RETRO REVIEW: ‘Friday the 13th’ – Welcome to Camp Blood!

Summer camp has never been scarier… or has it? Over 35 years have passed since the release of this horror classic, but the last movie of the franchise only came out in 2009. While Friday the 13th quickly became a hit, the quality of its sequels seemed to demise. However, a character that appears briefly during the original, Jason Voorhees, became one of the most recognized masked-baddies in horror history. There’s also been announced that a tv series is in the works for 2016.

In short, Friday the 13th (1980) tells the story of a group of camp counselors who are being murdered one by one by a mysterious attacker. Crystal Lake Camp is being re-opened after a child drowned and two counselors were murdered, but things don’t go as planned.


The film was developed by Sean S. Cunningham and inspired by Halloween. Cunningham worked as a producer in Wes Craven’s Last House on the Left and wanted Friday the 13th to be impactful to the audience, making use of jump-scares.

Overall, this is not the best slasher film ever made, but it’s possibly the best one of the whole franchise. Written by Victor Miller, the story is very simple and every scene is constructed in a direct way, to the point. With a young Kevin Bacon in the cast, the acting is reasonably decent for a bunch of unknown actors, as is now expected from these kind of movies. The music and special (bloody) effects are my favorite part, with a distinctive sound when the killer appears and graphic throat slashing.

The ending, inspired by that of Carrie, sets a breaking point for the franchise, having Jason as the protagonist in the sequels, something that Miller didn’t appreciate.

Very recently, the meta-horror film The Final Girls depicted fairly accurately Friday the 13th with a twist. Well worth watching.

Elisabeth S. Contreras
Elisabeth S. Contreras
Film enthusiast and sharer of words. Don't underestimate a woman with an opinion.