I’ve seen the first Friday the 13th only a handful of times. It was even the last of the original line of movies that I watched. I had the hardest time finding it to rent when I was going through the series originally. The first time I saw it was because a friend had it on DVD and was like “Hear watch this.” after hearing me complain about how hard it was to find it to rent. I got the boxset from Shout Factory when it came out last year, so I’ll be using it to cover the series up until the 13th of the month.
Friday the 13th was directed by Sean S. Cunningham. It was written by Victor Miller. It stars Betsy Palmer. Adrienne King, Jeannine Taylor, Robbi Morgan, Harry Crosby, Laurie Bartram, and Kevin Bacon. Betsey Palmer’s performance is outstanding, like every time I watch the movie I catch something new about it. Like how when she turns away from Adrienne King her whole demeanor changes. She goes from caring to cold and lifeless almost as if most of her appearance is a façade. Adrienne King’s performance is great too. She makes you care about her and continued to fill out the template of the final girl.
The plot centers on Camp Crystal Lake, or Camp Blood if you’re from the town that’s nearby. The local crazy person, named Crazy Ralph, tries to warn that the camp is cursed and has a death curse. I’m just going through the plot vaguely and haphazardly because you’re almost certainly aware of the plot. It does a really good job at fleshing out the characters and making you feel for them. Even the character Ned, who is kind of the practical joker of the group gets fleshed out and you see that he acts out because he’s lonely. Looking back it also does a great job at setting up the whole franchise, even though it wasn’t the plan originally.
The score is absolutely outstanding. There’s a reason that Harry Manfredini is talked about when it comes to scores from horror movies. Tom Savini did the practical effects for the movie as well. A lot of it still looks great, even in HD on the blu-rays. The only shot that didn’t look that great was the wide shot of Kevin Bacon’s death. The closeup of the effect looks great, but the wide shot doesn’t look nearly as good. I was also finally able to spot the hairy knuckles in the death of Mrs. Vorhees, because of the higher definition from the blu-ray transfer.
I would say you need to see Friday the 13th if you haven’t seen it. It’s honestly something everyone should at the very least give a shot if they haven’t seen it and is a fan of horror. If you have the Starz app you can stream it for free, otherwise you can rent or buy it on your preferred digital storefront.