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Friday the 13th

3.8 out of 5 stars 1,229 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

No matter how many sequels they've made or how big a hit it was in 1980, it's difficult to view the first Friday the 13th as anything but a quickie designed to cram in as many elements from horror movies that had been hits in the late 1970s--most obviously, Halloween and Carrie--while adding as little as possible to the formula. Director Sean S Cunningham has an archetypal plot at his disposal as a group of attractive, shallow teenagers out in the woods to reopen a once-cursed summer camp are murdered in manners designed to show off Tom Savini's gore effects. Kevin Bacon, killed early (arrow through the throat), is the only player who went on to have a career, and he hardly stands out from the strip-Monopoly-playing, goon-acting meat-on-the-hoof teens who fall prey to the mostly unseen murderer. That it's not a total write-off is down to a few neatly edited bits of classical suspense and, two decades on, a simmering nostalgia for a world of bouffant-haired bubbleheads in short shorts (and that's just the guys) observed by edgy subjective camera as the music hisses "kill kill kill". On the DVD: Friday the 13th may be the least worthy of all horror "classics", but it's still nice to have an edition that (unlike earlier video releases) offers a 16x9-enhanced 1.85:1 restored image and a healthy dose of extras. The hard-sell trailer gives away most of the big scares, and so should be sampled after the film. The making of the movie is covered by a 20-minute "Return to Crystal Lake" featurette and a commentary track with input from many of the creatives (Cunningham, composer Harry Manfredini, stars Adrienne King and Betsy Palmer, writer Victor Miller). Some anecdotes get repeated, but there's a lot of solid background material. --Kim Newman

Product Details

  • Actors: Betsy Palmer, Adrienne King, Jeannine Taylor, Robbi Morgan, Kevin Bacon
  • Directors: Sean S. Cunningham
  • Writers: Sean S. Cunningham, Ron Kurz, Victor Miller
  • Producers: Sean S. Cunningham, Alvin Geiler, Steve Miner
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 2 (Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    R
    Restricted
  • Run Time: 95 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,229 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0000AISJT
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #527,801 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Friday the 13th" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By D. I. Shipley on September 21, 2006
Format: DVD
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.
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Format: DVD Verified 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.
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Format: DVD Verified 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.
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Format: DVD
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.

PROS
*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:)

CONS
*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.
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