Cover for Friday the 13th.

Friday the 13thEdit

Friday the 13th is a 1980 American slasher film directed by Sean S. Cunningham and written by Victor Miller. The film concerns a group of teenagers who are murdered one by one while attempting to re-open an abandoned campground, and stars Betsy Palmer, Adrienne King, Harry Crosby, Laurie Bartram and Kevin Bacon in one of his earliest roles. It is considered one of the first "true" slasher movies. Prompted by the success of John Carpenter's Halloween,[2] the film was made on an estimated budget of $550,000.[1] Released by Paramount Pictures in the United States and Warner Bros. internationally, the film received negative reviews from film critics, grossed over $39.7 million at the box office in the United States,[3] and went on to become one of the most profitable slasher films in cinema history. It was also the first movie of its kind to secure distribution in the USA by a major studio, Paramount Pictures.[4] The film's box office success led to Friday the 13th Part 2 (1981), a long series of sequels, a crossover with the A Nightmare on Elm Street franchise and a 2009 series reboot.

Plot and StoryEdit

In 1958, two camp counselors at Camp Crystal Lake, Barry and Claudette sneak away from a gathering to have sex, however someone stalking the two of them attacks them and kills them both with a knife. Twenty-one years later, on June 13, 1979 a young girl named Annie is making her way to Crystal Lake under the employ of the original camp owners' son Steve Christy who intends to reopen the camp. The history of the murders, water poisonings and fires has the town wary, and Crazy Ralph (Walt Gorney), a local man, warns her that the counselors are doomed. She shrugs the warnings off and hitches a ride with a truck driver Enos who has similar warnings for her. Meanwhile, the other counselors; Jack, Ned, Marcie join Alice, Bill and Brenda at the camp and they begin repairs and fixes around the camp, enjoying a little free time in between the chores. Annie hitches a ride in a Jeep Wrangler with an unseen driver, when the driver refuses Annie's stop at Crystal Lake, she flees and is chased through the woods before having her throat slashed by the killer. After Steve returns to town for supplies, Ralph arrives at the camp, inciting his warning that they're all doomed. The experience, while chilling is laughed at by the others. Ned encounters a stranger at the camp and goes into a nearby cabin while Marcie tells Jack about a dream she had that terrified her during storms as a storm comes up and they seek shelter in their cabin, unbeknownst to them Ned is there dead from a slash to his throat. After having sex, Marcie leaves the cabin and Jack is killed from an assailant under his bed who follows Marcie to the communal bathroom and kills her with a hatchet to the face. Elsewhere, Steve returns on foot to the camp after his jeep broke down and recognizes the killer before being stabbed himself. Alice, Brenda and Bill finish their game of strip Monopoly when Brenda realizes her cabin windows are open and she turns in for the night. She is lured out into the storm with what sounds like a child calling for help and is killed on the archery range. Suspicious of the happenings, Bill and Alice find many strange things wrong with the camp and are unable to find their friends. Convinced this is some sort of a joke, Bill convinces Alice to return to the cabin. The killer turns off the generator and Bill heads out alone to fix it, Alice awakens to go find him and discovers him pinned to the generator room door with arrows. She then meets Pamela Voorhees (Betsy Palmer) who, at first is nice but steadily grows more violent as she talks about her son Jason, who had drowned as a boy in 1957. She becomes schizophrenic and pulls a knife on Alice who flees. After several encounters that Alice narrowly escapes, Mrs. Voorhees attacks her by the lake, in the fray, Alice gains control of the machete Mrs. Voorhees was attacking her with and decapitates her with it. She then climbs into a canoe and falls asleep off shore. The next morning, police arrive to find a dazed Alice in the canoe, when they call to her, she is attacked by a boy and pulled out of the boat. She awakens in the hospital and discovers her friends are all dead, then she asks about the boy. But the sheriff says no boy was found, and Alice says "Then he's still there...", as the final shot shows the lake supposedly at peace, before fading to black.


