Friday the 13th (1980)

4 stars

Cast: Betsy Palmer, Adrienne King, Robbi Morgan, Harry Crosby, Jeannine Taylor, and Kevin Bacon

Director: Sean S. Cunningham

Synopsis: A group of camp counsellors are stalked and murdered by an unknown assailant while trying to reopen a summer camp which, years before, was the site of a child’s drowning.


The first of 12 films is definitely the scariest and most sophisticated of the series as this was at the start of the ‘slasher’ era of horror movies. The basic plot is the exact same as the other 11 films, and the same as the other ‘slashers’ in the 80’s but still seems to shine above the rest. Maybe it’s the tone, or the setting? maybe it’s the introduction to one of the most iconic characters in cinema: Jason Voorhees? Whatever it is, there is always something that makes revisiting this classic enjoyable and a great time.

The ending twist is just as iconic and memorable as the Jason character and always shocks first time viewers. The slow pace is a great attribute to the original, as tension is always being built right up until the climax where there is a satisfactory release. This shows how effective the early 80’s movie is.

The sequels unfortunately do not keep up to quality, but the enjoyment factor is increased as they become more silly and enjoyable. I will review all of the other sequels so make sure to read the others!

Betsy Palmer’s iconic performance seems even better, as the majority of others’ portrayals are mediocre or plain bad. This makes the film seem more of a guilty pleasure, but it will still go down as one of the Godfather’s of the horror genre.

Friday the 13th is a solid 4 star movie, the sequels (most), however are not so good.