Saturday, 9 August 2014

Friday The 13th (1980) - Massacre at Camp Crystal Lake

Friday The 13th. A date to remember after this sublime classic was produced. This is what allows us to claim that Friday The 13th is an unlucky day because 13 is a supposed unlucky number! I could watch this any time of the day, and any day of the week. Even though it was produced in 1980, it is a pure classic and a unique symbol to the horror genre. In my opinion, it creates the (now clich├ęd) idea - a group of teens hanging out by a local lake - soon to be shredded or brutally murdered in any imaginable way by a psychotic murderer, one by one.

Another feature I admired about this film is the music! I watched this film again about a week ago and I still find the soundtrack very nerve-wracking and intense. It's so old, but just classic - pure class. It accompanies the actual film perfectly by preparing us for each death but at times, even works as an anti-climax to merely thrill us and cause the audience not to expect the next scare. It's amazing! The scares were very successful and well-worked in my opinion. There were even a few moments during the day I remembered that I genuinely had a wee scare simply due to the film being so unexpected. One moment in particular when Crazy Ralph (Walt Gorney) was hiding in the closet, and popped out to warn the teenagers that they were in danger. This was when the 'Camp Blood' name was introduced. By the way, what a name! It was fantastic in establishing an eerie atmosphere for the rest of the film, as we and they both clearly knew danger was coming.
Anyways, this must-watch slasher revolves around a place called Camp Crystal Lake which is notorious for its unpleasant background. In 1957, a young boy named Jason Voorhees sadly drowned due to the lifeguards not 'paying attention'. A year later, two camp counsellors were murdered as we see at the beginning of the film. In 1962, fires and bad water led to the reopening of the camp. A young group of teens decide to go to this Camp Crystal Lake in order to have some teenage fun. However, what they don't know is the history of the camp. Warning after warning, the group are stubborn to remain in the cabins for the weekend, and are unaware that Jason would return to avenge his death on his birthday - Friday The 13th. From the moment Crazy Ralph warns them, the violence begins. Teen after teen, the murders begin, in as many different styles you could imagine. An axe to the face, arrows attaching you to the door above the ground, and even a spear type weapon through your back to escape your body through your rib cage.
Yes, it turns out to be a very bloody mess, hence my title - Massacre at Camp Crystal Lake! Now about the excellent ending (remember, spoiler alert!) - It was the perfect ending to begin an awesome horror franchise. It puzzled the audience! - By causing us to question who the strange boy was at the end! Well it was the return of the little god Jason Voorhees. This was undoubtedly a remarkable end to the film, and a fantastic cliff-hanger to the sequel. Also, as the last innocent teen woke up on the boat, I was completely shocked and bewildered to see the twist as Jason pulled her under - well until I discovered it was a dream. It was a key moment in my opinion though; one which keep the momentum and tense atmosphere right up until the end.

Overall, this classic slasher is the horror package. The momentum and intense mood is perfect in causing the audience to actually feel as though they cared for each of the characters. Well except for Mrs Voorhees (Betsy Palmer), who seems to be having an inner conversation with her son Jason. Well either that or she's just as crazy inside as she was on the outside as she attempted to rip the last victim apart. Get it watched though guys. It's a pure horror classic, and a fantastic opening to a classic franchise.

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