"They Were Warned...They Are Doomed...and on Friday the 13th, Nothing Will Save Them."
"Pure slasher goodness! Alex Sandell, Juicy Cerebellum
|Terror and suspense abound in this 24-hour nightmare of blood. Camp Crystal Lake has been shuttered for over 20 years due to several vicious and unsolved murders. The camp's new owner and seven young counselors are readying the property for re-opening despite warnings of a "death curse" by local residents. The curse proves true on Friday the 13th as one by one each of the counselors is stalked by a violent killer. This film is widely acclaimed for its horrifying and creative murder sequences.|
"Suprisingly scary and atmospheric, especially compared to its garish sequels... Jon Niccum, Lawrence Journal-World
"A hugely influential film that contributed to the 1980s horror boom. Matt Ford, BBC Online
"The slasher king. Scott Weinberg, eFilmCritic.com
"A true horror classic, the Great Original Summer Camp Slasher... SlasherPool.com
Despite repeated warnings to stay away, a group of fun-loving but none-too-bright teenagers set out to reopen the eerie Camp Crystal Lake, which closed 20 years earlier after a series of bizarre and unexplained deaths. Now someone is lurking in the woods, spying on the happy campers, and plotting a gory, grisly revenge on those who would disturb the camp's slumber. A horror classic that set the standard for slasher flicks of the 1980s.
Cast & Crew
"...Consistently creepy, it's fitted with the best jump ending in movie history..."
"The real draw is makeup F/X man Tom Savini, the Michelangelo of mayhem." -- Grade: B
Classic-Horror 6 of 10
Judged on its own merits, this first batch of grisly murders at Camp Crystal Lake is a decent little piece of B-Movie exploitation, catering to teens with healthy doses of their two favorite 80s entrees: sex and violence. However, the original Friday the 13th's reputation has been sullied not only by its imitators but also by its own inferior sequels...Though not the genesis of the stalk and slash genre, Friday the 13th established the rules of the game. If characters have sex, they will be killed before the post-humping sweat dries on their bodies. If anyone says the words "I'll be right back," they will be killed within 60 seconds...It's a formula that thrives on simplicity. We are introduced to a group of nubile teenagers, with just enough exposition to show they are horny and not too smart, then a deranged killer systematically hacks them up one by one. As far as the hacking up is concerned, the film features excellent gore effects from carnage maestro Tom Savini. Disappointingly, Friday the 13th isn't all that bloody, and the gross factor never comes close to Savini's work in 1978's Dawn of the Dead...Benefiting from its low budget and Harry Menfredini's score (entirely ripped-off from Bernard Hermmann, though it's a well-done rip-off), Friday the 13th ends up smack in the middle of the slasher pack. Lacking the dark humor of Black Christmas (1974) or the claustrophobic suspense of Halloween (1978), but also not awful enough to achieve cult status, the window of enjoyment for the film lies in youth, when the per-adolescent mind can still muster enough imagination to find a machete wielding madman in the woods terrifying...For most people, that sense of imagination subsides around the age of 12 or 13. If you're lucky enough to experience the movie before then, you just might enjoy Friday the 13th.
- Matt Mulcahey
DVD Times 7 of 10
Friday The 13th wasn't the first 'Slasher Movie'. It wasn't even the first of the cycle inaugurated by the extraordinary success of John Carpenter's Halloween. But it was the first of that cycle to be a genuine popular success...Friday The 13th was not only a hit, it was a phenomenon. Although it was slow to find its feet, positive word of mouth began to ensure that it was to be the big horror movie of 1980, eclipsing more reputable genre releases such as Stanley Kubrick's The Shining. It's become so iconic, so representative of the sub-genre, that it doesn't really matter that it's not very good. Complaining that it lacks tension, that the characterisation is virtually non-existent and that the script is a collection of cliches looking for an anthology is, basically, missing the point. Taken as a whole, Friday The 13th works like well oiled fairground machinery; rather old, second-hand machinery admittedly, but certainly well lubricated...It's easy, even for a horror fan, to be snobbish about Friday The 13th. It's cheaply made, predictable and often silly. But it contains some very good things which help to explain its ongoing popularity. The sense of atmosphere created by Cunningham and his cinematographer Barry Abrams is potent, using the claustrophobic surroundings of the decaying summer camp to impressive effect...Friday The 13th, with its efficient direction, brilliantly effective music score by Harry Manfredini and enthusiastic performances, now looks like a minor classic which atones for not being all that good by being genuinely enjoyable...Friday The 13th is an important horror film more for its runaway commercial success than any artistic factors. It has aged reasonably well as long as you watch it with an indulgent eye but it has to be said that it's more intelligent and atmospheric than I had remembered.
- Mike Sutton