Friday the 13th formula and how Jason Voorhees became a horror icon

Happy Friday the 13th to y’all horror fans.

As you might know, Friday the 13th is a franchise started off in 1980 by the director Sean S. Cunningham and revolving around Jason Voorhees, who after having drowned as a boy at Camp Crystal Lake, began to reappear decades later every Friday 13th night.

He’s one of the most iconic villain of horror cinema, who terrorized generations of children by wearing a hokey mask and brandishing a rusty machete.

It is pretty clear that the distribution company (Paramount Pictures) and the director decided to base this movie out of the Halloween success. Friday the 13th came out two years later and it amounted to the slasher genre, with a main character who resembled Michael Myers quite closely.

The plot of the first installment of this franchise is original and unexpected, though.

*spoilers from here on*

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In the first Friday the 13th the main villain is not Jason, but his mother who decides to seek revenge against a bunch of teenagers who reminds her of the guys bulling her deceased son.

Although the acting is quite amateur and the cinematography has nothing special to offer, this movie is still enjoyable for what it is – a disposable slasher flick surrounded by mystery and killings.friday-the-13th-movie-1980-i11

The grand finale, as you might know, keeps the door open for a sequel, by showing a monster-like Jason coming up from the lake to kill the last girl standing.

Eventually, in 1981 Friday the 13th II picks up five years after that first film’s conclusion. This second instalment is still pretty good: for the first time we get to see Jason Voorhees in action, five years after the events the first movie was based on.

And he is pretty damn cool. An enormous human-like apparently indestructible monster who mercilessly kills young teenagers in various ways whom is impossible not to love for a horror fan.

However, the ending with a dumb dream sequence ruins the tone and the enjoyment built throughout the film.

Unfortunately, the third Friday the 13th is where the things start to go dawn. Rapidly and disgracefully.

All the movies from the third to the ninth start to melt, carrying the same plot, the same bunch of dumbass teenagers, the inexplicable resurrections of the villain and the killings also slowly begin to get unoriginal and tiresome.

As you all know, the ‘original franchise’ is made out of ten movies. I left behind the tenth because it’s the one where even a die-hard Jason fan should throw the towel in – even though to me they could just have stopped with the third Friday the 13th, making Jason die once and forever. Anyway, the last instalment is located in space (!), 400 years in the future (!!) and stars a semi-robot version of Jason (!!!). It’s enough for me, also because the movie takes itself so serious that’s even impossible to laugh at it.

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Since, I don’t talk about TV series and videogames in this blog, let’s jump directly to the last two movies we need to talk about: Freddy vs Jason and Friday the 13th 3D – a reboot/remake of some kind.

Both of these movies are an atrocity against humanity. However, Freddy vs Jason has the redeeming quality to contain some entertaining moments and a sense of desperation descending from the concept that no place is safe – the day is haunted by Jason, while the dreamful nights are dominated by Mr. Nightmare. Still, it serves no purpose other than being a fan service for those who wanted to see the epical face-off between two of the most iconic villains of all time. Something we’ve seen in Alien Vs Predator, with the same disappointing result.

Friday the 13th 3D is pure crap instead. I’m sorry guys, but this movie – if you can call it a movie – is just a money-grabbing piece of nothingness, where everything is done poorly and effortlessly. Also the CGI and the 3D are at their worst, which configures Friday the 13th 3D as one of the worst horror flicks ever made.

These are my thoughts on the Friday the 13th franchise, and if you guys are die-hard fan of all of these movie, I hope we can still be friends, even though I’m clearly not. Cheers and tonight stay away from Crystal Lake!

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