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A Guilty Pleasure
on August 29, 2013
The Friday the 13th franchise remains one of the defining film series of the slasher flic genre. As a child I found the concept fascinating, but I wasn't allowed to watch the films. An indestructible, yet not undefeatable killer, Jason Vorhees was the archetype for film killers. An undead murderer with a simple story, an iconic mask which he nearly always removed at some point, and ridiculously risk-taking young victims just looking for a good time, this was almost a sub-category of its own.
As a film series, the story of Jason progressed, and had it's share of ridiculous moments. The low budget FX often take away from the shock value for modern audiences, and the first entry is mired down in hokey dialogue and poor acting, at least in the beginning. However, the best chapters in Jason's story are the first few. The original film finds it's own stride, and has an ending on a par with Psycho. The second chapter, which really gives Jason his due, sets up an even more sinister side of the character. Despite the fact that the iconic hockey mask doesn't get introduced until Friday the 13th part 3, these are the crucial introduction to a character who still sells Halloween masks. As a fan, I love this series, both as a horror enthusiast and as a nostalgia trip. I think the earliest chapters are the best, since the last few installments just go way over the top-ending with Jason in space AFTER supposedly being sent to hell.
Still, if you love horror, know the franchise, or just want to see what does and doesn't work in a serial killer movie, it's worth your time, especially for the first few films. They are a walk down memory lane, and a guilty pleasure.