Let’s go back into the past shall? The year is 1980 and 2 years prior a little film by the name of Halloween had for better or worse opened up the eyes of Hollywood to the power of cheap made horror movies. Halloween made tons of cash and it didn’t even cost much to make which is always a winner to Hollywood. Right away many saw that they needed to cash on the idea before it would run out of steam, which it would by the mid 1980’s. Now of course the big studios had always made horror movies but they were always bigger productions like The Exorcist or The Omen which had big named actors and budgets to match. But Halloween changed all that. Now of course it was not the first one to take on this model but it was the first one that was done with style, blood and good story telling. Out of this burst came Friday the 13th which kicked in the doors for slasher movies but also told the world that people wanted gore, the more the better.
When this movie first was released a lot of critics yelled loudly that this was nothing but trash. How dare Paramount released such a sick bloody mess. One boycott after another were started all over the world, which is strange because it was not the first movie of its type. It got so much press because this was the first what we now call slasher movie that was released by a major studio. And it made a lot of money for them.
So did those who were outraged have a point of any kind? Yes and no. Let me tell you first why I think they were wrong and why this is an important movie. First off, it had a hook that was different not only for then but also for now, the killer was the mom. This was not simply a cold blooded killer movie but a revenge tale that I think many can say that they understand. Her baby was taken from her and it had an effect on her that I am not sure many can blame her for. She went nuts. Did the kids deserve to die? No but they had been warned, which always lead me to believe that the towns people knew who the killer was. So there was some thought and twists to the story that made it different. Of course as the sequels come, the less original that this first outing seemed. I think that had it stopped with just this first movie, it would have been better remembered but because Jason Voorhees went from Victim to hunter, with it went a lot of feelings of understanding for his mom.
And yes it changed Hollywood and this is where I kinda go from good into the bad of this movie. Blood gushing horror movies were no longer just the realm of low budget studios. Everyone saw what they were and wanted a part of the cash cow. But how do you keep people in the seats? You top whatever you did last and that meant more killing and more blood. And lots of dumb movies. That’s the bad part, it kicked the doors in and then the whole house was washed away in one after another bad horror movies.
I know your going to ask, but what is this movie even about and who’s in it and such. Look all you need to know if you have never seen this movie is that a boy died and someone wants revenge. Pretty straightforward. And Kevin Bacon is in it and meets an unhappy end. My own feelings on it is that it is kinda scary still. It does have good moments. I always enjoy watching it.
So should you watch this movie? Horror fans I know will already own this but for everyone else, give it a chance. Maybe its still too early to see what it did do for Hollywood but someday its day will come.
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