By now, there is some much about this film that has made it iconic. From its' killer's theme to the film's ending twist. Not to mention the film debut of Kevin Bacon. Yet, I'm gonna be honest this was my first viewing of the film. Friday the 13th tells the story of Steve Christy attempting to fix up and re-open the infamous Camp Crystal Lake. The camp has developed a reputation over the years as being cursed and that it has seen it's fair share of a body count over the years.
There is just such a certain style that this film carriers about itself. The film takes it time in developing both the characters and story, all the while experimenting with its' cinematography to give viewers a unique and memorable experience. The cinematography alone takes a shot at what we now consider "Go-Pros" doing the kill shots. It zooms in and allows the viewer to see the killer through first person and delivering depth to the mystery of the killer's identity.
Similar to the way, we discussed the approach of Marco Beltrami used music to make the experience of A Quiet Place more intense; this film does the same. Music by Henry Manfredini absolutely makes this one of the best scores in the genre. Manfredini adds to the complex nature of the film, while leaving you on the edge of your seat when coupled with the cinematography of the film.
While a lot of the behind the scenes aspects are what makes this film memorable. It's also the boldness of the film. To start with a flashback and jump forward twenty plus years; not to mention the film's trick ending. It dares to give Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho a run for its' money. The film is as a whole is worth viewing simply for everything as a whole. Aside from Betsy Palmer's performance towards the film's third act, there is no other stand out performance. This film differs from other slashers by not having your Jamie Lee Curtis or Heather Langenkamp.
Overall, Friday the 13th is worthy of its' legacy. Boasting a more than impressive soundtrack, cinematography and knockout performance from Betsy Palmer. Friday stands out as a slowly-paced film with brilliant payoff in the horror genre. My only complaint of the film is that the cast can be a bit too heavy at times, causing the characters to blend together.
FINAL SCORE: 4/5
If you or someone you know is struggling with suicide, depression, self-harm or addiction, please feel free to reach out, use any of our resources, call the suicide life line: 1-800-273-8255 or text 741-741.