Early 2000s Horror Remakes w/ Danny Gurrola

In 2003, Michael Bay released a weak-ass remake of one of the best and most iconic horror films ever made, The Texas Chain Saw Massacre. Although it had the personality of a fucking Lowe’s commercial, it was wildly successful and ignited an awful trend of making lackluster remakes to horror classics of the 70s and 80s. That combined with the emergence of Dark Castle Entertainment, which mostly remade William Castle pictures of the 1950s, set American horror up for its shittiest decade, possibly ever.

From the year 2000 to 2009 there was rarely a great American horror film to be found, and most were either technically dramatic thrillers (The Others), dark comedies (American Psycho), foreign imports (Let the Right One In, The Devil’s Backbone) or micro budgeted indies (Lake Mungo). I think the only great mainstream American horror movie we got was Sam Raimi‘s Drag Me to Hell.

My god. What I would have done to have watched those fine films instead. These movies were truly a struggle to get through, but my co-author, Danny, and I somehow managed. Here are our thoughts…

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre


directed by: Marcus Nispel; screenplay by: Scott Kosar

cast: Jessica Biel, Jonathan Tucker, Erica Leershen, Mike Vogel, Eric Balfour, R. Lee Ermey, Andrew Bryniarski, Lauren German, Brad Leland, Kathy Lamkin, David Dorfman

runtime: 98 minutes (1 hr, 38 min.)

release date: October 17, 2003

opening weekend U.S. box office:

  1. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre $28M
  2. Kill Bill Volume 1 $12.5M
  3. Runaway Jury $11.5M
  4. School of Rock$10.5M
  5. Mystic River$10.5M



The best of the Platinum Dunes early 2000s horror remakes to be sure, but still a bad movie. The wholly unnecessary but absolutely inevitable reboot of the 1974 horror classic follows a group of sweaty twenty-somethings on their way to a Lynyrd Skynyrd concert. Jessica Biel plays the Marilyn Burns part while the brother character, Franklin, isn’t confined to a wheelchair anymore. There’s also a horny young couple and Jessica Biel’s boyfriend. They’re super paranoid because they’re traveling with a pound of marijuana which would probably get you the death penalty in Texas at the time. They pick up a clearly traumatized hitchhiker who is bleeding from her vagina. They try to make small talk with her, like you would any hitchhiker who crying nonstop and bleeding from their vagina, but she pulls out a gun, out of her vagina, and shoots herself in the head. The mood is really capsized at that point and they pull over to figure out what they’re going to do. Just about then Sheriff R. Lee Ermey shows up to be grosser and meaner version of his Full Metal Jacket character. I have to give credit where credit is dude, Ermey seems to be the only actor really committed to this bullshit. The others are pretty forgettable.

The cost of doing marijuana in 1970s Texas.

Anyway, R. Lee Ermey is gross and eventually leads them to the house of Leatherface, where they all get picked off one by one. R. Lee Ermey is supposed to be a take on the Chef Dad from the original with no one filling in for the Hitchhiker/Chop-Top role. That’s because this Michael Bay-produced POS takes itself way too seriously, as evident with the vagina gun thing at the beginning. No movie you make about Leatherface is going to be as terrifying or jarring as the original, so you might as well make something fun. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre is about as fun as being in a doctor’s office, but somehow it is the second best movie we cover in this article.

The ultra sweaty young cast!

All the kills in this are pretty obvious and unimaginative. Jessica Biel is better than most scream queens but her character is really nothing special here. The other characters really disappear into the background. This movie is also super loud, like louder than Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2, which is exceptionally fucking loud. The difference is that movie is fun, this movie is just a depressingly flavorless piece of commercial filmmaking. Danny, you loved this right?


I loved that it was free on Tubi so I didn’t have to pay for it! It had random ad breaks though, so I did have to sit through some pretty terrifying Tide commercials.


You’ve basically addressed everything that happened in the movie, Mike. So I am just going to touch on some peripheral things I noticed. Like you said, this is probably the second best movie we watched. Which is like saying stubbing your toe on the coffee table is the second best injury you can have in your house when your alternatives are falling down the stairs or putting your hand in the garbage disposal.

Every character is (surprise surprise!) a moron. Unlike many other horror films, they have a running vehicle through 90% of the movie and still decide to stick around, even after encountering a mutant child playing in an abandoned farm with mutilated dolls.

The most horrific thing in the world happens in front of our main idiots, where a traumatized hitchhiker blows her brains out all over their gross van. They are initially in shock, but within 10 minutes they kinda of forget about it and lose all sense of urgency. The next 30 minutes of the movie are dedicated to Jessica Biel walking around in low-rise jeans that are so 2003, I teleported back to the 8th grade and my voice started squeaking.

