on September 21, 2006
I was working in a cinema in 1980 when this film was first released, No one expected it to take a light and it opened in one of the complex's smallest screens. Big mistake. From day one queues formed for this film and many wannabe punters were somewhat peeved for being turned away. Those who got in though experienced a genuinely scary horror film and it remains one of the best audience participation films that I have ever seen. Throughout the film, the suspense runs along and builds up to a crescendo prior to each slaying or to a false moment of fear.
The ending, however is something else. Sure it ain't exactly original but boy is it effective. I have never seen an audience scream so loudly and in total unison, and have some people visibly shaken and in tears sometimes afterwards.... Night after night, the result was the same and Friday The 13th became one of the 'sleepers' of 1980. Watch out too for a young Kevin Bacon as one of the teens in peril.
The passage of time has seen it take its place in the pantheon of really scary horror films and deservedly so. If you have not yet seen this film, then give it a go. Enjoy and be prepared to be scared.
on July 29, 2009
I've already recorded my thoughts on the original Friday the 13th. I think it's among the top two or three greatest slasher films ever made. It has a kind of 'Blair Witch Project' feel about it, as you never see who or what you are dealing with until very close to the end. This creates an aura of dread, as well as a nearly tangible feeling that these characters are pretty much doomed.
I don't waste too much time mincing words about such matters-to me, this is a great movie. Not just a great slasher film, but a great film, by ANY standards. And it continues to grow on me. By now, I've seen it around 100 times, but I continue to like it better over time.
One word of caution, though. They refer to it as 'uncut',as if this is a big deal. I expected there to be major differences, such as reinserted deleted scenes or something of that nature. There isn't. So don't expect to get anything radically different than what you've had in the past. In fact, the major difference-the death scene of Kevin Bacon-looked better BEFORE. Some things get cut for a reason.
But the picture and sound quality are outstanding. The other special features are okay. But if you are satisfied with the version you have at present, there is no overwhelming reason to replace your old dvd with this one.
A lot has been said about this being a graphically violent film. That may be the case, up to a point. But I believe that it's often what you DON'T see that most powerfully affects your imagination. And that's where this movie really sets itself apart. The killer is hardly ever shown, up until the final twenty minutes,but their presense hovers ominously and continually over the entire movie.
For example, you could consider the scene where the girl is brushing her teeth at the sink. Off to her far left, we see a shower curtain shift a couple of inches. We, as the audience, realize the implications: if she goes back there, she will be killed. She,of course, is oblivious to the danger. The killer is back there, silently waiting. The movement of the shower curtain is so subtle, so understated.........yet you know full well what it means.
Most of the horror movies I have sat through, even taken in their entirety, simply do not compare with that brief, seemingly trivial scene. Mystery, dread, suspense,horror, tension-all found, in abundance, in a scene that only lasts a minute or two.
I regard this as a masterpiece.
on October 5, 2007
What can I really say that hasn't already been said about this first venture into the life of Jason Voorhees? Before the Blair Witch was haunting the woods, before the werewolves of Dog Soldiers were stomping around in the dark, before countless other copy-cat wannabes, there was the menacing killer of Friday the 13th.
To be sure, John Carpenter hit the nail on the head a few years prior with the classic Halloween, but Friday the 13th also opened audience's eyes to a new breed of horror movie - the gory serial killing scream-fest.
For those in the know, Jason doesn't make an appearance until Part 2, but his legacy is revealed in fine family fashion here. The simple plot entails a small boy who drowns at a summer camp while the counselors are busy getting busy. Needless to say, his mom is rather pissed and unforgiving, and Jason just might not be dead...
The killings, for early 80's, are quite inventive - an ax through the head, an arrow through the neck, and lots of fun at the archery range are just a few of the treats in store. Effects were good because the master Tom Savini was just getting his shoes muddy and honing his skills. Love it.
Kevin Bacon, for those of you who were born under a rock, makes his screen debut here, rivaling Johnny Depp's nasty demise in A Nightmare on Elm Street.
The ending is one of those great surprises in film. If you didn't gasp or scream the first time you saw it, you're lying.
No horror fan should miss this. The sequels however, particularly after the 3rd one, can be thrown in the trash and burned. Ugh.
on June 19, 2009
Oddly enough i found myself enjoying this movie quite a bit, sure there were a few parts towards the end where i wanted to fast forward, but nothing to make me wanna shut it off. This movie is far far superior to the absolutely horrid My Bloody Valentine, which is about the worst attempt at a horror flick i've ever seen. Anyways moving on here is a short review using pros and cons about the movie.
