Hollywood’s pseudo-remakes of successful horror film franchises has become an absolute necessity in an industry were creative scripts are becoming very scarce. The first decade of the 21st century has focused very heavily on the popular slasher movies from the 1970’s and 1980’s: Halloween, Texas Chainsaw Massacre, My Bloody Valentine, The Last House on the Left, Nightmare on Elm Street (currently in development) and, more importantly, Friday the 13th, have all been adapted for the new generation Z, a generation that seems to be oblivious to the fact that the new movies are simply not analogous to the originals. Objectively speaking, the remakes have been moderately successful at the box office, but nevertheless have failed to demonstrate the same level of horror brilliance directors like John Carpenter, Sean Cunningham, and Wes Craven had in their first films. The original Friday the 13th (1980) can arguably be considered one of the most influential slasher films of all time; after all, it catapulted itself into an incredibly long series of movies — some of which are absolute film disasters. Unfortunately, that disastrous series seems to continue with the new version released in February of 2009, which cannot — by any means — be referred to as a ‘true’ remake. This new movie functions as a pseudo-sequel to the original 1980 film. The film possesses no admirable qualities and categorically depends on an array of nude scenes that seem to be completely irrelevant to any plot or sub-plot of the film. Yes, the original films had a fair share of sex scenes, but in this case the writers and directors abused their incidence, ultimately affecting what was already a very poor film.
In the music department, Steve Jablonsky (a Media Ventures alum and now established horror movie composer) was chosen to provide the score. Jablonsky had, unquestionably, one of the most popular horror movie score themes at his disposal — the infamous Ki, Ki, Ki, Ma, Ma, Ma synthesized background sound Harry Manfredini had created almost 30 years ago, which instantly established one of the eeriest themes in horror movie history. While it is understandable that any film composer wants to create an original movie score, Jablonsky seemed to underutilize this incredibly popular music phrase. There are very few instances in the movie where this theme can be heard; more importantly, there are zero scenes in which Jablonsky employs and adapts Manfredini’s brilliant string lines and string effects from the original films. These string lines created such a ghostly movie atmosphere that they should certainly be part of any sequel including the same killer — Jason Voorghees, of course.
The single track from the score presented in this album sums up quite adequately the rest of Jablonsky’s music from the movie. The excessive use of sound effects always drowns the little musical arrangements he seems to explore, while the percussive hits are heard in the usual, predictable frames. That’s correct; the symphonic rises will more than likely guide the viewer through each and every scene, leading him/her to the conventional incidents that plague horror films. In other words, Jablonsky does absolutely nothing to steer away from the now clichéd modern slasher film score. Admittedly, this trend needs to change; otherwise horror movies will continue to be…well… not so much ‘horror’ movies.
In the end, the soundtrack album is merely the collection of songs heard throughout the film (some played for maybe about 10 seconds), plus the three and a half minutes from a very pitiable score. In this particular case, there was absolutely no need for the release of a separate score album. The score as heard on the film deserves nothing more than a 3/10, while the soundtrack album merits a 5/10. Jablonsky delivers one of his poorest scores, undoubtedly missing the opportunity to help a film that quite frankly has no other destiny than the under $5 supermarket movie bin.