The Texas Chainsaw Midriff

They wander around the Leatherface property until they start getting picked off one-by-one. Speaking of Leatherface, he mostly looks cool. They unfortunately present him in an uninteresting and unscary manner though, throwing him on screen without any build up or tension AGAIN. I know he sort of does that in the original, but it was at least shocking when he pops out from behind the door the first time. While being a very talented butcher and seamstress, he’s also pretty bland and boring. However, once things get going, the truly best character of the movie shows up. R. Lee Ermy plays the depraved sheriff and 100% understands his assignment. He is at an 11/10 the whole time, being so needlessly vulgar and nasty, it’s hilarious. He makes me want to watch Mail Call and become part of the military industrial complex.

TCM 2003 is relatively tame and bloodless, especially compared to our other mutant murderfest The Hills Have Eyes. This is actually for the best though, since it doesn’t feel mean spirited or exploitative. It’s mostly just a way to get JB in a soaked t-shirt for 2 hours. Between the rain, sweat, and Leatherface’s flooded basement, this is one WET movie.

The water damage to the foundation is going to ruin the resell value.

JB has a throw away line earlier in the movie about learning how to hot-wire cars in juvi, so she eventually steals a vehicle. She runs over R. Lee Ermy and drives off into the sunset to marry Justin Timberlake. It was a not very good movie, but compared to others on this list it’s fucking Casablanca. Alright, what’s next?

Dawn of the Dead


directed by: Zack Snyder; screenplay by: James Gunn

cast: Sarah Polly, Ving Rhames, Jake Webber, Mehki Phifer, Ty Burrell, Michael Kelly, Kevin Zegers, Lindy Booth, Michael Barry, Matt Frewer, Jayne Eastwood, Inna Korobkina, Boyd Banks, Louis Ferreira, Kim Poirier, R.D. Reed, Tom Savini, Ken Foree

runtime: 110 minutes (1 hr, 50 min.)

release date: March 19, 2004

opening weekend U.S. box office:

  1. Dawn of the Dead – $27M
  2. The Passion of the Christ$19.5M
  3. Taking Lives$11M
  4. Starsky & Hutch$10.5M
  5. Secret Window – $9M



I…I don’t know how to react to this, Mike? I liked this movie? I thought it was good? It’s a remake that may be better than the original? I didn’t want to die by the end of it? What is this madness?

This was another movie I saw back when it came out, though not in theaters. I’ve watched it numerous times throughout the years and though it’s been a while since I sat down and watched with a critical eye, it still holds up. It took all that criticism of capitalism from the original and turned it into dumb, fun action. You actually forget it’s even a remake. There are millions of articles and essays written about how George Romero was making a statement on consumerism with the original, and while I like the 1978 version a lot, the Zack Snyder one is just much more entertaining. It succeeds where so many others fail when it comes to remaking a movie; it takes the premise then does something different with it in a new and interesting way!  

Although I love the watermelon head explosion on the mannequin from the original. 

The story is essentially the same; a group of people amidst the zombie apocalypse end up congregating at a mall to survive. Then zombie carnage ensues. The great part about this version though is that the ensemble cast is fantastic, with Sarah Polley spearheading the survivors. Every character has well-defined traits and they’re mostly fleshed out (haha) despite not having a ton of screen time to develop due to the amount of characters. It’s perfectly balanced for what it’s trying to be. 

The movie gets going immediately, with us as the audience joining Sarah Polley on the last day before shit hits the fan. Her husband turns into a zombie in front of her eyes after being attacked by an infected neighborhood kid, which results in her escaping her home and seeking refuge. She finds a police officer Ving Rhames among a few other survivors and they hold up in the local mall with hopes that this whole thing will blow over. It does not. Things get worse, people start to turn on each other, and you start to find out that maybe… WE were the real monsters all along. *GASP*

They somehow make these kickass Mad Max trucks from shit laying around Sport’s Authority and Claire’s.

It’s BY FAR the best movie we watched on this list and it’s not even really close. Every performance is great, with Ty Burrell (the dad from Modern Family) essentially becoming the antagonist. He’s such a massive prick, you love to hate him. Mike, I don’t want to talk about the movie too much simply because it’s actually really fun to experience, especially around spooky season! I know you enjoyed this because we watched it together and you didn’t audibly moan in despair like every other movie. 

Most of the core group minus Ty Burrell

This is far and away the best movie on this list which is hilarious seeing as though it came from Zack Synder. Before he was doing 4 hour cuts of lackluster superhero movies, Zack remade George Romero’s critically and commercially beloved zombie satire Dawn of the Dead. Dropping the consumerism commentary and overall satire completely, the remake repurposes the general plot of survivors of the zombie apocalypse holding up at a local shopping mall.

