Friday the 13th is a 2009 American slasher film written by Damian Shannon and Mark Swift, and directed by Marcus Nispel. The film is a reboot of the Friday the 13th film series, which began in 1980, and is the twelfth installment in the franchise. Nispel also directed the 2003 remake of Tobe Hooper's The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974). Shannon and Swift wrote the screenplay for the 2003 crossover Freddy vs. Jason. Friday the 13th follows Clay Miller (Jared Padalecki) as he searches for his missing sister, Whitney (Amanda Righetti), who is captured by Jason Voorhees (Derek Mears) while camping in woodland at Crystal Lake.
The 2009 film was originally conceived as an origin story, but the project evolved into a re-imagining of the first four Friday the 13th films. The character Jason Voorhees was redesigned as a lean, quick killer with a backstory that allows the viewer to feel a little sympathy for him, but not enough that he would lose his menace. Although this film rewrote the continuity, Jason's iconic hockey mask— which was not introduced until the third film in the series—is acquired during the film. In keeping with the tone of the film, Jason's mask was recreated from a mold of the original mask used for Part III; though there were subtle changes. Friday the 13th includes some of Harry Manfredini's musical score from the previous Friday the 13th films because the producers recognized its iconic status.
Friday the 13th was released in theaters on Friday, February 13, 2009. It received mainly negative reviews and earned approximately US$19 million on its opening night and $40 million during its opening weekend, when it broke two records; the highest-earning opening day for the film series and the highest-earning opening weekend for any horror film. As of July 2014, it is the second-highest grossing film in the Friday the 13th film series ($65 million), and has earned over $91.3 million worldwide.
On June 13, 1980, a young Jason Voorhees (Caleb Guss) watches as his mother Pamela (Nana Visitor) is beheaded by a camp counselor (Stephanie Rhodes), who was trying to escape Mrs. Voorhees's murder spree around Camp Crystal Lake. Almost 30 years later, a group of vacationing friends—Wade (Jonathan Sadowski), Richie (Ben Feldman), Mike (Nick Mennell), Whitney (Amanda Righetti) and Amanda (America Olivo)—arrive at Crystal Lake on a camping trip to search for marijuana growing in the woods. That night, Jason (Derek Mears), now an adult, begins to kill members of the group, but spares Whitney and abducts her because she resembles Pamela at a young age.
Six weeks later, Trent (Travis Van Winkle), his girlfriend Jenna (Danielle Panabaker) and their friends Chelsea (Willa Ford), Bree (Julianna Guill), Chewie (Aaron Yoo), Nolan (Ryan Hansen), and Lawrence (Arlen Escarpeta) arrive at Trent's summer cabin on the shore of Crystal Lake. Meanwhile, Whitney's brother Clay Miller (Jared Padalecki) arrives at the lake to search for her. Clay visits Trent's cabin, where Jenna agrees to help him search for Whitney. As they search, Jason kills Chelsea and Nolan while they are wakeboarding on the lake. Clay and Jenna reach the old Crystal Lake campgrounds where they see Jason hauling a body into the abandoned camp house.
Jenna and Clay run to warn the others about Jason, who arrives and disconnects the cabin's electricity. Jason kills Chewie and Lawrence outside the cabin, and sneaks inside and kills Bree. Trent, Clay, and Jenna escape the cabin but Trent is killed when he reaches the main road. Jason chases Clay and Jenna back to the campgrounds, where Clay discovers Jason's lair and finds his sister chained to the wall. Clay frees Whitney and all three try to escape as Jason arrives. They find an exit, but Jenna is killed before she can escape. Jason chases Clay and Whitney; Whitney pretends to be Pamela, to distract Jason and stabs him in the chest with his own machete. Clay dumps Jason's dead body into the lake, but before Clay and Whitney leave, Jason bursts through the wooden dock and grabs Whitney.
- Derek Mears as Jason Voorhees
- Caleb Guss as Young Jason Voorhees
- Nana Visitor as Pamela Voorhees
- Amanda Righetti as Whitney Miller
- Jared Padalecki as Clay Miller
- Danielle Panabaker as Jenna
- Travis Van Winkle as Trent
- Aaron Yoo as Chewie
- Jonathan Sadowski as Wade
- Julianna Guill as Bree
New Line Cinema's Toby Emmerich approached Platinum Dunes producers Michael Bay, Brad Fuller and Andrew Form about remaking Friday the 13th in the same way they restarted the Texas Chainsaw Massacre franchise. They agreed and spent over a year obtaining the film rights from Paramount Pictures, New Line, and Crystal Lake Entertainment—the latter run by Friday the 13th creator Sean S. Cunningham. Paramount executives gave Platinum Dunes producers a license to use anything from the original films, including the title. Paramount was given the rights to distribute the film internationally and New Line retained U.S. distribution rights. Fuller and Form said they did not want to make Friday the 13th Part 11 or 12, but wanted to rework the mythology. They liked elements from the first four films—such as plot points and ways particular characters are killed—and planned to use these in their remake, which they did with Paramount's approval. Fuller said, "I think there are moments we want to address, like how does the hockey mask happen. It’ll happen differently in our movie than in the third one. Where is Jason from, why do these killings happen, and what is Crystal Lake?" The producers initially expressed an interest in using Tommy Jarvis, a recurring character who first appeared in Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter, but the idea was scrapped.
Though the producers decided that Friday the 13th would not be an origin story, they said that they wanted to work out a logical origin story for Jason that would provide a sense of history as the film progressed. Form and Fuller explained that the audience gets to see how Jason attains his famous hockey mask, and is given a reason for why he puts it on. Jason would transition from wearing a bag over his head—similar to the one seen in Friday the 13th Part 2—to finding and wearing his hockey mask, whereas in Friday the 13th Part III he obtains the mask off-screen and comes out of a barn already wearing it.
Unlike The Texas Chainsaw Massacre remake (2003) and the The Amityville Horror remake (2005)—both of which were produced by Bay, Form, and Fuller—it was decided that Friday the 13th would not be a period piece. Form and Fuller said the film was not strictly a remake so there was no reason they could not set the story in the 2000s. In October 2007, Damian Shannon and Mark Swift, the writers of Freddy vs. Jason, were hired to write a script for Friday the 13th. Jonathan Liebesman was in negotiations to direct the film, but scheduling conflicts meant he was unavailable and Fuller and Form chose Marcus Nispel. Nispel was apprehensive about taking the job, mainly because he would be taking over another film franchise, but Fuller eventually persuaded him to direct the project. Principal photography began on April 21, 2008, in Austin, Texas, and finished on June 13, 2008.
On Friday, February 13, 2009, Friday the 13th was released in 3,105 theaters in North America. The 2009 film was given the widest release of any Friday the 13th film, including the crossover film with A Nightmare on Elm Street. It was released in nearly three times as many theaters as the original 1980 film and exceeded Freddy vs. Jason by 91 theaters. Friday the 13th was also released in 2,100 theaters in 28 markets outside North America. The film was released on DVD, Blu-ray, and Apple TV on June 16, 2009. The DVD and Blu-ray releases contain the theatrical release and an extended cut of the film.
Based on 166 reviews collected by review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, Friday the 13th has a 25% approval rating from critics with an average score of 4.2 out of 10. The consensus reads: "Though technically well-constructed, Friday the 13th is a series rehash that features little to distinguish it from its predecessors." Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, calculated an average score of 34 based on 29 reviews. CinemaScore polls reported that average grade cinemagoers gave the film a "B-" on a scale of A+ to F. Exit polls showed that 51% of the audience was male and 59% were at least 25 years old.