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Reviews
STAR RATINGS EXPLAINED
Unmissable 5 Stars
Excellent 4 Stars
Good 3 Stars
Poor 2 Stars
Tragic 1 Star

FILM DETAILS
Certificate
18
Cast
Betsy Palmer
Adrienne King
Harry Crosby
Kevin Bacon.
Directors
Sean S Cunningham.
Screenwriters
Victor Miller.
Running Time
0 minutes

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Friday The 13th
One of the 80's video nasty hall-of-famers


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Plot
Many years ago at Camp Crystal Lake, a pair of counsellors died. Now a group of kids has come to the re-opened site, and one by one, they are hunted by a mysterious murderer


Review

The film that launched a long and rusty franchise of teenage slaughter (12 episodes if you count the gimmick addition of Freddy Vs Jason), this cheapo horror stands as one of the principal markers for the whole slasher phenomenon. In reality it is a pallid Halloween rip-off, with a mediocre shock count and a botched ending.

People tend to forget that this original lacks the remorseless presence of Jason himself, blanked off with a hockey mask, who we are told drowned as a small retarded boy in 1957 while his camp councillors are otherwise occupied. As the bodies pile up amongst this testy crowd of horny teens, there remains a vacant hole were someone scary should be. In a strange way, this film stands unique amongst all slasher films as one where the killer is nearly intangible.

Sean Cunningham, who never gained the reputations of Wes Craven or John Carpenter, does muster a chilling nastiness about the ensuing cull. Various nubile girls bounce about minus their bras, encouraging the boys to get randy, and, as we’ve all learned from Scream, any consummation spells certain death. The most famous slaying has a young Kevin Bacon punctured with an arrowhead up through the mattress from beneath a bed, although the most gruesome death has an axe bite realistically through a girl’s face. Comparatively Friday The 13th is fairly unbloody, and its fairly murky texture doesn’t fit the idyllic lakeside setting, while only Mark Nelson’s j0ker in the pack stands out as a memorable character.

 And when it is exposed, the killer’s true identity actually forces the film into a rather pragmatic frame. Only a lazy, unfathomable twist ending would allow the endless hulk of splattered teenagers to lurch on for 25 years.


Verdict
It may be one of the most famous, but it's certainly not an original on which others are based.


Reviewed by Kim Newman

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Your Reviews

Average user rating for Friday The 13th
Empire Star Rating

This movie is watchable and that is the best I can say about it. The worst of the trilogy. And I love blade, the character is great, the first movie brilliant and the second was good too, so what were they thinking with this. Ok action scenes but 'Dracula'? Seriously? Are they that bereft of ideas? ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by lukejt02 at 00:33, 17 April 2011 | Report This Post


Absolute classic horror, one of the original great horrors that kick started slasher horror franchises. Everything about this is a perfect slasher horror, the story, the disposable teen cast, the brilliant iconic score and a little twist on the killer, oh and not to forget the sometimes questionable numerous sequels. Still can't understand why Kevin Bacon refuses to acknowledge this part of career!! This movie takes it's place amongst the greatest horror movies ever and deserves it's place th... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by lukejt02 at 23:57, 16 April 2011 | Report This Post


Fun Slasher Movie

taking inspirations from other like-minded slasher films, Friday The 13th carves it's own little niche for itself in a neat little coffin of stalk-n'-slash peppered with humourous dialogue and an intriguing climax that compliments the film something fierce. It is true that the acting is weak and the premise was not (and still isn't) particularly original, but this is still an enjoyably gruesome horror that never becomes a chore to watch. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by blaud at 21:13, 16 March 2011 | Report This Post


Tonight: tp://www.imdb.com/title/tt0080761/]Friday the 13th good slasher that is very fun and exciting until "the reveal", especially because of its point-of-view camera work in the first part of the film. After "the reveal" I thought it went downhill a bit,only to end on a high note. Cool to see where tp://www.imdb.com/title/tt0422401/]Hatchett its inspiration for,among other things, its ending. /b] ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by TheGodfather at 21:37, 04 January 2011 | Report This Post


Wrong.

Any horror film put up against halloween is going to come out a loser, this however is still a horror classic which (despite this review) is still held in high regard to this day, admitidly some of the sequels worked better as out and out horror films but none of them carried the punch that this did, 80s low buget filming at its best. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by paulandnic14 at 23:10, 10 February 2010 | Report This Post


Friday The 13TH/ The unforgiven

Jesus h christ, i mean what the fuck?!? the 70's and 80's was the Horror genre's golden age, yes fair enough Friday the 13th is not a patch on carpenters halloween, however it is good bloody fun, a beer movie to be sure, but so what. i grew up watching horror movies during the tail end of the whole video nasties era, even the cack films of those decades still stand head and shoulders above all of the shit remakes that have been made by lazy hollywood exec's. I guess if you dont like horror film... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Horrorguru at 21:28, 16 February 2009 | Report This Post


I suppose

I personaly dont agree with most of the review, i think its an excellent film, one thats become a cult status in society and one that still continues this day, boosted by the remake coming soon. I can understand that its not an original concept but its a concept that was in its early stages, and was growing increasingly. You have to admit that the revealing of the killer in the end is certinly one of the best twists you'll see, especially for people who dont know the movie well and have prob... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by MetalManDan at 00:44, 12 February 2009 | Report This Post


loads of people think that it is great but i think that it is not very good and i agree with your review completly!!! ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by casino at 16:08, 13 September 2006 | Report This Post


Good stuff. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by huny_monster at 15:55, 14 August 2006 | Report This Post


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