This version does have a sense of humor as evident in a “bored at the mall” character montage to Richard Cheese’s cover of “Down with the Sickness” as well as a fun “find the zombie celebrity” shooting game. However, this one delivers on thrills in a way the original does not. There’s some really intense zombie attack sequences and because, as you noted Danny, the cast is so uniformly strong, it hits so much harder. Actress turned Oscar-nominated filmmaker Sarah Polley leads the cast as a far more intelligent, resourceful and complex final girl than the genre ever has, while Ving “Arby’s” Rhames, Mehki “Not Michelle” Pfifer and a hilarious Ty Burrell round it out.

Ty Burrell thinks he has this whole zombie thing figured out

Of course, this isn’t a perfect film. Being a horror movie from the early 2000s, it occasionally falls victim to the worst pitfalls of that time period – frantic/loud quick edits that are more annoying than scary, slow motion shots of guns firing, Limp Bizkit needle drops, etc. Even with all that, Zack Synder’s Dawn of the Dead manages to be consistently entertaining and sometimes even a little surprising. It explores how being in a situation like that can make people turn on each other without going full Halloween Ends into another genre. Snyder knows what it is and because of that he keeps it simple and uncomplicated. The cold open alone could be a great standalone short film. Watch the unrated version, there’s more blood.

The Amityville Horror


directed by: Andrew Douglas; screenplay by: Scott Kosar

cast: Ryan Reynolds, Melissa George, Philip Baker Hall, Jesse James, Jimmy Bennett, Chloe Grace Moretz

runtime: 89 minutes (1 hr, 29 min.)

release date: April 15, 2005

opening weekend U.S. box office:

  1. The Amityville Horror – $23.5M
  2. Sahara – $13M
  3. Fever Pitch$8.5M
  4. Sin City – $7M
  5. Guess Who – $5M



Let me take you back to the Spring of 2005. I was a freshman in high school, George W. Bush had just begun his second term, oil prices were steadily rising, Pope JP2 died, YouTube was created and every Friday after school my dad used to take me to see a movie. After having our fucking faces blown off by Sin City the week before, we were definitely in the mood for edgier content. Enter The Amityville Horror, a Platinum Dunes remake of a movie my dad loved from the 70s, about a real-life haunted house where a guy went crazy and killed his family. Boy, we were bummed. My dad hated it and even back then at 15, I could instantly tell it was a piece of inferior filmmaking. Something lazily slapped together with dump truck footage, any and everywhere they could get coverage. Something with a director that clearly doesn’t understand how to build suspense, and something with a promising lead actor (Ry Rey) who looks bored out of his goddamn skull. Yep, a real piece of shit.

Must be more of a shower guy.

It’s not even that early 2000s mainstream horror movies were poorly made or bad, it’s that too, but it’s also the fact that a lot of time, they didn’t even make sense. There are often such glaring gaps in the logic that not only would it “not happen that way IRL” but you don’t even know what the hell it’s even driving at, either from a logical or metaphorical perspective. Sometimes, it even negates what comes before. The Amityville Horror has so many sequences like this that make no sense, mostly pertaining to human behavior. Ryan Reynolds is normal when they buy the house and literally, after the first weird event on the first night, he turns into a drooling sociopath who abuses his stepchildren.

So, I’m getting ahead of myself, the plot of this Amityville is simple – A single mom (30 Days of Night‘s Melissa George) with three kids between the ages of like 12 and 6 (including Chloe Grace Moretz) marries Ryan Reynolds and moves into a house that’s haunted AF. It costs them all the money they have so of course, they can’t just up and leave without ruining themselves, financially. So they just decide to ignore the fact that Reynolds is getting crazier and a little ghost girl is trying to get Chloe Grace Moretz to commit suicide. That’s the plot – a family in peril and dumb “scary” things happen to them.

“Don’t do the Carrie remake, kid.”

The nicest thing that can be said about this tasteless, overly-stylized blood turd is that it moves. Unlike half of the other remakes in this article, this movie books through its lean 89-minute runtime. Of course, the sacrifice is all of the characters are like zero-dimensional. You know next to nothing about any of these people, most of all the kids, so you don’t really give a shit what happens to them. Also, there’s a scene where a high school babysitter comes over and if she’s anything less than 39 years old, I’ll eat my hat. Dressed essentially like a pornstar of that era, she’s really cruel to the kids and openly expresses how happy she is the previous family got murdered, especially the little girl. She’s happy a six-year-old she used to babysit got her head blown off by her dad. On top of that, she’s extremely sexual with Ryan Reynold’s 12-year-old stepson. Of course, she gets attacked by the angry spirit of the little girl seconds after. She doesn’t die though, cause no one dies in this movie! There are zero deaths in this R-rated horror movie.

No thanks.

The Amityville Horror is an awful, incompetent movie and on top of everything, it wastes underrated character actor Philip Baker Hall’s time. Remember him? Detective Bookman from Seinfeld, but all you PTA fans know him from Hard Eight, Magnolia, and Boogie Nights. Remember? Butter in my ass, lollipops in my mouth? Anyway, I’ll end on that. Danny whatcha think???

