365horror

Friday 13th

by on Aug.05, 2010, under Daily Review

I thought I’d seen this film many years ago, but watching it again today makes me think twice. Odd as I’ve owned this film since I was 15. How come I’ve never got around to watching it until now? Well, maybe it’s for the same reason most people don’t bother revisiting these films. It’s become so engrained in our culture, some films don’t need watching as it’s presumed that you know the story already. This and the point that this has been ripped off over and over and everyone expects this to be the same as all those other slasher flicks. The first film needs to be seen.

Crystal Lake is a summer school, cursed with disaster. First there was a kid drown out on the lake, then some kids killed the following summer. Water pollution too. So several years later, the camp is just about ready to reopen, A small group of teenagers have been hard at work getting things together but they are warned by the locals that the place is haunted. At first, they laugh this off, but soon, people begin to die.

So, this is one of the originals here. We had Mario Bava’s Bay of Blood and Carpenter’s Halloween, but for ‘teen slasher in the woods’ this is the definitive for cultural reasons as well as the genre. This is the grounding for everything else, all those other kids in the woods flicks that we all know and love, and not to mention the whole franchise that Friday 13th has become. One real interesting point here though is the use of point of view. From the opening scene we have the POV and this reoccurs through the film even during scenes that cannot physically have a person spying which introduces something deep within the film only noticeable late on that Jason could be the spirit in the woods, watching the other kids, possessing his crazy mother before manifesting in human form for the rest of the movies. Food for thought.

It’s good to watch, good cast, (Betsy Palmer, Adrienne King, Robbi Morgan and a young Kev Bacon) well filmed and has amazing effects. Tom Savini uses mainly subtle gore here, but it’s used very well. Some of the finest throat slices in the field and a stunning axe to the face. Ground breaking and perfect. The film, although notching it’s own machete markings on the horror ladder fails to deliver the little spark of magic which some of the other films of the time managed. Hills Have Eyes, Halloween, Chainsaw etc, but still manages to entertain and offers something a little different that what you might expect. If you’ve not seen this, take a look, you’ll be surprised

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