Horror Movie Review: Friday the 13th (1980)

Friday the 13th (1980)

Directed by Sean S. Cunningham


First Thoughts:

It has been years since I have watched this movie, so I thought it was time to rewatch! I started a Spooky Scary Club where we gather and watch a horror movie once a month. I’ve been trying to mix things up and keep it interesting, but this month I wanted to go cliché. Naturally, I landed on the Friday the 13th series! I rewatched the trailer and realized I don’t remember so much of it! I remember some bathroom scenes and the actual lake, but that’s about it…All these years and that’s all I had still locked in my brain?! Definitely time to get reacquainted.


Quick Rundown:

Camp Crystal Lake is reopening after being closed for many years after some gruesome murders. The area had a string of bad luck since then, but Steve Christy (Pete Brouwer) is determined to get it back on its feet. He hires a group of teenagers to help, but everyone starts getting offed their first night! They are stalked, toyed with, and killed until the very end.


After Thoughts:

It was so fun to revisit this movie! So many classic slasher clichés are born here, and it just makes me feel giddy. The soundtrack is one of my favorites in the bag of clichés. It’s eerie and iconic. I also appreciate the straight on/close up kill shots. Especially when Marcie (Jeannine Taylor) gets axed in the bathroom! Clench eyes, scream, stand still. That’s how you take an axe to the face! Also, Final Girl. We have one here! I think Texas Chainsaw Massacre was the actual first horror flick to pump out a Final Girl, but I like this trope and I’m glad it made it into Friday the 13th.


I *almost* forgot about Momma Voorhees being a crazy person! I vaguely remember watching that as a kid and being 100% weirded out by that. It was just too creepy and bizarre for me back then! Now, I think it’s fantastic! I liked Betsy Palmer’s performance. Of course, everything back then was at least a little comical, even if it wasn’t supposed to be, and that stands true here. I enjoyed her walking in with her cornflower blue sweater and snuffing all these kids out and flailing around. Woo! Avenge Jason, Momma Voorhees!


The thing that makes Friday the 13th an excellent slasher flick for me is that it doesn’t feel the need to overexplain what the hell was going on. It gives just enough backstory for you to suspend your disbelief and then it got right to the point. Murder! Even when Mrs. Voorhees shows up to start throwing down, she doesn’t over complicate her reason for being a crazy. She gives a little nudge to a backstory and then starts hacking away. I just appreciate that part of old horror movies and I kind of wish we could throw back to that more often (I think A Quiet Place did an excellent job of not overexplaining!). I think it’s scarier that way and it lets the movie speak for itself.


Your Turn:

When was the last time you watched Friday the 13th? Does it still hold up to your memories? What’s your favorite horror movie cliché? I want to know what you guys think! Drop a line down below!


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