P.S.: Melissa George was on an episode of Celebrity Ghost Stories talking about how this set was the most haunted one she’d been on. Maybe the ghosts sabotaged the movie? Is she trying to blame how bad the movie is on ghosts?

R.I.P. Philip Baker Hall, a tremendously underrated character actor

We might have well stared at a blank screen for 89 minutes, Mike. It wasn’t the worst movie we’ve seen on this list, but it was just a big waste of time. It’s a non-movie. Nothing happens. A family moves in, gets scared, then moves out. It’s as if The Shining was remade by a person who has never actually seen a movie before, only My Chemical Romance music videos. 

Actually, this is scarier than The Amityville Horror.

The film tries to mask its lack of suspense and proper pacing with jump scares and LOUD noises. Instead of having creepy visuals or pacing or atmosphere, the filmmakers just punctuate scenes with a sound effect of a chain hitting a garbage can at 50000 db. Also, the score was odd for the type of movie it was trying to be. It’s comically whimsical. I was fully expecting an edgy nu-metal score with some shitty main track performed by Godsmack called ‘The Horror in My Mind’ or some shit like that. Instead, it’s straight out of an animated Tim Burton stop motion movie.

There is also one odd scene where the score becomes goofy and the tone changes from ‘horror’ to ‘boner comedy.’ It’s when the “””””16” “”””””-year-old babysitter is trying to get the oldest son to have a waking wet dream in a scene that, like the babysitter, has aged terribly. She is inexplicably an awful person to these two young children; telling them gruesome details about a massacre that happened in their bedrooms, then reveling in their fear until the little ghost girl scares the shit out of her. Where did the parents find her, the sociopathic version of care.com?

“Uh… I’m going to go take a cold shower for the next 12 hours.”

Last and certainly least, the mother in this movie is truly the most forgiving person to ever have lived. Stepdad Ryan Reynolds has been increasingly more douchey and has started to get physically and mentally abusive with her recently de-fathered kids. At the climax of the film, he builds a coffin for her and the children, shoots a shotgun at her while on a slippery roof, and then swings an ax at her son’s head. But none of this matters because she decides that it was the mean house’s fault and to stay with him. This woman is a saint! Eat shit, Mother Teresa.

I can fix him.

After popping on to IMDb, I noticed that the director went on to film a lot of other nonsense that I had never heard of, but he somehow was able to direct two episodes of Mindhunter, one of the best shows in the last ten years. So there is some talent in there somewhere. Very impressive, director that I forgot the name of already! 
Overall, it was unscary and dumb and seemed like a vehicle just to parade around a shirtless Ryan Reynolds, much like TCM with Jessy Biel. Which is fine I guess, I just wish the filmmakers put as much time and effort into the movie as Ryan did into his abs.

The Hills Have Eyes


directed by: Alexandre Aja; screenplay by: Alexandre Aja & Gregory Levasseur

cast: Aaron Stanford, Kathleen Quinlan, Ted Levine, Vinessa Shaw, Emilie de Ravin, Dan Byrd, Tom Bower, Billy Drago, Desmond Askew, Robert Joy, Michael Bailey Smith, Greg Nicotero

runtime: 106 minutes (1 hr, 46 min.)

release date: March 10, 2006

opening weekend U.S. box office –

  1. Failure to Launch – $24.5M
  2. The Hills Have Eyes$16.5M
  3. The Shaggy Dog – $16.5M
  4. 16 Blocks – $7.5M
  5. Madea’s Family Reunion – $5.5M



About 20 minutes into this movie, you turned to me and said “I hate this shit.” I wrote it in my notes immediately because it about sums up my sentiment towards this miserable, mean-spirited exploitation movie. 

The thing is, I really liked this movie when it came out because I was a stupid-ass 16 year old. I even bought the previously owned DVD from the local Blockbuster along with two other horror movies, March of the Penguins and United 93.

‘Quality Guaranteed’ my ass.

Alexandre Aja’s previous film, Haute Tension, is a gory and hyper-violent French horror movie that I also really enjoyed back in the day, though I’ve honestly haven’t seen it in over a decade. It was stupid, made ridiculous jumps in logic and had a scene where someone gets a bj from a severed head, but it was entertaining, goddammit. It’s not great, but it didn’t feel nearly as nasty as this one… mostly because there wasn’t rape. This movie has an unnecessary rape scene. Please don’t do that. 

So basically, the plot is a family of assholes are traveling from wherever to San Diego and take a small break at a rest stop in BFE, New Mexico. Unfortunately for them, it’s a mining town that refused to leave back when the US was testing atom bombs in the desert, thus creating a whole community of cannibalistic mutants with a grudge towards the Americans who abandoned them. They get picked off one-by-one until the few remaining survivors band together to violently murder the killer monster mutants.

