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Reed Alexander's Horror Review of 'Friday the 13th' the franchise.

One of the greatest horror movies of all time... but we know it's not so great.

By Reed AlexanderPublished about a month ago 3 min read
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I'm gonna defend this fucking movie... Yes, this franchise eventually gave us Jason in Space (2002). But it's an old-fashioned slasher flick that really is underappreciated for what it was. Because the first in the series was actually well thought out, and even pretty solid by modern horror standards.

Okay, so the acting isn't great, the setup is pretty weak, the overarching plot is nonexistent. THAT DOESN'T MATTER! I know it's supposed to matter... okay, it totally matters. But c'mon. This is like the original slasher from my childhood. This movie defined a generation of Horror Heads. This trash film SET THE FUCKING STANDARD. Maybe it was a low bar to follow, but it was a great bar! The modern slasher genre was in its infancy state. Most of this shit was totally new ideas at the time. And here's the thing, as Hardcore Horror Heads, our standards are actually pretty low to begin with. There's a reason why I categorize some acting as 'good enough for horror.' Hell, we'll notoriously watch horror movies with acting bad enough to be a porno. Movies like Leprechaun (1993). And as far as the plot goes, it's another case of good enough. All we need to do is inspire a rampaging mass murderer to kill a whole lot of sexually promiscuous teens. Hell, Friday the 13th basically had fuck all to do with the actual plot, but it's arguably the most iconic title in horror.

I'm just going to assume this doesn't need a SPOILER!!! warning. Really, if you're a Horror Head and you haven't seen at least the first movie, go watch it right now, or I'm revoking your card until you do. People tend to forget that before the undead, hokey mask wearing, eight-foot tall, machete-wielding, marauding psychopath, the killer was his mother. Hell, the famed hokey mask that set the franchise doesn't even show up til the third movie. Jason spends the second movie wearing a potato sack over his head. The point is, there was a reason why mommy dearest was killing stoned, sexually promiscuous teenagers. Two camp councilors were macking it, Jason drowned, mom swears revenge, mom kills all the camp councilors; pretty much the whole story. But hey, that's an actual plot. Remember, all we need is a reason to kill teenagers.

Fact is, it said something about the self-righteous anti-youth culture at the time. This movie came from a generation where smoking pot and being sexually active were looked down on as asking for a good stabbing. This movie was showing what most adults were thinking at the time. Loose drug addicts had it coming as far as the conservative American audience was concerned. This movie was a reflection of the uptight masses in all their ugliness. The concept would seem scary to teenagers at the time as practically their own parents would think like this. So yeah, it's not a great plot, but it is actually pretty smart all the same.

You know? The practical FX were actually pretty good for the 70's. I mean, Kevin Bacon is killed by an arrow through the neck and that looked the shit, even by modern standards. Seriously, they did a good job and definitely deserve credit for it.

You know, there is a lot of nostalgia making excuses for this movie. But even if we are making excuses for this movie out of nostalgia, it's not that bad. It met all the minimum standards for horror and spawned one of the genre's greatest franchises. And hey, if you're setting the standard, the minimum is a perfectly acceptable place to begin.

Where was I going with this?... Okay, I'm a fan boy and there's a soft spot in my heart for the classics. Look, the kills were fun, there was an actual story, it might not have been the scariest movie but it had atmosphere with grim attention to detail.

There's nothing quite like the original.

slasherpop culturemovie reviewCONTENT WARNING
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About the Creator

Reed Alexander

I'm a horror author and foulmouthed critic of all things horror. New reviews posted every Monday.

@ReedsHorror on TikTok, Threads, Instagram, YouTube, and Mastodon.

Check out my books on Godless: https://godless.com/products/reed-alexander

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