Friday the 13th

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You'll wish it were only a nightmare...


Back of Box:  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 several 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.
Plot:  A group of teens, camp counselors, are being killed off in various ways, at a summer camp, by an unknown assailant who...well I'm not going to give it away. This film pioneered the "camp slasher," and the plot holds true in many films to this day.  Genius.  What else can one say?
Acting:  Considering the time period and the type of film this is, I'd say the acting isn't that bad.  Kevin Bacon makes an excellent starring role debut, Adrienne King plays a marvelous "final girl," and Betsy Palmer plays psychotic to a tee, voices and all.  Walt Gorney, also, gets a special shout out for his portrayal of "Crazy" Ralph.
GoreBody Count (10)  Tom Savini magic runs wild in this one.  A beautiful throat slit, an arrow through the neck from under a bed (My personal favorite), and a decapitation that is truly breath-taking.  All this plus many more gory tidbits.  Two thumbs way up!
Suspense:  Not too bad in the suspense department, not bad at all.  The soundtrack, setting, and P.O.V. camera work add a lot to the suspense factor of this film.  A very well handled chase near the beginning, starts things off right.  However, the pinnacle of suspense comes with the final confrontation, absolutely heart-pounding.   
Directing:  The killer P.O.V.'s were handled with professional class, the exterior shots of the camp were beautiful, and the final chase scene was given a certain chaotic feel with interesting camera work.  There's a certain dread to this film and I think the camera really brought it alive.  Top notch.
Tech:  The soundtrack, with the now infamous "ki ki ki, ma ma ma," definitely brings out the creepy.  The lighting, aside from some decent forest lighting, is pretty basic throughout.  It seems to fit right in, though.  The sound is also handled well, didn't spot a single boom.
Other:  The setting, I think, is what really makes this film stand out.  Everything from the bathrooms to the archery range oozes atmosphere.  The forest also makes a very depressing, almost claustrophobic, back-drop.  The ending must also be commented on, one of the creepiest ever.  I often wonder, however, if that little boy had stayed under water, would there be the 9 utterly mind numbing pieces of garbage they call sequels?
Final Word:  What can be said that hasn't already been said?  This film is slasher history and slasher gold.  The slasher of today is nothing compared to what the '80s made it.  I will always love this film.  It has earned my respect, but it didn't ask for demanded it.


Don't Move, Don't Breathe, and Whatever You Do...DON'T LOOK BEHIND YOU!