But are they monsters? What pisses me off perhaps the most in this movie (again, besides the rape) is how inconsistent they are with the villains. The angry murderous mutant cannibal family can speak fluent English, set elaborate traps and diversions, and can work complex technology like generators and walkie-talkies. But they also love ripping the spines out of dogs, biting the heads off birds and drinking the bird blood, and savagely raping women. Why? Make up your mind, are they monsters or are they misunderstood victims of government negligence? They want to have it both ways and it just doesn’t work. They also apparently can’t feel pain because they get shot and stabbed numerous times, but keep on keepin’ on.

Also, this guy goes from a pacifist pussy to a vengeance-seeking maniac. His dog rips the arm off of a mutant in a top hat.

The movie is actually pretty well made and acted. The effects are good, all the actors are Hollywood professionals, including the love-interest from Hocus Pocus who gets her head fucking blown off by a rapist mutant with a .357 Magnum. The filmmakers knew what they were doing, which actually makes it so much worse. It’s just so cynical and nasty for the sake of being nasty. I’m not really sqweemish and I don’t mind well-deserved and earned gore and violence, but this movie was a product of its time (torture porn) and went out of its way to revel in the misery. It has a perfectly valid point about how shitty the American government can be towards its most vulnerable populations, but the fact that it’s made by a Frenchman and shot in Spain makes me somehow defensive of our shitty American ways. 

Me after watching The Hills Have Eyes.

Anyways, The Hills Have Eyes is one of the most well-made movies on this list, but it makes you feel like complete shit and you want to take a shower after. Not recommended at all. 16 year old me was wrong for every liking it. What did you think, Mike? By the end, you said you loved how violent it was…

The absolute height of creativity.

Besides Zack Snyder’s Dawn of the Dead, it’s the most technically sound movie on this list. Clearly Alexandre Aja knows what he’s doing and that does make it all the more difficult to bear. His previous film, High Tension, seemed to have a bit more of a point to the outrageous gore, but I have to be honest, I didn’t care for that film that much either. It’s certainly better than this horse shit, but in general I don’t care much for the New French Extremity film movement. Movies like Martyrs and Frontiers, among others. I find them depressing, both because I’m watching mostly innocent people be tortured and frightened to death, but also because the greater points they’re making about humanity being awful and exploitive have been made so many times before, often in far more creative ways. The one exception I found in NFE is Raw and Titane‘s Julia Ducornau, who I think is a legit genius filmmaker. She has a fucking sense of humor for one and the over-the-top, realistic gore seems to be there for a reason. Alexandre Aja has no sense of humor it seems, at least in this.

Something cute I found on the internet.

This is a remake of Wes Craven’s cheaply produced and unimaginative 1977 movie by the same name. That one had way shittier actors and effects, and at least was easier to watch because we didn’t quite believe the actress playing the young new mom while she was being tortured and murdered. Here, we do. We believe it all. The movie non-cleverly subjects us to the most base and obvious of torture porn for no other reason than to show how shitty that situation would be. Yeah, no shit. It’s also a real slog of a movie, running a slow 106 minutes that feels like 166 minutes. The characters are either racist, dumb, violent, or the combination of the three. It makes sense they got Vinessa Shaw (Corky Romano) and Emilie de Ravin (Lost), but Ted Levine (The Silence of the Lambs) and especially, Kathleen Quinlan (Apollo 13, The Doors) don’t belong in this celluloid diaper. It all culminates in everyone getting killed, but what can I expect from a movie that seems to claim a strong correlation between radiation poisoning and physical violence. Go fuck yourself, Alexandre Aja.

Friday the 13th


directed by: Marcus Nispel; screenplay by: Damian Shannon & Mark Swift

cast: Jared Padalecki, Danielle Panabaker, Amanda Righetti, Derek Mears, Travis Van Winkle, Julianna Guill, Arlen Escarpeta, Aaron Yoo, Willa Ford, Ryan Hansen, Ben Feldman, Jonathan Sadowski

runtime: 97 minutes (1 hr, 37 min.)

release date: February 13, 2009

opening weekend U.S. box office –

  1. Friday the 13th – $40.5M
  2. He’s Just Not That Into You – $19.5M
  3. Taken – $19M
  4. Confessions of a Shopaholic – $15M
  5. Coraline – $15M



Admittedly, I’m a big Friday the 13th series fan. I know most of them are absolute, unimaginative garbage, but I just can’t help myself. They’re like cinematic Chicken McNuggets, I keep scarfing them down and asking more. I watch them all every year. Of the big 80s horror franchises, Friday the 13th is a bit of an outlier in that it’s the only one not to have a universally loved original.