*The actors can actually act, some better than others.
*The comical parts are actually funny, (one is unintentional as a body flies from the window above and smashes a windshield mr TOUGH blonde guy screams like a girl)! I rewond it a few times!
*Its scary in a very realistic tense way.
*Jason looks bigger and badder than ever, the way he finds his mask in this film is very cool.
*All the characters have there own unique personality, and the girls arent just stupid bimbos who run.
*It actually HAS a plot, the guy who is looking for his sister gone missing.
*Bloody but not even nearly as bad as a movie like CRANK-HIGH VOLTAGE.
*The over all atmosphere and production(direction) is well executed.
*Great looking girls(much better than the 80's and 90's) with a few great sex scenes:)
*Every actor except maybe 3 look like they just stepped out of GQ or Vogue magazine(put at least one fatty in there).
*Some obvious cliche' parts of why didnt they just swim to the other side, or why didnt they just run(faster), or hide.
*Some of the killing scenes are a bit drawn out(die already).
*Jason has become an expert archer.(laughs)
*The people you do think will survive do survive,(well sorta)
*Some of the script seems a little off in places, or confused.
*A few parts don't make sense, plot wise.
*The usual, he kills everyone very very easily except one person who always seems to be the toughest.
*Also Friday the 13th, is NEVER mentioned in this movie.
Other than the for mentioned which can easily be overlooked, unlike a lot of horror films, it really is a worth while watch. I watched it the first time alone, but plan on watching it with a group, or just one girl, at some point. So though i'm not a big splatter horror fan(more of a psychological horror buff) this was not bad at all. Just a few usual cliche's and a few plot mistakes here and there. Also the people are just a little TO beautiful, but hey isnt that what a good horror film is all about. Good looking people must be easier to kill!!! HA.
PS-Jasons last name is not mentioned either, same dude? Who knows. Plus sometimes in this he's an emotional little big ole psychopath. Poor Jas.
on September 5, 2013
I remember seeing this film when I was 9 yrs old, 2 wks before going to summer camp. My parents didn't know what kind of film it was and neither did I. This flim really made my skin crawl. It also made me become more cautious every year I went off to camp. I didn't see the uncut version first so I was spared some of the gore. After seeing the uncut version, it's practically the same , except there is more to the killing scenes. This is the best Friday the 13th of the franchise, next to part 2 and 6. It's a great film and as it did me, there is a lesson it will teach you, TO BE MORE CAREFUL OF YOUR SURROUNDINGS.
Kris L. CocKayne
on December 10, 2006
There is so much more to this movie that anyone gives it credit for. When you mention Friday the 13th, many people either dismiss it for being "just a slasher flick" or a "Halloween rip-off." Most people do not see the artistic value in Friday the 13th because they simply do not expect it to be in this kind of movie or do not want to acknowledge it, as a result of already having their closed (typical critic know it all) minds made up.
First off, Friday the 13th is not a Halloween rip-off. When Carpenter's equally classic Halloween generated top box office revenue in 1978 and 1979, many eyebrows raised within the film industry. Among those were the brows of a few people in particular. Sean (director) Cunningham, Victor (credited writer) Miller, Ron (unaccredited writer) Kurz, Steve (producer) Miner, and Georgetown (independent film production company) Productions all wanted in on the profit made by the Halloween. The only sensible thing they could think of doing was to produce a similar product, which became Friday the 13th.
Sean wanted to make the same kind of money that John made, but he knew he would have to make his film a little different. Instead of just having a walking masked madman on the loose, he and Victor came up with a story that is quite brilliant. Sure, certain scenes in Friday the 13th may have been taken from Halloween, but you can say the same thing about Halloween taking some scenes from Psycho. Friday the 13th, whether it was on purpose or not, utilized a couple of really good themes in their story telling, beyond the typical moral theme that everyone associates with these movies like sex leads to death.
The first theme that Friday the 13th throws in your face is the idea of isolated mass hysteria. Camp Crystal Lake and the town of Crystal Lake are haunted. They are not haunted by ghosts and goblins, but by unsuppressed dark memories of a little boy drowning and a string of unsolved murders among other things, in which all have to do with Camp Crystal Lake. Every person in town believes that there is a "Death Curse" upon the camp, and they refer to the place as "Camp Blood." When Annie walks into the restaurant and asks some people how she can get to Camp Crystal Lake, they all look at her and two people try to warn her to stay away from the place. They say the place is jinxed and has a death curse.
