Who doesn’t love a good slasher film?
Today is Friday the 13th, I’m going to try and sell you all on the Friday the 13th film franchise. So if you’ve never watched one before take a read of this and see what you think.
Friday the 13th (1980)
We start the film series with a sad story, the story of a little boy; a special little boy. His name was Jason and he was staying at camp Crystal Lake. The campers who were supposed to be watching him were off having sex and Jason drowned. His mother Pamela (Betsy Palmer) is determined to make sure the camp never reopens, when a group of councillors take residence in the old camp with intentions to re-open it, a series of gruesome murders begin to occur, it becomes blood soaked frenzy and you’re lucky if you survive the night…
Imagine for a moment if you will, the little boy Jason who drowned in the lake. What if he didn’t? What if he lived, surviving in the forests surrounding the Camp, the only home he’s ever known? He never strays to see people, until one day who should turn up at the camp but his own mother. He watches her kill and he learns;, anyone who steps foot in Camp Crystal Lake now will suffer at his hands or his hammer or his machetes. The basic premise for this film, a monstrous form of a man, Jason Vorhees stalks and kills more invaders to his home.
Now, the following two parts (Part III and Part IV) are more of the same; introduce a bus load of new teenagers and allow Jason to kill them off one by one. It’s part V where things begin to get interesting.
A young boy in Part 4, Tommy Jarvis survived the attack from Jason, now an adult, he is suffering horrible dreams haunted by Jason. He becomes convinced that Jason is going to rise from the grave and begin killing once more, especially when more murders begin to happen. However the killer in this film, is not the masked suspect you might expect.
Part V is widely criticised by fans of the series but I actually think that it is a nice break from the typical Friday the 13th storyline. After this in Part VI Jason does come back to life, and we introduce all sorts of new features including psychic powers and taking Jason from the camp over to Manhattan. These are all designed to keep the franchise going and to be honest, it kind of works. These later films are not going to win awards for writing, acting or direction, but if you’re in the mood for a quick paced slasher or thriller they make a great watch, especially if you’re a fan of the franchise.
In this film, it’s made 100% clear that Jason will be killed forever. Though again it’s criticised for its 20 minutes of Jason screen time, I really enjoy this film. It does keep me on the edge of my seat and even manages to get a few scares out of me (A tough job usually.) It’s the ending which really gets me. As promised Jason goes to hell, we see him dragged down by demonic arms and we’re left with a close up shot of Jason’s hockey mask, lying in the dirt. A peaceful ending indeed, until…
I’ll let you make up your own minds about that film, because I can’t say a lot that’s positive about it, but I do particularly enjoy the introductions from Freddy himself.
After this, New Line Cinema took a rather long break from the Friday franchise; only releasing a new “re-telling” of the story in 2009which didn’t do too well in the box office. A sequel was planned but this was put on indefinite hold by the men at the top. In 2013, the year of the Friday; it was announced that the rights to Friday the 13th have been given back to Paramount as part of a deal to allow Warner Bro’s to co-produce a new film Interstellar.
Little footnote, many people may notice the one film I’ve excluded from this Jason X. Well, let’s all just take a moment to remember that that film actually happen. Oh dear…
So, I hope you’ve enjoyed this brief run over of the films. I’ve tried not to spoil any of them for you. But if you’re a fan of gore, suspense action or just horror in general, I’d certainly advise you to watch these films.
Just keep an open mind.
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