The first Friday the 13th (sans Jason, unless you count a teen who can’t swim) is a poorly slapped together, shameless Halloween rip-off, despite Tom Savini and Betsy Palmer’s solid work. The first sequel (Part II) is much better-paced and a much more straightforward slasher. The eight sequels, one remake, and one merger that followed, range in quality. My personal favorites are 2, 4, 6, and 7, while I think 3, 5, 8, Jason Goes to Hell, Jason X, and Freddy vs. Jason are pretty awful.

My diet plan.

So where does the remake stand? Definitely with the pretty awful crowd. As much as I initially dug this when I saw it in theaters when I was 19 and stupid, re-watching it now really lays out how lazy, generic-looking, and remarkably tame it is. The kills are unimaginative and often designed so a character can flash their naked breasts before they die (gross). The characters are super one-dimensional and poorly performed, only Travis Van Winkle’s frat boy bully is entertaining and believably played, mostly because of, what I’m assuming are his ad-libs. “Your tits are stupendous!” What an odd thing to say mid-coitus. Also, it’s so over-stylized and glossy it becomes distracting. You can definitely tell Michael Bay produced it because it’s sorely lacking a personality.

What an improv!

After a string of dumb kills, dumb characters, and a stupid missing-sister/Jason-is-a-kidnapper?-storyline, the movie ends on a lazy jump scare. Though the weirdest thing about this movie is the introduction of Jason as a potential weed farmer. In the opening, a bunch of teens (including the always enjoyable Ben Feldman) are drawn to Camp Crystal Lake because apparently there’s a bunch of illegal marijuana growing out there. Their plan is to steal it, but Jason brutally murders them. Is he protecting the weed? If so, how would Jason be able to arrange for pick up/sale/etc – on the business side. Is he just randomly there and if so, did he kill the cartel/criminal organization that set up the grow site? I like to think that the Cartel owns Jason, and he’s like their security for their growing field. He’s essentially Jabba the Hut’s Rancor, an unstoppable killing machine that’s treated like a pet. Would have loved to see a scene where the cartel is transporting Jason to the pot fields and maybe throwing an informant into the fields and then betting money on how Jason would murder them. Who had shears?!

I guess it’s better than black mold.

Anyway, I digress, this was an instantly forgettable remake clearly made by a group of people who have absolutely no reverence for the original series. Which is fine I suppose, it isn’t exactly high art, but it would have been nice to see more passion. What about you Danny? Were you missing the passion? Did you require more funk?

Right before Jason strips dick naked and takes a dip.

It was missing the passion for sure, Mike.

I, too, like the Friday the 13th series quite a bit. They’re all pretty silly, short, and most importantly, have lots of creative kills. I’m not saying they’re anything special. In fact, you’re right in saying they are bad in quality overall, apart from the wonderful Part 4: The Final Chapter and Part 6: Jason Lives. I love those two stupid-ass movies so much, from Crispin Glover’s baffling dance in The Final Chapter

…to the inexplicable James Bond title sequence in Jason Lives

These films were directed by a sentient pile of cocaine.

Unfortunately, we’re not talking about those movies. This is the dour, depressing, gritty soft reboot/sequel (soft requel?) from 2009. It’s technically not even a remake then, wtf! 

Friday the 13th tries to be too many things at once and ends up not having an identity because of it. It’s not serious enough to be scary and not nearly goofy enough to be funny. Scenes will go from a lady feverishly rubbing her knockers with baby oil while wacky music plays… to someone getting their head split open like a cantaloupe all within the span of a minute. This might sound awesome, but it is not. It’s just boring.

Pictured: Sexy slapstick
Not pictured: Consistent tone

The plot is straightforward enough. Some horny teenagers go out camping/marijuana crop stealing near Camp Crystal Lake, Jason murders them all, a few weeks later some other horny teenagers stay at a cabin nearby and the brother of one of the previously mentioned horny teens is looking for his now missing sister. Killing happens, resulting in the deaths of a cop, redneck, and all the horndogs, until there are only two survivors left who are able to kill Jason via woodchipper to the head. Wait… why was there so much weed near Jason’s shack? Does he have an illegal grow op? Does he run an entire pot farm by himself for medicinal purposes or is he on the corner slangin’? Are all his murders a result from reefer madness? We may never know. Also, this version of Jason straight up hauls ass, sprinting from location to location.

‘This mask would sell like hotcakes at Spirit!’

Absolutely none of the kills are entertaining and some linger for so long that it starts to tread into the ‘torture porn’ genre, which given the era this came out is not surprising. All the characters are pretty stereotypical and would absolutely not be friends with each other. The only character worth talking about is the douchebag boyfriend, Trent, who is concerned with exactly two things: a) not having his guests fuck up his dad’s cabin, and b) plowing some mad bush, bruh. He has the only memorable lines in the movie and seems to be having fun improvising all his own material. I say ‘improvise’ because I refuse to believe someone wrote ‘You have stupendous tits with perfect nipple placement!’ and got paid for it. 


