October 16, 2007

Friday The 13th (Cunningham, 1980)

"They were warned... They are doomed... And on Friday the 13th, nothing will save them."

It has spawned countless imitators and one of the longest running horror franchises of all-time, but there is no getting around the fact that Sean S. Cunningham’s influential Friday the 13th remains the least accomplished of the proto-slashers (Bob Clark's Black Christmas and John Carpenter's Halloween included). This is plain-Jane filmmaking, an obvious, workmanlike stab at entertainment first and foremost, lacking a distinct visual style and populated by stock characters and situations. It is also unpretentious, nostalgic fun, possessing a handful of genuine scares, still fantastic gore f/x, and a terrific score. In retrospect, iconic status and a killer ending can do quite a lot to cloud the memory, and though Cunningham’s film is a classic more through influence and reputation than through virtuosity, its place amongst the most beloved and perennial of horror films is more than guaranteed.

Film Rating: B-
Scare Factor: C+

View Date: 10/15
Shocktober Horror Film Count: #10

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