Sunday, October 20, 2013

31 Days of Halloween 2013 - Day 20

Sean S. Cunningham

Camp Crystal Lake is reopening after being closed due to the death of young boy, Jason, who drowned in the lake. As the camp counselors arrive to get the camp ready, they indulge in a little sex and drinking. Jason's mom, Pamela (Betsy Palmer), starts poking around camp asking a lot of questions and talking about how her son died from the negligence of two counselors who were off having sex when they should have been watching her child. It isn't long that the teens of Camp Crystal Lake start getting killed by an unseen attacker.

For the film that kicked off such a long lasting franchise and was one of the films that brought the slasher into the mainstream, the first Friday the 13th bears little resemblance to what it would become in the popular conception. It's much more gritty and the violence has a cruel edge to it. The is a dour horror film, there is very little humor or levity of any kind. Its cheap look works to its advantage, blending with the grim atmosphere to create an air of doom. The movie isn't really an innovator, many of it's elements have come before but it does pull them all off with a level competency that keeps it interesting none the less. This is one of the rare slashers that plays on the identity of the killer and actually has a reveal that comes as a surprise and has genuine impact.

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