Movie Review: Friday the 13th (1980)

Synopsis: 21 years after Camp Crystal Lake was shut down following a drowning and the murder of two camp counselors, Steve Christy is looking to re-open the property and has brought in a group of counselors to help him. Shortly after arriving, however, the counselors are stalked by an unknown killer.

Who's in it? The movie stars Betsy Palmer, Adrienne King, Robbi Morgan, Kevin Bacon and Harry Crosby.

Review: My wife and I recently watched some of the sequels to this film and, while doing so, I realized it had been a while since I had seen the original and I didn't remember too much about it. So, when we had an opportunity to watch this film earlier this week, we did.

One of the biggest problems with slasher movies is, once you know who the killer is, they do tend to lose a little something the next time you see them. That is, unfortunately, the case with this movie. While I never thought the movie was overly scary, I do think, without prior knowledge of who the killer is, it is a decent mystery film. The counselors are getting killed in a rather brutal fashion with no apparent motive as to why. As a result, I could see the movie's ending being a surprise back when this was first shown in theaters.

My biggest complaint about the movie is one I have with most films in this genre, the victims are way too easy to kill. Even when the killer doesn't sneak up on them and catch them completely by surprise, they put up little or no fight. As a result, the movie does get a little dull at times and has to rely heavily on sexually-oriented filler.

The only exception to this is at the very end with the final intended victim (I won't spoil things by saying who it is) and, at that point, the movie does become considerably more exciting. I just wish the writers would have had included something like that in a few more scenes.

Final Opinion: If you have never seen any of the Friday the 13th films and are absolutely clueless about who the killer is, this has the potential to be a halfway decent movie the first time you see it. Without that mystery, however, the movie does lose something and, mostly because of the too-easy/non-scary ways the counselors are killed, can be a little dull too.

My Grade: C



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