Come To Camp Crystal Lake This Halloween
*Warning may contain spoilers*
What makes a Cult film?
A cult film, is a film which has generated a passionate fan base. Fans who will quote dialogue from the film, make merchandise, have themed ringtones based on the films and even re-enact the iconic scenes, along with other obsessions. Personally, my former obsession was Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining (1980) adapted from Stephen Kings Novel. So, what are we talking about today? Well my choice, if you read the title was none other than Friday the 13th.
After many years of saying I’ll watch it later, viewing clips of it on the internet and movie nights with friends. I finally sat down for 95 minutes with the blinds shut and lights off to watch the much loved and outdated 1980’s Friday the 13th a few days before the day itself.
For the people like me who have taken their time before watching it or don’t know of the film. Friday the 13th is a film focused on a group of counselors re-opening Camp Crystal a few weeks before the children are expected to arrive. Once an idyllic place, it became plagued with death, starting in 1972, with the drowning of a young boy named Jason, soon followed with fires and more deaths, all because of the counselors who neglected Jason’s well-being. All who have dared to re-open the camp since and enjoy themselves must face a hasty death as a result. This film keeps you switching between characters as one by one they are killed off, leaving you to figure out who is to live and who the villain is. Eventually, we are left following Alice Hardy (Adrienne King) as she tries to escape the evil force watching them from behind the trees, later revealed as Pamela Voorhees (Betsy Palmer), Jason’s mother. All I’m saying is to never under-estimate a mother’s love…
Originally, when writing this I thought that for what the film is compared to today’s market of films I would be tearing it to shreds. Truth be told… it’s honestly not that bad. Maybe a better watch with a group of friends, popcorn and a few drinks. But as a typical horror narrative its overall rating isn’t bad, of course, you’ll have to get past the cheesy lingo, phrasing and what I find to be a poor dialogue. Along with the special effects of the time. Friday the 13th was prompted by the success of John Carpenters Halloween, with an estimated budget of just $550,000, money isn’t everything though,high budget modern horrors can be just as bad *cough* The Amityville Horror (2005) *cough*.
However cheesy this horror is though, I will give the film it’s due. When I first started watching, i thought the film would be typical, having the main character work their way to the main location or have using a voice over narration as they look dramatically off into the distance. Boy was I wrong. The restricted narration which has you jumping between characters as they are slowly killed, is different to the typical form. The character of Annie (Robbi Morgan), is killed off before even reaching the lake, following her was simply a decoy. I forgot that horror films did this because I’ve watched so many bad horrors that follow this simple format. Mind you getting to see Pamela Voorhees head be dramatically cut off in slow motion at the end is always a laugh for me, even if it is typical.
I did warn you that there would be spoilers, but I mean you’ve had 37 years of spoilers so it’s fair game.
The franchise might now be a dried-out film left on the washing line for too long. But it still gets its fair share of attention, with a long series of sequels, cross overs with A nightmare on Elm Street and the 2009 series reboot. Jason even got a trip up into space with 2001’s Jason X. Its most recent come back was with the 2017 game (released on 26th May) developed by Gun Media and Illfonic, where you the viewer can play as a camp counselor either attempting a daring escape out of Camp Crystal Lake, or play as Jason himself and wreak havoc on your friends or online players.
So, if you’re a horror fan like I am and need a film that won’t cause a heart attack but you want more than the occasional jump from the non-diegetic music kicking in, then this is the film for you my friend. The real question is do you dare watch it on Friday the 13th 2017?