Thursday, November 13, 2008

Friday the 13th

mrs. voorhees
Originally uploaded by hypostylin
If you don’t want to know the end of Friday the 13th don’t read this. I cannot discuss this film without discussing the end in detail. It wouldn’t do the film justice any other way.

I didn’t have the typical lack of knowledge most people do going into Friday the 13th; I knew the ending. How? I’ve seen Scream. Anyone that has seen the first 15 minutes of Scream knows the real ending of the film – the killer asks Drew Barrymore who the killer in Friday the 13th is and she gets is wrong. Thus she dies. From that moment on I knew that Jason was not the killer in the first Friday the 13th, but I didn’t understand. Everyone knows Jason is the killer in the hockey mask that haunts those films.

However, this knowledge did not turn me off of the film. It is the ending of Friday the 13th that makes the film worth watching – the ending is one of the most unique in the genre.

On the whole Friday the 13th is your average slasher film, I would argue that it is the start of the contemporary slasher film. A bunch of kids (including a young Kevin Bacon) go to be counselors at a quaint camp with a bloody history and in one night are picked off one by one. There are some really good scares and jump moments, but for the most part the body of the movie is really standard. The kids flirt, do drugs, have intercourse, and get slowly picked off one by one.

To tell the truth, with the exception of Kevin Bacon’s death I pretty much found the movie kind of boring – but then came the ending.

In the end Alice is the only counselor left alive and she sees a jeep drive up and Mrs. Voorhees gets out and offers to help Alice…but as it turns out Mrs. Voorhees used to work at the camp, and her son Jason drowned there. She blames the counselors for not watching him so in 1958 (the year after Jason drowned) she killed two of the counselors and the camp closed. She was never caught and when Mrs. Voorhees found out Camp Crystal Lake was reopening she decided to go after the counselors again.

The ending makes the movie. If it weren’t for the twist that the killer is not some typical psycho in a costume the first Friday the 13th would be a mere blip on the radar; however, Mrs. Voorhees, the vengeful mother makes the film unique and more than memorable.

There is a remake in the works for Friday the 13th and rumor has it that Mrs. Voorhees is out and Jason is in. I haven’t seen the second film yet to know how Jason works into the plot (because he drowned in 1958), but I heavily protest Mrs. Voorhees being totally taken out of the remake – she makes the film and makes it something worth seeing.

Director: Sean S. Cunningham
Writer: Victor Miller
Mrs. Voorhees: Betsy Palmer
Alice: Adrienne King
Marcie: Jeannine Taylor
Annie: Robbi Morgan
Jack: Kevin Bacon
Bill: Harry Crosby
Brenda: Laurie Bartram
Ned: Mark Nelson
Steve Christy: Peter Brouwer
Crazy Ralph: Walt Gorney
Barry: Willie Adams
Claudette: Debra S. Hayes
Trudy: Dorothy Kobs
Sandy: Sally Anne Golden
Jason: Ari Lehman

Pamela Voorhees: Did you know a young boy drowned the year before those two others were killed? The counselors weren't paying any attention... They were making love while that young boy drowned. His name was Jason. I was working the day that it happened. Preparing meals... here. I was the cook. Jason should've been watched. Every minute. He was... He wasn't a very good swimmer. We can go now... dear.

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