Friday the 13th (1980)





Betsy Palmer, Adrienne King, Harry Crosby, Laurie Bartram, Jeannine Taylor, Kevin Bacon, Mark Nelson, Robbi Morgan, Peter Brouwer, Rex Everhart, Ronn Carroll, Ron Millkie, Walt Gorney, Willie Adams, Debra S. Hayes, Ari Lehman


In 1957, a young boy named Jason (Ari Lehman) drowned at Camp Crystal Lake. In 1958, two camp counselors were murdered. In 1962, fires and bad water thwarted the camp's reopening. Now, in 1979, Steve Christy (Peter Brouwer) finally reopens Camp Crystal Lake with the help of a few new counselor. Unfortunately, someone isn't happy about what's going on in the camp and enjoys playing kill the counselor.


My first thought at the end of the film was, "Was this film really that scary back in the 80's?", because besides from giving birth to Jason, I struggle to see its greatness.

Slightly scary, Friday the 13th has nothing memorable, only the aura of legend that has been crafted over the years. 

It's hard to find something that works. The script is barely there. The absurd story, and the non-terrifying murders are joined by a killer that just shows up at the end of the film, denying the surprise effect because nobody has an idea of who the hell that person is.

This film condones some of the horrors clich├ęs - the couple having sex dies, the car doesn't start, and the ugly one survives. The action sequences are also quite bad. The fighting looks terrible and completely unrealistic.

The acting is another weak point. Adrienne King is great at screaming: if only her acting was that powerful. The other kids are not better. Betsy Palmer easily steals the show, even though she only shows up for 15 minutes circa.

Besides from Kevin Bacon's character dead - I don't like him much -, the good part is the music. I don't know how, but it was chosen properly, and manages to delivers some thrills.


Crazy Ralph: You're doomed! You're all doomed!


  1. Aside from Betsy Palmer's performance, there is practically NO good acting in the entire franchise. These movies aren't exactly attracting high caliber thespians. It's low-budget schlock cinema that entered our collective conscience at the right time. Yes, in 1980, this film had a far different effect than it does now. For one, most of those cliches you mentioned were put into play by this movie, and Halloween, which it gleefully and wonderfully ripped off. The graphic nature of the violence was also fairly new, and along with the sex and drugs sparked quite the controversy back then. It was actually debated on Nightline whether or not it should be banned. Of course, that just made people want to see it even more. Audiences hadn't seen anything quite like it, before. Yes, there was Halloween, but Friday the 13th took the concept to absurdists extremes.In those extremes is where it excels. It's dark comedy drenched in its morbid sense of humor. The stupidity of the victims, the abundance of convenient problems they face (like the car not starting), and the inventiveness of the kills all make it a twisted good time. And that music is damn unnerving. With all that in play, it's become something that is at least as influential as Halloween, if not more in helping spawn the slasher genre. So many movies after this would follow the template of a masked man stalking teens/young adults in an isolated location who are just there to party. If you haven't guessed, I'm a huge fan of this movie. That said, if you're just seeing it 35 years after the fact and probably having seen dozens, maybe hundreds of horror flicks, and being a discerning viewer the film's flaws stand out far more than they did in the genre's infancy from whence it came. I mean, the things you point out are fair. I just tend to overlook them, either due to nostalgia or having developed a twisted sense of humor.

  2. Ah such a shame to know this one didn't work out for you even though it is a well known classic. I know that the majority of movies based off of this one these days are actually comedies, so maybe this was intending to be