Friday the 13th (1980)

Friday the 13th (1980)

“Camp Crystal Lake is jinxed.”

A group of teenage counselors preparing a camp site for re-opening after years of closure due to the death of a child are gruesomely killed off, one by one.

Genres, Themes, Actors, and Directors:

  • Betsy Palmer Films
  • Horror Films
  • Serial Killers
  • Summer Camp
  • Teenagers

Response to Peary’s Review:
Peary gives away major spoilers in his review of this “low-budget film”, the “first of a series that has become an American institution;” but I’ll try my best to keep identities unrevealed. Peary writes that the murderer’s “dramatic battle with the last survivor, gutsy Adrienne King… is strong stuff” and adds, “In fact, the film is skillfully enough made by director Sean Cunningham that you’ll be scared out of your wits waiting for each counselor to meet his or her ghastly end.” He posits that Friday the 13th is a “successful mix of bloody horror and youth-sex genres, so it’s no surprise it made a fortune”, but he argues you may question “your own reason for sitting through entertainment with gratuitous sex and violence and teenagers who are portrayed as oversexed, insensitive clowns ideal for slaughter.” I disagree completely with Peary’s characterization of the counselors: only one couple (Kevin Bacon and Jeannine Taylor) is shown having sex; the others are reasonably hard-working when they’re not joking around or relaxing with silly and perfectly normal teenage games. All film fanatics will surely be curious to check out this iconic horror flick that kicked off so many sequels — but don’t read anything at all about it if you want to remain authentically surprised.

Redeeming Qualities and Moments:

  • Fine use of idyllic (and menacing) location shooting
  • Numerous scary moments

Must See?
Yes, for its historical importance and status as a cult favorite.


  • Cult Movie
  • Historically Relevant


3 thoughts on “Friday the 13th (1980)

  1. ⭐️⭐️⭐️1/2 out of ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

    Simple, well made and downright creepy summer camp-set horror flick. The cast are likeable with Adrienne King an appealing, empathic, relatable presence. This gets better and better with the passage of time especially if you spent any amount of time at summer camp.

    Definitely must see for FFs but the only essential film in the fun series.

  2. Peary way overplays the actual amount of sex in this. There’s only one sex scene with a brief amount of nudity. Violence is more prevalent but much of it off screen with only a few fairly brief gory moments.

  3. A once-must, for its place in horror history – though I wouldn’t call it a personal recommendation.

    That said – and though I obviously can’t explain due to it being a spoiler – I get a chuckle out of the ending.

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