FilmSpoiler-Free Reviews

Flashback Friday: Friday the 13th (1980)

So it’s Friday the 13th today and naturally this installment of Flashback Friday would feature our first trip to Camp Crystal Lake and the first time we heard the legend of Jason Voorhees.

The Friday the 13th franchise is one of the more famous horror / slasher series and has spawned over 10 sequels since its very first appearance 35 years ago in 1980.

Friday the 13th

For those of you who don’t know, Friday the 13th is about a group of camp counsellors trying to reopen a summer camp where a little boy drowned many years ago. A psychotic killer begins murdering each of the young counsellors one by one. I recently watched the very first film in the franchise, the one which introduced us to the iconic setting and it was quite an experience.

For some reason the classic horrors always seem to be the most aesthetically pleasing in terms of cinematography. Before we actually get to see who (or what) the killer is, we see its first few kills from its point of view, giving us (the viewer) the weird voyeuristic sense of actually being the killer.

This reminded me of some of my favourite classic horrors such as Psycho (1960) and Jaws (1975) which implemented the same technique. Of course it was completely necessary in this film as the killer’s identity was part of the mystery.

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In my opinion the real horror comes from the score. And what a score it is. It’s incredibly unsettling. At first you’re like, what’s that annoying sound? It’s like nails on a chalkboard. But it quickly becomes the most unnerving thing you’ve heard in your life.

The acting wasn’t amazing to be honest. But that’s not exactly what slasher films are known for. Although I must admit Betsy Palmer does a fairly good job at being creepy mom, Mrs. Voorhees.

I recommend this film for anyone for anyone who enjoys good slasher films like Halloween (1978) and Scream (1996). Also you will love this film if you are familiar with the franchise but haven’t seen the original yet. Or even if you have seen it but haven’t watched it in a while, today is as good (and appropriate) a day as ever.

Rating: 7 / 10

Dean Ravell

Writer/director. Fascinated with all kinds of film and just wants to be part of the wonderful world of cinema.