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1980 / Horror
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6.0 / 10
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Directed by Sean S. Cunningham
Written by Victor Miller
Starring Betsy Palmer, Adrienne King, Kevin Bacon and Jeannine Taylor

A group of camp counselors are stalked and murdered by an unknown assailant while trying to reopen a summer camp which, years before, was the site of a child's drowning.

The following tags are associated with this movie: Slasher, Camping
Extra content related to Friday the 13th

Movie Discussion
Friday the 13th (1980)
Review by Bradley Frohloff

6 / 10
The original Friday The 13th is an okay movie with a decent ending sequence. I understand it's a staple on the slasher genre but I've never particularly found it to be special enough to call it a great movie. Tom Savini's effects are always a welcome sight, albeit his finer work belonging to other movies. I am skeptical as to whether this movie would be as revered as it is had it not been followed by the many sequels involving its hockey mask-wearing companion.
Friday the 13th (1980)
Review by Michael Mahoney

8 / 10
While nowhere near the greatness of classics such as Halloween or A Nightmare on Elm Street, Friday the 13th is a wholly enjoyable film with very little going wrong for it.

Some of the best portions of this film are due to both Tom Savini (special effects) and Harry Manfredini (who composed the music). The gore isn't necessarily that graphic, but there are some fantastic death scenes, such as the arrow slowly being pushed through the neck, or the ax to the face (a personal favorite). The music within the film assisted in creating a decent atmosphere for the film, and at times even had sort of a Psycho feel.

Without a doubt, Betsy Palmer gets the highest praise in terms of acting in the film. Her ending scene is legendary, and I feel it's for good reason. Adrienne King did fantastic as the final girl, and it's a shame she never really had that many other big roles in the genre. I also really liked Robbi Morgan (who had a fun personality with her short screen-time), and Jeannine Taylor (she was quite easy on the eyes). Most of the others sort of blended in with each other, but I did sort of like Peter Brouwer also.

I've heard some call this film boring - maybe it's a nostalgic thing, but I don't see it at all. Running around in the rain, wearing slickers, looking for people who have gone missing, only to get killed, with the body being found later by another character - God, it's a fun time. Made better by the fact that one of the characters who could possibly help out is trying to make his way back to camp, but hindered by the rain, a broken-down truck, what-have-you. I thought much of the tension toward the finale was great.

Honestly, when you're talking about the first five Friday the 13th films, there's very little to dislike about them. All five are varying degrees of fun, and all five are easily above average. This first film, with that iconic score and great ending (solid decapitation), is a lot of fun, and I always get a kick out of it, though with the second, third, and fourth films, elements certainly improve. Still a horror classic, despite the unfortunate amount of mediocre sequels.
Friday the 13th (1980)
Review by Alex Martel

4 / 10
A pure exercise in capitalism, Friday the 13th was conceived solely to capitalize on Halloween's success.

Tame by today's standard, the original Friday is a much gorier movie than the one it took inspiration from. Interestingly, our heroine and sole survivor is seen drinking, smoking pot, playing strip poker and discussing her sex life, which goes against the grain of what the genre's convention that only the puritanical characters will make it out alive.

Highlights are the special effects by Tom Savini, the ominous "cursed" summer camp setting, a great performance by Betsy Palmer and an early appearance by Kevin Bacon.

It's a hard movie to recommend by today's standards. In 1980, audiences swarmed to the theatres for the spectacle, not the art. Nowadays, its thrills are overshadowed by the bare minimum script, bad acting and general dullness.
Other Camping movies that you may enjoy

Wrong Turn (2021)

Camp Twilight (2020)

Friday the 13th Part 2 (1981)

Eden Lake (2008)
More releases from 1980 for you to check out

Without Warning (1980)

Death Ship (1980)

The Fog (1980)

Cardiac Arrest (1980)

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