Oh, and fun fact about Trent! According to IMDB Trivia, the actor portrayed the same character Trent DeMarco in two Michael Bay-produced films; Transformers (2007) and Friday the 13th (2009). So this bit of info posits that while this shit is happening at Camp Crystal Lake, Shia LaBeouf and Megan Fox are running around with giant alien dinosaur robots from Mars or whatever the fuck is happening in those movies. 

Michael Bay really should have just leaned into the stupidity and put Optimus Prime in this! Have him fight Jason, fuck it. Let’s move on to the next turd.

A Nightmare on Elm Street


directed by: Samuel Bayer; screenplay by: Wesley Strick & Eric Heisserer

cast: Rooney Mara, Connie Britton, Clancy Brown, Kyle Gallner, Jackie Earle Haley, Katie Cassidy, Thomas Dekker, Kellan Lutz

runtime: 95 minutes (1 hr, 35 min.)

release date: April 30, 2010

opening weekend U.S. box office –

  1. A Nightmare on Elm Street – $33M
  2. How to Train Your Dragon – $10.5M
  3. Date Night – $7.5M
  4. The Back-Up Plan – $7M
  5. The Losers – $6M



Yeah, Mike. This is one of the only movies on our list that I didn’t see upon initial release and honestly, I miss the feeling of not having seen it. I will never get this 95 minutes back and it may be one of the biggest regrets of my life.

The movie comes out the gate with a confusing choice; all the credits are doubled up for some reason? Like, they are doing the creepy kids chalk writing for everyone’s names, but they didn’t have faith that people would read that properly so they also put on-screen text over top of it?

I hope Connie got a yacht out of this.

The film somehow moves way too quick and way too slow at the same time. Most scenes are just people speculating about Freddy, then someone falls asleep and gets killed in an unimaginative way. Speaking of Freddy, there is absolutely no buildup to his first appearance. He just shows up on screen in a wide shot fully visible and well-lit. It’s literally the opposite of Jaws, where you get an unobscured look at the monster in broad daylight early in the movie. They really should have shrouded him in shadows regardless, because his costume looks just awful. He’s about as scary as the Beast in the 1980’s Beauty and the Beast tv series starring Sarah Connor and Ron Pearlman’s face.

So much hairspray.

Also, these kids keep falling asleep in the most unlikely spots in order to shoehorn in spooky scenes, to the point where they probably had undiagnosed narcolepsy before Freddy ever even showed up. A kid falls asleep mid-lap during swim practice, which has probably never happened before. All the iconic scenes from the original are just rehashed, but they somehow look much worse 30 years later. Remember that creepy stretchy wall scene from the first one? Well, what if it looked 100% more like a PS2 video game.

The movie also really hits hard on Freddy being a child rapist, which is only hinted at in the original. We REALLY don’t need to bring up pedophilia, I feel bad enough watching this already. They over explain every little thing with Freddy, to the point where he’s not mysterious or scary anymore. He was a child-like simpleton gardener(?) at the school, but also got a little too handsy with the kids so the parents murder him with fire in an abandoned factory. And after he’s killed, he becomes a ruthless murderer with a completely different personality than when he was alive. TMI, not scary!

It’s a shit movie made for the vapid Twilight crowd of the era. All the characters were boring and underdeveloped and their decisions required us to pause the movie multiple times to see if we missed anything. We didn’t, I think the editors just didn’t give a shit. One character said a guy died in his sleep in prison though literally 2 seconds before we watched him get violently disemboweled via Freddy in a hilariously paranormal way. The only highlights of this movie were when it ended and when Roony Mara used the search engine “GIGABLAST” because they didn’t have the rights for Google.


Complete trash and BY FAR the worst movie we watched. Between these and the Dark Castle Entertainment movies we watched, I think we’ve seen exactly 1 good movie out of 12. Why do we keep doing this? What did you think, Mike?


As you know, Danny, I am the biggest Nightmare on Elm Street nerd. There are more articles about Freddy Krueger on this website than any one character. I can try to explain why I love these movies, but I’d rather show you. Close your eyes, but not actually cause you have to read this…Imagine you’re in Florida, the summer of 1998, seeing life through the eyes of a child…

You’re eight years old and visiting you sister, alone, who lived in Tampa at the time. She takes you to Blockbuster one night and without your parents, you go hog wild. You’ve seen Freddy Krueger in pictures and magazines before this and were intrigued and obsessed. Why did he look so happy to be scary? What were those finger knives? Why the sweater? You rent the only Elm street sequel they have in stock – Part 5: The Dream Child – a notoriously awful entry. It’s objectively terrible but to an eight-year-old boy with an insatiable lust for on-screen carnage like you, it’s heaven in a cassette. You leave Florida a changed boy, obsessed with getting any Nightmare on Elm Street artifact you can get your hands on. Over the course of the following year, you make your parents drive you to just about every Blockbuster or Video Update on the West Side of Phoenix, in a quest to snag every sequel the series had. From there, you expand your interest to the Halloween and Friday the 13th franchises, along with the films of Chucky, Ash, and Candyman, before eventually, falling madly in love with Ghostface and Sidney Prescott.

