[pullquote cite=”” type=”left, right”][amazon text=Amazon&template=carousel&chan=That Film Guy&asin=B002AHHOFA][/pullquote] The late 1970s and early 1980s saw a host of ˜slasher’ films released into the market. Based on the popularity of the original Halloween, these films helped to solidify the genre in a similar way that Saw and Hostel have done for ˜torture porn’ or Paranormal Activity and The Blair Witch Project have for ˜found footage.’ While many have tried to take Halloween’s crown as the king of slasher films, it is only Friday the 13th that has ever come close.
Friday the 13th introduces us to Jason Vorhees and his family and sees a group of teenagers at Crystal Lake Camp butchered for their various ‘sinful’ indiscretions. After the harsh bullying and murder of young boy Jason at Camp Crystal lake, the camp based there is shut down, until a new group of teenagers venture up there to reopen it and make it available to local young people. After ignoring various warnings from locals, the teenagers setup in the run-down camp for the night and are mysteriously killed one-by-one by an unknown assailant.
The plot for Friday the 13th is so clichÃ©d now that it’s almost impossible to watch it without knowing exactly what’s going to happen, but it is important to remember that this was on the first films to delve into this territory. Upon rewatching it, the first thing you’ll notice is that it’s not so much an original film in its own right, but rather a patchwork of some of the best horror films of all time.
The opening of Friday the 13th is a lot like Halloween, the score is just like Psycho, the ending (without wanting to spoil it) also draws from Alfred Hitchcock’s most famous work, while even having time for a Carrie-like twist. The terror and tension is built in a similar way to The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, while the cast of characters are a veritable whose who from any horror film in the preceding and proceeding years.
Yet somehow all of these elements work perfectly well in unison and what the audience is left with is a new story that is entirely recognizable. It’s this sort of feeling that made the original film so popular and created the numerous spin-offs and sequels. And for those who know their horror film literature, or are particular fans of Scream will know exactly who is doing the killing in Friday the 13th, even though it’s not the most obvious candidate.