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  • Gareth Crook

Friday the 13th (1980) - 7/10

Not that it’s important but I’ve come straight from The Evil Dead to this. Both never seen before, I thought it’d be an interesting double feature. The gore outing of The Evil Dead was fun, but despite the great camera work and sound, I needed a bit more substance. I’m wondering how Friday the 13th will fair. We’re at a lakeside summer camp in 70s America. The soon to be newly reopened Camp Crystal Lake. The locals think it’s cursed after a string of unsolved murders over the years and with good reason, the killer is still on the loose and with a real believable danger, instantly this feels more my thing. Partly helped by the larger more rounded cast, mostly with less reliance on gore effects. We’ve got the slightly creepy Steve (Peter Brouwer) whose venture this is and the wholesome Alice (Adrienne King) helping him get the camp ready. The main players are the group of helpers including Jack (Kevin Bacon) and Annie (Robbi Morgan) who is the first to meet our mysterious killer. The camera and sound is once again great. Borrowing plenty from Hitchcock in both departments. The story is simple. They’re essentially left alone on what becomes a stormy night of bloodshed, that although well telegraphed is often subtle or inventive. It could be said that it pulls its punches, but it feels well paced, not in hurry. We know where it’s headed, there’s no rush. The big question is, who is the killer? Someone we know? Friday the 13th plays the thriller card, better than than horror one and I’m completely okay with that. It’s a slow but solid burner, with a fantastic finale and in my opinion, much more entertaining than The Evil Dead. Is it good enough to have spawned all the sequels? Probably not and I don’t think I’ll bother with any of them, but I’m glad I finally caught up with the original.



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