“Includes the Whodinl music video “Any Way I Gotta Swing It.””

So imagine my surprise and dismay when my favorite horror franchise of all time gets rebooted into a glossy, Michael Bay-produced generic shit pile with absolutely zero personality. The Robert Englund Freddy movies aren’t exactly high art, but even the shittiest ones are more interesting than this bloated cash cow in emo makeup. I can’t stand this movie. I hate everything about it. It’s so poorly executed at every turn and just carries with it a lack of passion that seems so cynical and almost violently dismissive and demeaning to its audience. Bay and crew really think we’re idiots, so many sequences/pay-offs (or lack thereof) carry with them a metaphorical middle finger to our ingrained sense of logic. Oh, you don’t see how anyone could fall asleep while swimming? Well, fuck you, that’s how. No, New Line, FUCK YOU.

Another classic moment from the original they fuck up

The acting in this one sucks. Rooney Mara apparently almost quit acting because she hated being in this piece of shit so much. Can’t really blame her, her performance is terrible here. You can tell every fiber of her being didn’t want to be doing this. I wonder if she saw her professional life flash before her eyes, as some second-rate scream queen, doing horror cons till she’s 80. A far cry from two Oscar nominations and dinner with Joaquin Phoenix, I’m afraid. Speaking of terrible, this is maybe the only piece of filmmaking I’ve ever seen that could make Connie Britton (Friday Night Lights, The White Lotus) a bad actress, but low and behold, a bad Britton performance! The great Clancy Brown, no stranger to garbage entertainment, just seems to be there, completely underutilized, and the rest of the kids, including David Cassidy’s IRL daughter, are just the goddamn pits. You feel bad for Jackie Earle Haley because it’s the one performance in this that isn’t flat-out dog shit, but he’s just not Freddy. And everything surrounding him is so depressingly bad, OH MY GOD, THIS MOVIE IS SO FUCKING BAD!!!!

I wish funerals were really this sexy.

GODDAMN IT! I STILL HAVE TO WRITE ABOUT THIS SHIT?! The writing, ok, so let’s begin again by talking about how mind-numbingly, vomit-inducingly, 9/11-orchestratingly terrible the writing is. Nothing makes sense, none of the characters speak like humans, and they just drone on and on and on about themselves about shallow observations about what’s going on via Freddy, about their stupid relationship dynamics with each other. Did the writer ever know people? Like…were they ever allowed to leave their house that they lived alone in? Maybe just to grocery shop? This one kid character, suffering from sleep deprivation, has a real “deep” line that goes “My therapist says my problems are from my past.” Yeah no shit, where would they be from, the future you stupid dumbass?! Added to this, the model turned actor who played this role apparently method acted and stayed up real late before shooting this scene. Stanislavsky can keep him.

Connie Britton’s performance in a nutshell

I’m done. I can’t anymore. I can’t even remember that I watched this anymore without getting depressed. There is no suspense present in this movie, at all, anywhere, except the never-ending fear of what they’re going to do with their newly added pedophile plot point. “Please don’t let him touch any of these kids. Please don’t show me a child actor being put in that situation for a Freddy Krueger movie.” That was going through my head during all of this. It was so bad Danny and I kept inventing reasons to pause it and do something else. It’s not even a movie, it’s the mother flipping antichrist.


Thanks for hanging in there, Danny. Here’s my ranking I guess…

  1. Dawn of the Dead (2004) – 7/10
  2. Getting cut off in traffic – 4/10
  3. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2003) – 3.5/10
  4. Friday the 13th (2009) – 3/10
  5. Having to leave a venue you just got to in order to move your car cause it might get towed cause the signage was super vague about where you could fucking park – 2.5/10
  6. The Hills Have Eyes (2006) – 2.5/10
  7. The Amityville Horror (2005) – 2/10
  8. Pepsi Blue – 1/10
  9. A Nightmare on Elm Street (2010) – Fuck right off

Very similar to my rankings, Mike:

  1. Dawn of the Dead – 7/10
  2. Going to the dentist – 4/10
  3. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre – 3.5/10
  4. Unclogging a toilet – 3/10
  5. The Amityville Horror – 3/10
  6. The Hills Have Eyes – 3/10
  7. Friday the 13th – 3/10
  8. Dying in a skydiving accident – 1.5/10
  9. A Nightmare on Elm Street – 1/10


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