Halloween Selects: “Friday the 13th”

The tragedy of the summer of 1958 at Camp Crystal Lake would be the birth of an enduring horror franchise. 12 movies (and a reboot) to be exact. You just can’t keep an angry spirit down. The original Friday the 13th movie released on May 8th, 1980 was inspired by John Carpenter’s 1978 film, Halloween. At the time of release, it was already facing tough competition from would-be horror classics like The Shining and The Fog. Little did we know, the movie that had a $500,000 budget would go on to be a cult classic.

You will notice many classic horror situations within this movie. Teens getting killed after hooking up which became an ongoing gag throughout the series. The abundance of practical effects where dismemberment and disfigurement that felt and looked real. The heightened parts of the music (and sometimes lack thereof) once the camp counselors happened to be alone. Friday the 13th follows a very simple plot line that follows a basic standard of cause and effect. Instead, the movie chooses to focus on the sheer brutality of the killings in a camp that is deemed to be cursed. Director Sean S. Cunningham utilized camera angles from the killer’s point of view. You were in the first-person position like a predator stalking their prey. The famous score from Harry Manfredini – the “ki ki ki, ma ma ma” is forever engraved in horror fans minds.

Yes, Jason Voorhees, the slow-walking, supernatural stalker with the legendary hockey mask is the antagonist throughout the series. However, in the first movie, it’s actually his mother, Pamela Voorhees (Betsy Palmer). On a quest for revenge, she kills these camp counselors one by one, still in a fit of psychosis from losing Jason due to negligence. Even watching the first movie after you’ve seen a good amount of them, you would think that this would be Jason’s calling card. In a slow reveal, it’s a work of an older lady who is avenging her dead son. In some ways, you do feel bad for her. Camp counselors will be camp counselors, I guess. Then, you snap out of it and realize that she’s a killer.

The end of the movie turns out to be the real payoff that sets off the real horror for years to come. C’mon, Ms. Voorhees is dead, so we are in the clear, right? Wrong.

“Ma’am, we didn’t find any boy.”
“Then he’s still there.” as Alice Hardy (Adrienne King). A very soap opera-like ending indeed, but would be the beginning of a legendary horror figure.

Photo Credit: Paramount Pictures


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Author: Murjani Rawls View all posts by
Journalist, Self-published author of five books, podcast host, and photographer since 2014, Murjani Rawls has been stretching the capabilities of his creativity and passions, Rawls has as a portfolio spanning through many mediums including music, television, movies, and more. Operating out of the New York area, Rawls has photographed over 200+ artists spanning many genres, written over 700 articles ranging displaying his passionate aspirations to keep evolving as his years in media continue.

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