's swimming in. Forget the machete-wielding mass murder, if these people are splashing around in this cesspool, they'll all be dead of dysentery faster than a quick game of The Oregon Trail.

  • Fredo

    Best found footage movie? Troll Hunter.

    As for this, at this point, the only allure in another Friday the 13th lies in enjoying the creativity of the kills. Hand-held, found footage is going to reduce that to just quick pans of Jason, quick running shots and then dropped cameras where we see Jason stabbing some college coed upside down.

    What's the point in that?

  • NynjaSquirrel

    I hate the current trend for 'shaky cam', the sooner it dies the better.

  • George Tarleton

    Also, Chronicle.

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