Set Visit Preview: The New Friday the 13th
by Alex Billington
June 11, 2008
Last weekend I was invited down to Austin, Texas to visit the set of the new reboot of Friday the 13th. It was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that I couldn't pass up and it ended up being one of the best set visits I've ever been on. I joined up with a few other websites and spent one hell of entertaining evening down near an over-turned bus watching the new Jason swing his machete and chase two "kids" around for hours. We've been a bit harsh previously on the cast of this film, but all of those bad memories went away when I arrived at the new and improved Camp Crystal Lake. While I'm not the biggest Friday the 13th fan out there, being able to actually step in to the action and experience it all first hand really made me realize that this new Friday the 13th is going to kick some serious ass.
Due to requirements set forth by Warner Brothers, I'll save the real meat of my set visit for a future date. But let me tell you, this isn't a horror reboot to simply forget about. While we often see mediocre horror flicks like Shutter and Prom Night, this Friday the 13th is going to be one of the most entertaining and horrific experiences you'll see next year. The feeling on the set was not that it was just another throwaway horror film, but rather that this was a franchise that has a legacy and that they're honoring everything before it while attacking it in a new and fun way. They're bringing Jason Voorhees back to life in a way that we've probably never seen and that is really what will make this Friday the 13th stand out.
Platinum Dunes producers Andrew Form and Brad Fuller brought back director Marcus Nispel, who made their 2003 reboot of Texas Chainsaw Massacre, to direct this. They felt he did such a great job breathing new life into that franchise that they wanted him to do it again with Friday the 13th. As a refresher, although the Friday the 13th franchise has spanned 11 films, this new one is a reboot that is starting from scratch. However, unlike the first Friday the 13th from 1980, Jason is already a full-fledged grown up and his history will be told via flashbacks. The last time Jason was on the big screen was in Freddy vs Jason in 2003 and Jason X in 2001 before that. And now 6 years later, his machete is still as sharp.
There is something very fascinating about spending eight hours in 80 degree weather in the forest at night, watching the bustle of the countless crew members preparing for each shot, joking with an unmasked Derek Mears about Jason as they finish applying makeup to his chest, and listening to each cast and crew member tell their own Friday the 13th stories. As remarkable as it may seem, Derek Mears, who plays the new and improved Jason, is probably the biggest fan of Friday the 13th out of anyone else working on the movie. And it's that kind of passion and enthusiasm that really shined through down in Austin. As much as I'd love to tell you more and give you the complete details on this great set visit, it'll have to wait. However, the full report will definitely be worth it, especially for Friday the 13th fans! Stay tuned soon enough for our full Friday the 13th set visit report.