Friday the 13th (1980) Review


When preparing for a summer opening at Camp Crystal Lake, the group of young counsellors are stalked during one fateful night by an unknown killer. No one is safe, years before a young child drowned at the camp maybe someone is looking for revenge?

The counsellors on the camp really had no idea what they were getting themselves in for when agreeing to work at the previously abandoned camp. That one fateful night of Friday 13th was one that would see bodies pile up very quickly in many brutal ways. That was certainly something this film can hold up, some brutal deaths, with plenty of blood. This killer didn’t have a particular method in killing and it was more a problem with the youngsters.

Considering Jason Voorhees is now one of the most well-known characters within the horror genre, in this film we do not actually get to hear him mentioned until towards the end of the film. My lack of knowledge towards horror had me actually a little bit confused, I thought I was wrong thinking it was Jason in the Friday the 13th films. But he was eventually mentioned and I had no idea about the twist in this one which I thought was very well handled in such a creepy way!

Usually the horror genre is all about the music, but this one is done in a slightly different way only having the music going when the killer was actually on-screen. That certainly gave it more of an edge, knowing every single time you heard the music someone was going to die.

The significance of the killings happening when it appeared the counsellors were engaging in sexual activity certainly has a very big link to other events. Maybe if they had been good, none of the it would have happened? Something really does stem all of that. I don’t want to spoil anything major to the plot though as I really did enjoy not having any idea about the twist and who the killer was in this one. I guess quite impressive considering when the film is from, my journey into the horror genre is going pretty well so far.

Adrienne King as Alice really was such a strong female character and managed to show the great the battle you need to have to survive at times. A very impressive performance and certainly not what I was expecting. Having now read a lot about the background of the film and trivia facts I also have to mention how impressed I was with Betsy Palmer, considering she was given a lot of grief for the role. I thought she was great and terrifying all at the same time. Such a shame really she faced such criticism for being in this film. Not forgetting a very young Kevin Bacon!

Do I need to watch any of the other films from the Friday the 13th franchise? If so please recommend which ones are actually decent, as I fear watching them all would be a little bit too much and take away from this one?


4 thoughts on “Friday the 13th (1980) Review

  1. Great review – and the films follow the standard “sequel” trajectory, meaning they get worse with each subsequent film, so maybe give the second one a try and you will be done…there are many better 80’s slashers than this one!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I would avoid most sequels, if not all of them. This first installment of the franchise is already very derivative, even though it is an enjoyable one, but the rest… I would be surprised if you found any of them any good!

    Liked by 1 person

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