John P. Johnson
February 11, 2009 at 05:00 AM EST

Ice hockey’s angriest goalkeeper Jason Voorhees returns in this new version of the slasher classic from director Marcus Nispel and producer Michael Bay, the pair responsible for 2003’s remake of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. Friday the 13th shares a grungy, competent vibe with that previous effort as Derek Mears’ Jason sets about dispatching the large number of folks who make the mistake of smoking marijuana or flashing their mammaries in the vicinity of Camp Crystal Lake. True, the characters often act in unbelievable and downright suicidal ways. ”Where’s he going?” ponders Jared Padelecki upon first espying a corpse-carrying Mr. Voorhees. (Really, that’s the question? Not: ”How the blue blazes do we get out of here?”). However, this film is (be)head and shoulders above the recently reanimated likes of Prom Night and My Bloody Valentine. B

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Betsy Palmer,
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