Remember the FRIDAY THE 13TH remake? Yeah, me too, unfortunately. It was the worst kind of failure, the kind that had the potential to be something better, had the studio stayed out of it, allowing the director to pursue his personal vision instead of tampering, shoehorning in failed pop stars because they have a Q rating the studio hoped would sucker in teenyboppers (it didn’t), and offering a script that allowed the performers, some of which had some degree of actual acting ability, to do more than embody stereotypes. Alas, they went with the paint-by-numbers approach, and the results were generic as hell. Director Marcus Nispel probably didn’t have the chops to pull off a great film—his remake of THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE managed to only be “okay”—but a film in which he was given complete creative control would still have had more personality than the product we ended up seeing on the screen.
Both Nispel and the studio missed the mark in one key area, though. They wanted to make Jason merely human, removing all supernatural undertones. Said Nispel: “I simply wanted to remind people during his death that [Jason] is not supernatural but a very damaged human being that was wronged.” By taking away the supernatural ability to return from the dead, you are altering the character beyond recognition. It isn’t Jason anymore. It’s just some big ugly guy in a hockey mask. Same reason Rob Zombie’s HALLOWEEN retread failed. If you change the character too much you end up with an entirely different character, one that pales by comparison to the original—even when the original, in the case of Jason, was always more caricature than character. Jason may be only a violent, one-dimensional, live-action cartoon, but he’s a one-dimensional cartoon we all love. Don’t try to “fix” what was never broken.