Psychology is only a little more then 100 years old, but we know that parents have a strong "connection" to their child even after the umbilical chord is severed. For a parent to have to burry their own child is probably the most devastating thing that can happen in their life. Mrs. Voorhees looses her son to a tragedy and little by little she snaps. She tries to give him life by giving him a voice at one point (just like Norman Bates did for his mother in Psycho), and that voice tells her to murder those responsible for her son's death.
Of course for the horror fan there is enough blood and murder to please. All in all Friday the 13th is a powerful tragic but frightening story of love, loss, superstition, and murder with an ending that is sure to make one jump (no pun intended) right out of one's seat. Also, not revealing the murderer until the end makes the film more suspenseful then showing the murderer in the opening sequence like Halloween did.
on October 16, 2000
Written and directed by Sean S Cunningham, Starring Kevin Bacon...Make-up: Tom Savini. This early trendsetter spawned 8 sequels and set a new type of standard in the slacher genre. This bloody tale is about some youngsters camping around the area of Christal Lake. But what they don't know is that the camp has a curse, namely Jason's curse. Jason is(that most of us know) a young kid that drowned back in the 50's wile the dreadful teenagers made love. Now he is back for revenge, or is it his mother?
What more can I say then that this movie is amazing. Sean S Cunningham takes the genre one more step further then Halloween and adds a simple revenge story but whit a great touch of atmosphere and loads of gore. Fx guru Tom Savini gives us some truly terrifying death scenes (who can ever forget Kevin Bacons harpoon trough the chest scene) that really deliver entertainment to us dark souls. The Psycho inspired music and the dark settings give Friday the 13th a creepy stile. This is a historic flick in horror history that any serious fan of the genre should add in there horror collection. Many people underrate this kinds of films. I suggest you don't. Those people are boring moralists that are all to small minded. This flick deserves to be a classic as much as Psycho or Silence of the Lambs.
Earn your self to see this blockbuster. You will have a lot of fun seeing it (trust me). Remember this was one of those movies that started the hole area of 80's horror.
Rating: 5 stars of 5 possible.
on February 17, 2009
This is a straight forward slasher film. No jokes. Simple story. Cliche'd setting, and one dimensional characters that show maybe one recognizable and memorable trait before they're dispatched. This is exactly like the earlier Friday films on every level. I knew going in that this was billed as a remake, even though Jason is the star, and he didn't really appear in the first Friday the 13th, but this isn't really a remake of the first film. It's more of a greatest hits album of Friday's 1 through 4. I swear. Jason gets his mask in this film(part 3), the main characters are just partying up at a cabin(part 4), Clay is searching for his lost sister and eventually becoming a Jason hunter(part 4), we get a quick recap of the end of the first Friday with Mrs. Vorhees and her loss of head, the way our 'final girl' tricks Jason at the end is similar to that of part 2, the ending of the film has basically the same 'surprise' jump scare, and finally Jason himself is more like he was in the first four films. The way he's built, the way he moves, the fact that he's still human. We even get an appearance of the sack doning Jason from part 2. Fans of the series will smile when they see some of the kills from Fridays' past making cameos as well, but they have been tweaked or put in different locations. Just two quick examples are an arrow through the head and a death by sleeping bag. Yes, they are throwbacks, but they play out in a slightly different manner in this one.
Here's the problem and the reason for the average star rating: THERE'S NOTHING NEW OR ORIGINAL IN THIS FILM. The writers and director don't subvert or transcend the material, in other words they don't really make it their own beyond the new glossy look. The only original thing they seem to have added was Jablonsky's score, which if you thought the original score was obvious, wait 'til your ear drums are blown out by the soundtrack in this thing! To say the music has scary stings would be putting it lightly. They are more likened to musical explosions whenever something scary happens or Jason just happens to appear. It's cheap scare stuff, but it will make you jump just for the startling nature of loud noises out of nowhere. It's kind of like clapping your hands together really hard right next to a sleeping geriatric's ear. Not horror movie innovation or genius going on here.
