Review: Friday the 13th (1980) (Carson’s View)

Jason was always my favorite of the “slasher killers” when I was growing up.  With him on the sidelines, it did not encourage me to ever re-watch the original Friday the 13th.  It has been at least 25 years since I had seen it. Beyond the the major plot points that you are reminded of throughout each movie of the series, it is safe to say that I remembered next to nothing. For instance, I had no idea a young Kevin Bacon was one of the camp counselors.  I had also thought the “Jason Sound” was only for him, not the entire Voorhees family.

Friday the 13th is pretty low on the scare meter due to two factors.  First, is that each kill is almost entirely shown from the killer’s first person perspective. This is supposed to create some tension by keeping the killer’s identity a secret, however, it comes across more hokey than scary.  The other factor that detracts from investing the audience into the movie, is that the victims do not know they are being hunted until it is too late.  You cannot live vicariously through their terror.  Most good horror movies have a shared experience with the audience as they are looking over their shoulders while they try to escape with their lives.  In Friday the 13th, the counselors go from happy-go-lucky to dead.

The original Friday the 13th should be seen merely from a horror-movie-pop-culture perspective.  See it so you can check it off your bucket list… before you get hit in the face with an ax!