Friday The 13th (1980)


A group of young students arrive at Camp Crystal Lake and are picked off one by one by an unseen killer.

The original Friday The 13th was an unashamed cash in on the success of Halloween and it’s odd how the franchises became a kind of arms race of idiocy as each sequel became more and more absurd and outlandish as they tried to outdo each other. Neither killer from the original films were as supernatural or indestructible as their sequels suggested, each really just very human, homicidal nut jobs. But whereas Halloween had John Carpenter’s directorial skill and Donald Pleasance’s character to add an interesting dynamic to the equation, Friday The 13th is just an excuse to get some obnoxious teens into various states of undress while a cameraman lurks behind trees. The dialogue is extremely trite, there is no characterisation at all and the killer is not even mentioned until the end when we are “rewarded” with a feeble rip off of Psycho’s Norman Bates. The entire production is just plain amateurish, particularly the performances and even Kevin Bacon who became one of the best actors of his generation is going to struggle when he has lines like “A storm’s gonna show. It’s gonna tear down this valley like a son of a gun.” to deliver.

Somehow this film has achieved cult classic status, but it’s really nothing more than an amateurishly executed, piss-weak serial killer movie that seems over long and repetitive even at 90 minutes.



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