Being near Halloween now, I always like to go through my old collection of horror flicks so with that being said, let’s take a look at one of, if not THE innovator of the slasher genre. Friday the 13th even to this day and age stands as a classic but I think what people remember most is the infamous character Jason Vorhees that stands out. However the series actually didn’t even have Jason as a principle character and maybe that was a good thing.
Friday the 13th is campy, never taken too serious but is still more serious in tone then it’s sequels hope to be. A group of yound teenagers are gathering at Camp Crystal Lake where the buildings are being renovated for a new group of children to come visit during their summer. But the movie starts us off showing an murder of two young teenagers. This gives the area a bad reputation and a local name of Camp Blood. Also there is oddball local who likes to say how dangerous the place is. He tends to pop in and out at random places and survives despite it all no less.
It doesn’t take long for the new teenagers to start dropping but there is a bit of buildup. Effort is made to give the place a good impression and how calm it could be. So when things do start hitting the fan then we are made uneasy as that sense of comfort is suddenly not there. During the murder scenes we never see who the killer is but rather the legs and feet. This makes us wonder who it is as some characters even seem to know the killer.
Eventually we have the climax with the lone survivor confronting the killer who ends up to be Jason Vorhees mother who is taking revenge on councillors as her son Jason was left unattended and drowned. While being an accident we can quite relate to these days in current events over the summer, Mrs Vorhees has become deranged with anger and grief. Times where she talks to herself as if it were her son telling her what to do is extremely creepy and well done. While she is small in stature she makes up for in a crazy mom next door which is unsettling and maybe all the more scary. She comes off as warm and caring during her somewhat sane and luring into false sense of security moments. Kudos for the acting job well done Betsy Palmer. It’s not a large role in the movie but it’s got the most impact and makes the movie.
Also when we think all is over we have a scene of Jason as a boy coming out of the water to pull into the water. It’s another classic horror movie moment and opens the movie for a sequel if need be or an amusing finale otherwise. These dream like endings would be common for both the Friday the 13th series as well as Nightmare of Elm Street.
We also have the chance to see Kevin Bacon in one of his early roles. The horror movie genre tends to be a good stepping stone for many actors to start their careers and other movies will introduce others as well. It’s a tradition that won’t soon end in my opinion.
The movie doesn’t have the gore quantity other installments will have. The goriest scene would probably be Kevin Bacon’s characters demise with an arrow through the throat. For it’s time it is done well however these days we can see the setup for that scene quite well. Got to love those latex flesh ripping. You would never think skin so stretchable. There is also some T’n’A but again, not as much as the sequels to have but it is amusing that teenagers in a forest can only think about pot and sex.
There is not a lot more that can be said about Friday the 13th except that it stands the test of time as being maybe not a scary movie these days but definitely a classic worth seeing. Forget the zombie Jason, come say hello to mama Vorhees! The plot is thin and the acting sub par but you will still have a good pop corn movie night with your friends and that’s what it is all about. Go check it out! In fact, check out the original trailer that almost shows all the kills.