One of the problems with the modern age is how literate everyone is with popular culture. Remixing and re-inventing established ideas has been around since stories began (and it’s fair to say that it was Shakespeare’s signature move). As you might be able to guess from the name, The 13th Friday is a remix of low budget horror movies that almost makes the grade into something new and memorable, but falls at every single hurdle. The problem is that we’ve all seen it before and can see every twist coming. It’s also way too fast and way too messy to work.
The movie’s plot is more a collection of horror movie tropes than an actual story. We have a gaggle of not terribly bright young people, an evil building, some Texas wasteland, a haunted child’s toy, a possessed girl/creepy ghost thing and finally a puzzle that opens a gateway to multiple dimensions of darkness and horror.
This isn’t so much a remix of popular horror films from the ’70s and ’80s as it is the movie equivalent of playing a dozen songs all at the same time and as loud as possible. It genuinely feels like the director simply couldn’t decide on a single script and instead decided to do all of them simultaneously. The result is a pop-music video style mess filled with incomprehensible cuts, poorly planned storytelling and a total lack of originality. You can see that at some point the idea was to present an unending series of scares to create a rollercoaster ride of chills. It doesn’t work. The whole thing comes off the rails at the first corner and you end up staring at an incoherent list of special effects and scenery chewing.
The acting is adequate for the sort of feature this is. No one is doing their best work here but at least no one is dialling it in. The special effects are also interesting; they’re an intelligent blend of practical effects and CGI. Alas, neither are employed very effectively.
The 13th Friday is a fascinating example of low budget horror movie making and what happens when one attempts to have their gory cake and eat it. It’s filled with interesting ideas, but we wouldn’t recommend it other than to examine a case study in failure.
THE 13TH FRIDAY / CERT: TBD / DIRECTOR: JUSTIN PRICE / SCREENPLAY: JUSTIN PRICE / STARRING; LISA MAY, KHU, MELISSA L. VEGA, VICTORIA VALDEZ / RELEASE DATE: TBD