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Frank's Movie Log

My life at the movies.

Friday the 13th

1980 | United States | 95 min | More...
A still from Friday the 13th (1980)
C-: 2.5 stars (out of 5)
on Fri Nov 13, 2020

There’s no hockey mask and no Jason. Yes, an unknown killer picks off young people working to re-open a New Jersey summer camp, but the plot hews closer to a giallo than a modern slasher.

The film’s realistic style feeds our inner voyeur. We watch the young cast goof-off, fool around, and bond. The dingy camp location evokes the right combination of authenticity and dissonance. When the kills come, Tom Savini’s practical effects deliver the goods.

But in the third act, the film falters. Cunningham stretches the final-girl beyond her range. She over-emotes and the script seems out of ideas. She incapacitates the killer, only to drop her weapon and run to another hiding spot. Rinse and repeat.

The epilogue almost compensates. Dollars to doughnuts, on your first watch, it’ll make you jump.

Viewing History

    Watched on
    Fri Nov 13, 2020 via Blu-ray (Friday the 13th Collection, Shout Factory, 2020)
    Watched on
    Fri Sep 13, 2013 via Blu-ray