People are going to go on and on about how much faster and stronger Jason is in this thing, but it's all just revisionist history. Watch the original five, Jason was very agile and quick. They'll also go on and on about how he's smarter. He's not. He's about as smart as he was in the originals. The only wrinkle that is new to Jason's character is the whole survivalist in the woods thing. Sure, you could surmize that about the originals, but this film gives you the visuals to show what an accomplished woodsman and hunter our friend Mr. Vorhees is. Plus, we get a Jason lair. This is an upgrade from the shack he used to have in part two where the only valuable thing it held was his mother's severed head, YUCK.
So, the film is watchable and fairly fun in that old Friday the 13th way, but it's nothing special. It's not really scary. It's violent, but no more than the originals and far less-so then the recent Saws and others of that ilk. To call the characters card-board would be an insult to card-board. But, in Friday the 13th land the characters were never the point. The actors play their stereotypes as believable as possible, which is something this installment has over the originals, which were peppered with bad dialogue and bad acting. And yes, I call this an installment, because it plays less like a remake and more like FRIDAY THE 13 PART 3.5. This film could easily fit between parts 3 and 4 and it would feel natural.
***SIDE NOTE---Friday the 13th 3.5 is not a literal opinion on how this film could fit into the whole series. It's a glib reaction to the lack of originality in this remake. It was a reference to certain films that get re-released on dvd with new scenes and are given a .# added to the title. Example would be Spider-Man 2.1. Geeeezzzz people....***
So, old-school fans won't hate it, I suspect, but will rather feel comfortable in it's old-school conventions, but at the same time feel slightly empty at the fact that nothing new was offered to an already paper thin mythos. New-school fans may love it, and find it original, especially if they've never seen an true balls-to-the-wall slasher film, but rather post-modern stuff like Scream and I Know What You Did Last Summer. This film's violence hurts and there are no cute remarks from the characters right before they buy it. Death hurts again in this film.
My only thought at the end is, why remake this? If they had nothing new to say or add to the franchise or character then, what was the point? How was this creativly satisfying to anyone? I dunno, you decide, but that's just the thoughts running through my mind at the moment....
DVD SPECIAL FEATURES UPDATED REVIEW 6/07/09
Yeah, New Line really skimped on this one, at least on the dvd end of things! We only get two special features, an 11 minute making of doc and three deleted scenes. All the deleted scenes are uselss. We get an alternate death scene for the Donnie character who helps Jason make an important fashinon decision with his hockey mask, it's more gory and really poorly filmed and edited. We get another scene with some cops, YAWN, and finally a shorter and less gooey demise for Mr. Voorhees. The doc is filler. No extenssive details about anything, just how excited and 'kewl' the whole experience of remaking Jason --BLAH, BLAH, BLAH...Totally LAME! Though, we do get some glimpses of Derek Mears suiting up and being put into his Jason make-up. Plus, we get some alterante angles from the opening 'death of Mrs. Vorhees' prologue that gives the viewer a good look at Jason as a deformed child.
The movie itself looks great and has been extended by about 1 minute. Yes, there's more Jason and some of the violence has been put back in with gory results, which is the real reason these films have endured anyway. Though, the only major difference I noticed was in the token Asian guy's death by screw driver, it's longer and bloodier. Either the movie is going to get some double dipping action in the near or far future or the newly sold New Line, now with Warner Bros., will be putting the good special features on their Blu-Rays. Though, after looking up the Blu-ray specs, not really. There's one extra special feature called 'Hacking back, slashing forward'. This may be the more informative doc on the film's making, dunno. There's also some BD live stuff, but who actually gives a crap about that?
I would've appreciated a commentary by the director and especially the very funny screenwriters. Though, on the upside, there are extenssive and more telling interviews with them, and actor Derek Mears(Jason), on the very good 2-disc dvd release of HIS NAME WAS JASON.
on September 24, 2015
Some facts about the movie: Friday the 13th was directed and produced by Sean S. Cunningham. The gore and makeup effects were done by the great Tom "Sex Machine Savini. The musical score was by Harry Manfredini. The alternate title to the movie is A Long Night at Camp Blood. It was shot in and around Blairstown and Hope New Jersey. The camp used in the movie is a real life Boy Scout camp named, Camp No-Be-Bo-Sco. The movie was distributed by Paramount. The budget was $550,000. The opening weekend saw an amount of $5,816,321. It's total domestic gross was $39,754,601. Finally, it's theatrical release was on May 9, 1980.
