You don’t know me if you don’t know that I love Friday the 13th. It is one of the few series in human history that is great without being good. It's marred by an undue reputation, for it's not a conservative vengeance trip. At its face-burning, bed-impaling best, it is the id eating itself, reveling in the things it punishes, and it stars the hardest working man in show business. I never imagined a hockey mask could so define Horror, and yet it has, doing for my generation what horns and a pitchfork did for the Medieval world.
So when Michael Bay said his Platinum Dunes would remake Friday the 13th, I was excited. He couldn’t screw it up worse; it was already bombastic, prurient and downright dumb in every way his stuff was, only lacking the budget. He could just paste together the fun parts from a few of the movies and have a winner. Give me the hockey mask, machete and teens who should know better, and you’ll get this liberal pacifist’s money every time.
They set to release it on Friday the 13th, 2009. I looked forward to it throughout January, with such intensity that even friends who hated Horror were excited for me. Yet it was a rough period in my household, and the closer we got to that Friday, the less I thought I could justify the price of a ticket. As the sky grew orange and the shades of the trees around my house swelled, I resigned my dream. I’d just stay home and polish some short stories.
I was opening Microsoft Word when the power went out. My desk faced the windows; down the street and around the lake, every house had gone dark. My battery back-up beeped in protest as I stared outside. Dusk rushed in, turning the surrounding forest into a silhouette.
I saved everything on the computer, shut down and gathered candles. This was obnoxious, but hardly fate. I could sketch plots in my notebook and maybe finish reading the Poe’s Children anthology before bed. I was carrying the books down the stairs in search of a flashlight when I witnessed perhaps the craziest thing I’ve ever seen in my life.
Light flickered through my front windows. I peered through the curtains and found headlights. Actually, I found a figure in those headlights. It was a large, stocky man in washed out coveralls, carrying an axe over his head. He was in the street, and I swear he was looking right at me.
It took me a few moments to realize it was a neighbor home from construction work. Ironically, I only realized this when he unpacked the chainsaw from his pickup truck.
But that was enough for me. I told God and Michael Bay that they had won, I told my family goodbye, and got in the damned car. I’d go to the stupid movie instead of sitting in the dark all night. I was laughing to myself when the radio buzzed on. The Talking Heads’ “Psycho Killer” was playing.