71 of 82 people found the following review helpful
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.
45 of 51 people found the following review helpful
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.
49 of 56 people found the following review helpful
on July 30, 2009
Format: DVDVerified Purchase
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.
53 of 61 people found the following review helpful
on October 5, 2007
Format: DVDVerified Purchase
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.
29 of 34 people found the following review helpful
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.
31 of 38 people found the following review helpful
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.
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on May 5, 2005
Format: DVDVerified Purchase
Friday the 13th is just about the only slasher movie I've ever seen that actually built an atmosphere of psychological terror. A lot is said about how this movie intensified the use of brutal violence and gore in horror movies, but it also managed to be scary in a more subtle sense(yes, I know the word subtle is not exactly the first thing that comes to mind when you think of slasher films, but it did apply to this one.) As the people are killed off, one girl is gradually and steadily isolated in the forest.The way that the action unfolds, she has no idea that anything is wrong until well into the dead of night. Of course, by this time the phone and car have been rendered useless by the killer. Perhaps the most effective part of the film lies in how the audience is drawn vicariously into the girl's predicament. Since the identity of the killer is not revealed to the audience until it is also revealed to her, the viewer is kept just as offbalance and confused as she is. The only other time I've seen this sort of plot device work as well was in the Blair Witch Project. That movie also used gradual isolation and confusion to arouse terror in the characters, and was just as effective in drawing the audience into the plight of the people they were watching. By the latter half-hour of Friday the 13th, it is natural to feel keen empathy with the heroine, because the movie is shot in such a way that we can easily imagine ourselves in her dilemma. One moment in particular stands out for me. When she is awakened, and is not really sure why. I can remember numerous instances in which I was roused from sleep by a noise, but could not tell to save my life what that noise had been. When it happens to her, she isn't sure if it was the scream of her friend or something else. Things like this go a long way towards building an empathy between a character and the audience.
My favorite slasher movie is Halloween. I'd rank Friday the 13th second, in a tie with Prom Night(since the slasher subgenre is my personal favorite type of movie, these rankings signify a lot more coming from me than they would from the average person). While Halloween brought terror into a comfortable, middle-class neighborhood, and Prom Night ventured into the corridors of a high school, Friday the 13th used a dilapidated looking summer camp. Maybe it's just me, but ugly settings really affect the tone of a movie. The interiors of those cabins were not what I'd call inviting. Not that ugly places are necessarily scarier, but they are just so relentlessly depressing to look at. It's like, Jesus, how would you like the last thing you ever see to be that shower room where the girl gets the axe to the face? (If you think that one is ugly, wait until you get a load of Jason's bachelor pad in part 2 of the series.)
Yet, for all the dreariness of the cabins, this is a visually stunning film. The pristine beauty of Crystal Lake. The sense of foreboding, as night falls and the storm approaches. The violence of the night, not only in terms of the obvious onscreen butchery, but as reflected in the ferocity of the thunderstorm that serves as backdrop to much of the action. The final moments are not only beautiful, but also kind of surreal. Friday the 13th has a truly great finale, and you have to watch the final scene carefully in order to fully appreciate it.
At any rate, if you like this sort of movie, this is one of the absolute essentials. Although I like slasher movies, very few of them actually scared me when I saw them for the first time. This one did. It manages to create an atmosphere all of its own, which is rare. I might also add that the resolution of the mystery is quite good. As one might imagine, there is a 'surprise' ending. The only problem is that modern audiences have seen everything, so they automatically suspect anyone who seems 'normal' or 'harmless'. The minute someone pops up who seems friendly, especially if it's towards the end of the film, everybody knows they must be the killer. So the surprise element is pretty much wasted on a contemporary audience. But it's still a strong ending.
I would highly recommend this. Most people who criticize these films are referring to the later versions, in which all pretense of being scary has been abandoned in favor of juvenile humor and mindless action. It wasn't like that in the beginning. The original Friday the 13th puts you right into the summer camp with the victims, and that effect only intensifies as the film progresses.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on October 16, 2000
Format: VHS Tape
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.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
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.
45 of 58 people found the following review helpful
on February 8, 2009
Format: Blu-rayVerified Purchase
a few months ago when i heard paramount was releasing friday the 13th UNCUT for the first time in the US on blu-ray, i thought for the first time they had come to their senses and were going to finally give us a good release of this movie...man, was i wrong!!
first of all, let's look at this new revamped cover art. it looks like it was made by a high school student using photoshop for the first time. the arms are not proportionate to each other and the forearm of the one holding the knife looks deformed. i don't know what's up with the squiggly line that makes up the right leg under 'uncut'--i think it was supposed to look like creases in the pants, but it doesn't. it looks like bad photoshop clone-stamping. basically, it's amateur work from a professional company. i can't believe they wouldn't touch it up some before releasing it to the masses.
second, the movie is ZOOMED IN. normally i wouldn't notice something like this, but they've cut out like half the shot from previous releases...'Friday the 13th' in the opening credits actually get's cropped off at the top. i compared this to the previous paramount DVD release and Warner's uncut overseas DVD, and they both have a significant margin above the name. you notice it other places too...when the couple at the beginning is flattening out the blanket on the floor--completely cut out of the shot, when you could see it before. marcy's buttcrack when she's sitting on the bed in her panties with K.Bacon, completely cut out of the shot, when you could see it before....i always loved that buttcrack shot as a kid!! now it's gone!!!! if you grew up with this movie like i did, you'll definitely notice it throughout the movie...every shot is right up in the actors's faces when you knew that before you were seeing clear down past their shoulders.
as for extras, there's a few cool interviews, but most of it is recycled from previous releases.
'LOST TALES FROM CAMP BLOOD' is the worst piece of crap anyone's ever created! it's a mini-movie (filmed recently, so in no way pertains to a release of the original F13th). a couple is awakened by an intruder, so one at a time, they go downstairs and call people's names for about 5 minutes. then they die gruesome deaths at the hand of some bald dude who looks nothing like jason. all this while the score of the original movie plays in the background. I HATED THIS. apparently this is all paramount thinks a F13th movie is...they must have missed the fact that F13th required creativity, talent, a script, and good filmmaking.
all in all, the only thing they got right is they finally released it uncut. everything else is wrong and a step down from previous releases. the hi-def picture was okay but i was fairly unimpressed...probably because all i could think about was how weird it looks zoomed in like that. if it were zoomed out to its true ratio, it would have made the picture look clearer and less grainy.
paramount is a disgrace to F13th. they always disappoint me beyond my expectations.