Thursday, 14 March 2013

Friday the 13th (1980)

  “You’re doomed! You’re all doomed!”

Obviously this film was enormous fun to watch. That goes without saying. It’s a bit hard to talk about, though. One the one hand its tropes are all slasher clichés- the warnings from suspicious locals, the fact that any character who either has sex or goes out alone is doomed and, well, the above quote. It’s very hard to take the film seriously in a post-Scream environment. On the other hand, though, it has a reasonable claim to at least some part in writing those very clichés. Methinks I should refrain from passing judgement on the use of these tropes and simply enjoy the ride.

Incidentally, this is the first of more than a hundred films I’ve reviewed to feature Kevin Bacon, a truly shocking statistic.

You can just tell from the opening titles that this is a film to have fun with rather than be scared by, and I found that a couple of cans of Boddingtons went down well with it. It’s probably best watched with someone else, too, so you can have a bit of fun mocking the clichéd “scary” music, the acting, and the predictability of the plot. I must admit, though, that my lovely girlfriend was rather more cruel in her mockery than myself, especially at the first throat slitting scene. Still, at least she admits that the deaths get better throughout. There are loads of entertaining set pieces, if hilariously predictable ones.

The most hilarious sequence occurs right at the beginning, as the character of Annie is set up purely to be killed in the most predictable manner imaginable, and continues in that vein, with each death being more hyperbolically violent. It takes a turn at the end, though: I was expecting to see the iconic Jason Vorhees but instead I got his mother, a twist I wasn’t at all ready for. Expect to see the sequels all reviewed here, very soon.

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