Honestly, what isn’t there to bitch about Friday the 13th? This is a franchise that has gone on for way too long and just influences the stereotype that horror movies are stupid and all about the body count. However, I want to focus on just the first film. Essentially it’s about a group of youthful camp counselors who reopen Cam Crystal Lake after a bizarre death occurred years before. Little do they know, a killer is stalking them and killing them one by one. Can it be the ghost of the deformed boy that drowned in the lake? Or perhaps it’s really him and he never died to begin with? Only time will tell. I don’t want to make this into a review of the film because I can really nitpick the hell out of it so instead I will focus on some key things.
The biggest thing that this film suffers from is it’s characterization and this is something that has followed the franchise up until Jason met Freddy K. The characters are nothing but a bunch of stupid, sex-craved, alcohol addicted teens that have no personality and at times you want dead. Is this a bad thing? Not necessarily, but it caters to the fact that horror movies are dumb and pointless and they are not. There are plenty of good horror movies out there that are like Friday the 13th but have characters that you care about and you want to see live. I understand that this is what Friday the 13th is known for but when this movie first debuted, nobody would have known this and it could have had the potential of being original and engaging and not just dumb popcorn fun.
Friday the 13th also suffers from really boring kills. They’re not really non-original but when somebody does get killed, it’s actually quite boring… at least in the camp setting. There is really no atmosphere unless the killing happens out in the woods and when it’s out there the music sort of fits with the mood. The kills that happen in the camp itself are really dry and sort of ridiculous. I can see the writers sitting down and thinking all sorts off summer camp motifs and wondering how they make those into killings. Perhaps I’ve grown away from Friday the 13th but to me, it’s dumb and mind-numbing but I know it has a fan base that is huge and in that case… somebody’s got to love it.