Another week, another Horror Movie Marathon. This week, I have decided to start on one of the biggest horror franchises out there. I headed to Crystal Lake and will be staying there for the next few weeks, as I cover all 12 movies in the franchise, including Freddy vs Jason. I loved these movies as a kid, but will they hold up now when I am an adult? Let’s find out, starting with Part 1, 2, and 3.
Friday the 13th Part 1
The movie that kickstarted it all, and it doesn’t even feature Jason or his hockey mask. Instead, we see his mom, killing off camp counselors to avenge her son’s death.
As far as slasher’s go, this one is decent. Too many slashers are too eager to show off their killer, but hiding Mrs.Voorhees, and only ever showing off things from her perspective, until the end when they reveal her, worked well.
The movie is not scary at all. People who tend to be jumpy while watching horror movies may feel differently, but if you are like me, and don’t find gore and on-screen deaths scary, then the horror elements will seem tame to you. This first chapter lacks the great gory kills that come in later movies and lacks the campiness that made me enjoy some of the other movies. There are only two memorable kills, Kevin Bacon getting the arrow through his neck, and Pamela Voorhees being decapitated. The rest were forgettable.
The characters are all pretty bland, which is to be expected in these movies. Kevin Bacon is in it, but he lacks the charm Kevin Bacon characters usually have. It is kind of hard to remember any of this movie. I remember small bits, like the decapitation, and that dumb scene at the end where kid Jason emerges out of the water for no reason. But I did not hate the movie. It is, fine. That is all.
Friday the 13th Part 2
This was my favorite as a kid, and I am not really sure why. Maybe it is because I met the man who played this Jason at a Horror Convention as a kid. But after rewatching it, I do not think I would still call it my favorite. I do like it, more so than Part 1, but I do not love it.
What put’s it above Part 1 is some of the characters are a bit more interesting. I cared a little bit more about these characters interactions. Ginny, the Final Girl, was in particular interesting. I loved that she was smart, and used different tactics to fight back than just running like so many Final Girls do. The scene where she pretends to be Jason’s mom is memorable, and one of the better scenes in the movie. There are still a lot of bland throwaway characters, but the ones the movie focus on at least have some personality. The flirting between Mark and Vicky is actually entertaining to watch.
It also stepped up its game a bit in terms of kills. They still are a bit tame, with many of them just being reaction shots as people are stabbed below the camera, but there a few good ones. The most memorable kill is when Mark gets killed. We see it on screen, and then he rolls down the stairs in his wheelchair. It is a bit over the top, but I do not mind that in these movies. The over the top deaths make it better. These movies are better when they stop trying to be serious and start trying to just be entertaining.
Overall, I enjoy Part 2, but like part 1, it is just a bit bland. It does not have the flaws some of the worse Friday the 13th movies have, but it also does not quite stack up to how fun some of the better Friday movies are. It is resting somewhere in the middle.
Friday the 13th Part 3
For some reason, they decided to make this version 3-D. And while it does not ruin the movie, it does hurt it. It falls into that 3-D trap, where there are scenes obviously designed for 3-d. And any time one of those scenes pop up, it is super distracting. Maybe it is better if you actually watch it in 3d, but most people do not have 3d glasses, and a 3d capable screen, so that does not matter.
Like the first two, the gore leaves a bit to be desired. As part 2 was slightly better than 1, part 3 is slightly better than 2, but it is still a bit tame. I could say that is because of the time it came out, and even the little gore they showed in these three movies was deemed satanic by some audiences at the time, I don’t think that really matters. We have the ability to judge movies based on how the age, and while they may have seemed daring for their time, to a modern audience, they would seem tame. There are some kills I like. One of which actually is off-screen. We see a character swinging on a rope in and out of a window in a barn. One of the characters looks away, and when he looks back, the woman swinging is gone. Shortly after, we see she was killed, with a pitchfork jabbed through he neck. It was kind of eerie to see her just disappear.
The characters also improve a bit. Again, it is a slasher, so the standards for characters are low, but some of them are at least interesting, and they do stand out from each other. The biggest flaw in many Slasher movies is that the characters are either super hateable, or forgettable. That is not the case here. One of the characters is annoying, but in a way that works for the movie.
Overall, it is again an improvement from the previous ones. But I hated the 3D. There is also one embarrassing effect where Jason Crushes someone’s head. It could have been a great moment, heads being smashed are often great gory moments, but it looked super fake. It is a quick moment and does not ruin the movie, but it is disappointing. This movie could have been better, but as it is, it is a semi-entertaining slasher film worth watching at least once.