Betsy Palmer – Mrs. Pamela Voorhees, Adrienne King – Alice Hardy, Jeannine Taylor – Marcie Cunningham, Robbi Morgan – Annie, Kevin Bacon – Jack Burrel, Harry Crosby – Bill, Laurie Bartram – Brenda, Mark Nelson – Ned Rubinstein, Peter Brouwer – Steve Christy, Rex Everhart – Enos (truck-driver), Ronn Carroll – Sgt. Tierney, Ron Millkie – Officer Dorf, Walt Gorney – Crazy Ralph, Willie Adams – Barry, Debra S. Hayes – Claudette, Dorothy Kobs – Trudy, Sally Anne Golden – Sandy, Mary Rocco – Operator, Ken L. Parker – Doctor, Ari Lehman – Jason Voorhees (Mrs. Voorhees' son)

Critical ResponseEdit

Friday the 13th received negative reviews from critics upon its initial release, but has since gained a significant cult following. Rotten Tomatoes reports that 59% of critics gave the film a positive review, based on 49 reviews.[24] Its most vocal detractor was Gene Siskel, who in his review called Cunningham "one of the most despicable creatures ever to infest the movie business".[25] He also published the address for Charles Bluhdorn, the chairman of the board of Gulf+Western, which owned Paramount, as well as Betsy Palmer's home city and encouraged fellow detractors to write to them and express their contempt for the film.[26] Siskel and Roger Ebert spent an entire episode of their TV show berating the film (and other slasher films of the time) because they felt it would make audiences root for the killer.[27] Leonard Maltin initially awarded the film one star, or 'BOMB', but later changed his mind and awarded the film a star and-a-half stating "...simply because it's slightly better than Part 2" and called it a "...gory, cardboard thriller".[28] Variety claimed the film was "low budget in the worst sense—with no apparent talent or intelligence to offset its technical inadequacies—Friday the 13th has nothing to exploit but its title. "[29] The ending sequence of the film was listed at No. 31 on Bravo's 100 Scariest Movie Moments,[30][dead link] and the film was voted No. 15 in Channel 4's 100 Greatest Scariest Moments.[31][dead link] The film was nominated for AFI's 100 Years...100 Thrills.[32] English film critic Mark Kermode opined that the first Friday the 13th film's legacy is not that it's a good, well-made film (it's not, Kermode has argued) but that it successfully brought an aesthetic mostly confined to grindhouse cinema, at least up until that time, into mainstream cinema. "There was a novelty of seeing a film that scrappy and that nasty being distributed by a big studio in a mainstream cinema. You were watching a nasty, grimy movie but in plush seats, in kind of polite surroundings. That was what made it something special, something that hadn't been seen before", Kermode recalled.


As of 2009, Friday the 13th has spawned nine sequels, including a crossover film with A Nightmare on Elm Street villain Freddy Krueger. Friday the 13th Part 2 (1981) introduced Jason Voorhees, the son of Mrs. Voorhees, as the primary antagonist, which would continue for the remaining sequels (with exception of the fifth movie) and related works. Most of the sequels were filmed on larger budgets than the original. In comparison, Friday the 13th had a budget of $550,000, while the first sequel was given a budget of $1.25 million.[1] At the time of its release, Freddy vs. Jason had the largest budget, at $25 million.[34] All of the sequels repeated the premise of the original, so the filmmakers made tweaks to provide freshness. Changes involved an addition to the title—as opposed to a number attached to the end—like "The Final Chapter" and "Jason Takes Manhattan", or filming the movie in 3-D, as Miner did for Friday the 13th Part III (1982).[35] One major addition that would affect the entire film series was the addition of Jason's hockey mask in the third film; this mask would become one of the most recognizable images in popular culture.[36][dead link] Cunningham did not direct any of the film's sequels, though he did act as producer on the later installments; he initially did not want Jason Voorhees to be resurrected for the sequel.[citation needed] A reboot to Friday the 13th came to theaters in February 2009, with Freddy vs. Jason writers Damian Shannon and Mark Swift hired to script the new film.[37] The film focused on Jason Voorhees, along with his trademark hockey mask.[38] The film was produced by Michael Bay, Andrew Form and Brad Fuller through Bay's production company Platinum Dunes, for New Line Cinema.[37] In November 2007, Marcus Nispel, director of the 2003 remake of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, was hired to direct.[39] The film had its United States release on 13 February 2009.