A Friday Full Of Fridays : Friday the 13th

Welcome to a Friday Full Of Fridays! In celebration of Friday April 13th, 2012, here at DreadWorld we are going to take a look at each film from the franchises initial run (meaning we are going to ignore Freddy v. Jason and the Remake). I'll be posting a short review, a reviewette if you will, every hour on this momentous day. The posts will be in reverse order of awesomeness, meaning we will be counting backwards from, what I believe to be the worst film in the series, to the film I believe to be the best. Welcome and enjoy the ride!

A look at the original!

Friday The 13th

The original Friday the 13th, while hardly being original in concept brought a lot to the genre that hadn't really been seen before, at least state side. By now, anyone whose seen "Scream" can tell you that Mrs. Voorhees is the killer in this film and not Jason. A brutal female killer was something that had been touched on in some of the Italian Giallo films of the 70's but nothing by a major Hollywood studio, at least not in the way it's presented here.

Essentially the original film is Agatha Christies "Ten Little Indians" for the modern age. One by one a group of young adults are dispatched in an increasingly gruesome manner. The film is extremely effective at building the tension. From early murder of the kids (pre-credits) to the red herrings to the final reveal, the original Friday will be forever be remembered as the template that all future slasher films would be held up against. Sure "Texas Chansaw Massacre" and "Halloween" would come first but, it really was the original Friday that kicked off the slasher craze of the 80's.

The film works differently from both of those other films because it's antagonist happens to be rather sympathetic on certain levels. Leatherface and Micheal Myers are nothing but relentless killing machines, with virtually no motive for their crimes (despite what Rob Zombie would like you to believe). Pamela is simply an devastated mother. She watcher her only son drown. He was her life and she is not going to let the same thing happen again. In her mind she is saving other mothers from the pain that she went through.

Betsey Palmer is perfect as Mrs. Voorhees. When she steps into frame for the first time, she's warm and inviting - she could be anyone's mother. Her slow turn to crazy is tremendous. When Alice realizes whats going on and she pulls away, there is still very little anger in Mrs. Voorhees face. It's hard to think that the film would have bee even remotely as effective had it been someone less deft than Palmer in the lead role.

The rest of the cast does a respectable job. None of them are great actors but they are serviceable. Kevin Bacon is here, post "Animal House," pre-mega stardom. The film is just a fun little slasher with a great twist ending.

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