The plot: After singing some songs with the kids, two horny camp counselors go to the attic to have sex. Meanwhile, someone unknown and unseen is creeping up the steps. This person stabs the male counselor and the female counselor is frantically moving around while cornered, then there's a freeze frame of her screaming. The opening credits roll including an eerie theme song by Harry Manfredini. The movie now focuses on a beautiful teen girl named Annie who got a job at as a cook at Camp Crystal Lake. She enters a small town and comes to a diner and gets a ride from a trucker named Enos. They come accross a weird old man known as Crazy Ralph. Crazy Ralph makes claim that Camp Crystal Lake is cursed. They just ignore his warning(s) and go on. Enos then tells Annie about the past misfortunes at Camp Crystal Lake; including things like, the drowning of an 11 year old boy named Jason Voorhees in 1957 and the water going bad in 1962. The new owner Steve Christy continues to keep the camp going all the same. We next meet 3 other counselors to be, Ned, Marcie, and Jack(Kevin Bacon). Next you meet Steve Christy and his handy girl Alice and Bill. Annie next accepts a ride from a silent and unseen driver. The driver passes the turn to the camp, Annie jumps out of the car while it's moving, the driver chases her, and slits her throat. Meanwhile, an obnoxious cop named Officer Dorf is searching for Crazy Ralph. No one knows that Annie is dead nor do they know the danger that's soon to befall them. Who the killer is is anyone's guess.
This movie utilizes cool methods such as first person camera perspectives are a very clever and effectively scary element that's often used whenever the killer is watching and stalking the victims. The creeping camera pans work very well also, to say nothing of the killers eerie ki ki ki ki ma ma ma ma sounds are bound to send shivers up your spine.
The night scenes are all beautifully lit. The night shots of the full moon make for some incredibly creepy feelings of unease. I particularly love the crossfade including the full moon, Alice running from the killer, and the up close shot of the killers mouth. Totally brilliant.
Tom Savini's gore effects are incredibly realistic looking and at the time, beyond compare. The kill scenes are very unique and a great way to start the franchise off.
Sadly there's nothing much going on with the nudity, but that doesn't ruin anything.
Some of my favorite kill scenes are: One of the counselors getting an arrow through the throat, the axe to the eye that another one got, and Annie's throat being slit. All are very realistic looking and flawless.
SPOILER ALERT: I will talk about the ending some. If you haven't seen this movie than you might want to skip this part.
After it's discovered that Mrs.Voorhees is the killer and after quite a chase and struggle between them, the slo-mo used for when Alice charges at Mrs. Voorhees and decapitates her with a machete is just awesome and effective. The gore effect used for her head coming off is very well done. The next scene where Alice is in a boat with the peaceful and cheery new age like music in the background and Alice seeing the cops on land giving off a false sense of security was genius. Especially since what next transpires is little Jason jumps out of water and pulls Alice down in the drink. Lastly, when at the hospital Alice tells the sheriff about what had happened and he never came up with anything regarding a young boy jumping out of the water. That being the case, what really happened is a total mystery. The mystery and ambiguity to that ending is a very practical closer to the movie.
END OF SPOILERS
Overall, If you love a good slasher and/or 80's horror movie, with such events as beautiful and sexy people, realistic looking gore effects, campy characters, a complete murder mystery that keeps you guessing, well lit night scenes, eerie music, first person stalker camera perspectives, a location that boasts both an incredible sense of atmosphere as well as isolation, great suspense, and very unique and original kill scenes than this great classic slasher should prove to be right up your alley.
on June 13, 2008
Well, like another reviewer thought, I thought it would be cool to review "Friday the 13th" on...Friday the 13th! If you're a horror movie fan, there's a good chance you've already seen this at least once, but if you haven't, well you're in for a treat!
"Friday the 13th" is one of my favorite horror movies of all time. The forest atmosphere, the suspense, the heart-pounding terror and multiple slasher kills! Not to mention an excellent chase scene and old-school moviegoing fun! This movie is a landmark for the slasher sub-genre. Even though the original 1978 "Halloween" was an excellent movie full of suspense and terrifying scenes, it wasn't gory. "Friday the 13th" added the gore factor and set the stage for many, many slasher films to follow. Betsy Palmer, Adrienne King and all the others set the stage for the most dreaded day of the year...Friday the 13th! Grab some popcorn and iced tea and dig this one, movie fans! Thanks for the time, and peace.