Posted on: October 9, 2020 Posted by: Glacier Staff Comments: 0

Let’s get spooky, everybody! Since it is the month of October, I have decided to review some classic horror movies.This week’s review will be on a movie that I have recently just seen for the first time. The original “Friday the 13th” (1980) is widely considered a cult classic and is celebrating its 40th anniversary. No doubt in my mind this is true; however, not all cult classics mean that the film is great.

Andrew Pahl

Movie Reviewer

Disclaimer: This review DOES contain spoilers.

“Friday the 13th”,directed by Sean S. Cunningham, is the story of Camp Crystal Lake being refurbished and ready to open again after the tragic death of a child that drowned in a lake 20 years before, and then two years later, two camp counselors were killed. While the new crew begins to clean up the camp, they are stalked by a mysterious killer. 

As a basic plot for a slasher film, this film could be far worse. This is by no means a bad movie, although I have seen better.

The original “Halloween” (1978), for example, is a film that also has a basic plot, but it does so much more with it. In the case of “Friday the 13th” (1980), it is no surprise that this movie was heavily inspired by it. And honestly, this is the backbone of this series.

One thing I can praise about this film is how it sets up its kills. While I found that the movie dragged for much of the runtime, when the deaths were approaching I really enjoyed how the tension built and the score was also really good in establishing this uneasiness. 

Funny enough, this is now the third movie in a row that I am going to talk about character development. Aside from the eventual reveal of the killer, the camp counselors are certainly in the less developed category of characters for a movie. Really, these people are at this campsite to have sex and be a body count for the killer. This is a common complaint of movies in horror, specifically slashers, just rooting for the villain to kill the others because they are boring, annoying, or just flat out uninteresting. Even with the lack of empathy you may feel for these characters, they do actually play a pivotal role in this movie, but most importantly the franchise as a whole. 

The practical effects used for the kills in this movie are spectacular. This is what the franchise is really known for. Since it is a rip off of “Halloween” (1978) it had to add something more to the horror genre. And while other franchises in later years, such as “Saw,” became more gory, this truly was an addition to the genre that spiked interest. Horror movies before did not show much, and even with the low budget for this movie, the practical effects crew really showed out and brought about iconic deaths in not just this film, but the genre as a whole. 

I can surely see how this movie is a classic, the audience willed the killer into the mainstream and made an icon of the horror genre. However, as I said in the beginning, just because a film is seen as a cult classic does not mean that the movie is amazing. With that being said, I’m going to give “Friday the 13th” (1980) 3 out of 5 stars. By no means a bad movie, just a middle-of-the-pack horror movie that you can watch and have fun with on Halloween night.

This part of the review will be a SPOILER SECTION. The reveal of the killer being the mother of the child that drowned, Jason, Pamela Voorhees is a great villain to give this film. While it is kind of a dump truck of exposition giving the audience who she is and why she is killing the counselors from the first time we meet her, she is an effective villain for this movie. I actually would have preferred this movie to be a solo spinoff of the slasher genre because the premise and execution of this movie shifts towards that direction. Unfortunately, they had to go the supernatural route in the end having Jason pop up and pull Alice into the lake just to have her wake up in the hospital and establish that this is not over.