While Freddy will always be my favorite of the iconic 80s slasher/horror villains, Jason Vorhees is a pretty close second. Jason with his hockey mask is one of the most iconic horror characters of all time. I did not see my first Friday the 13th movie until the late 80s, but I did watch them all in order, as a kid I wanted to check the series out after playing the NES game.
How to Download Friday the 13th (1980)
Friday the 13th was released on May 9, 1980. You can download or stream the film from a digital platform. Click on the Download button at the end of this review and make your choice. If you like slashers, also check out Wrong Turn, Scream, or Happy Death Day.
The Movie Review
Released all the way back in 1980, it is important to realize just what a big deal and huge part of cinema history the original Friday the 13th is. It spawned a franchise that is still popular to this day and was really the whole start of the “teens getting killed in the woods” thing that we take for granted today.
I watched this for the first time in a long time recently and it was actually way better than I remember it being. One thing that you have to give the original Friday the 13th a ton of credit for is its atmosphere. The clever way the movie is shot and that incredible score keep you on edge and makes you worried for these counselors.
The Setting and Plot of Friday the 13th
The movie takes place at Camp Crystal Lake. We find out that the camp has a pretty dark past. In the 50’s a young kid called Jason drowned in the lake after two camp counselors were not watching him properly. A year after this, two camp counselors were murdered in a grisly fashion.
Fast forward to today (well today in the movie which is the late 70s) and Camp Crystal Lake is being re-opened. We have a group of counselors along with the owner, Steve Christy who are going to get it back up to scratch so it can be opened again. We have a very attractive and fun young cast here with a young Kevin Bacon which is pretty awesome.
The Evolution of Horror Tropes
Many of the classic summer camp horror/slasher tropes that we have in movies today were started here. We have counselors screwing around, partying, having sex, and so on, all things that we know lead to death in a movie like this! The counselors start getting stalked and picked off one by one and they are in a fight for survival.
The Impact of Practical Effects
The kills in this original Friday the 13th are very well done and as they had to use practical effects, some of them still hold up to this day. The scene with Jack (the character Kevin Bacon plays) getting an arrow through the throat still is awesome! They were very clever with how they did the gore in this movie and at the time I bet it was a pretty big deal just how bloody and gross the movie was.
I remember being about 9 or 10 the first time I saw this at a friend’s house. I knew who Jason was and was excited to see him, but at the time I had no idea Jason was not in the movie! These days I think that Pamela Vorhees and her reasons for going on this murderous rampage are great, but as a kid, the first time I saw it I will not lie, I was disappointed.
Even though we have a ton of Friday the 13th movies, in my humble opinion, the original holds up and is still a fantastic slasher movie. It is a movie that I not only love, but I have a lot of respect for. For Christmas a couple of years back, I got the 4K release of this and it is a fantastic transfer and well worth checking out.
- This is one of the most important horror movies of all time
- You have a likable group of teenagers you want to see survive
- Pamela Vorhees is actually a badass villain
- The 4K release of this is an incredible upgrade
- It may seem a bit dated if you have never watched it before
- Some may be disappointed that Jason is not in the movie the way they might expect