Flashback Review: Friday the 13th


Ryan Jayne

Jason ripping through the black background

Ryan Jayne, Staff Writer

When it comes to horror movie classics, Friday the 13th (1980) is one of the first movies that comes to mind, featuring iconic horror name Jason Vorhees. “Friday the 13th: Part 1” does not feature Jason as the main villain, but he is still brought up on many occasions and gives fans of the series excitement. The question is, does the movie really add up to expectations, even with age?


In short, no it does not. When you are thinking about it in comparison to other horror movies both back in the day and in modern times, it’s way too tacky with basically no real storyline. Even the acting was awful, which made conversations and death scenes so much worse than they needed to be. The movie felt more like a teen-romance drama because the amount of make-out scenes that were in it are more than anyone can count. It just makes the viewers super uncomfortable and provided no plot for the movie whatsoever. 


Some of the better parts of the movie were just simply how great the production itself was. The set of Camp Crystal Lake was extraordinary, with multiple “creepy” areas within it that contrast with the beautiful, surrounding wilderness. In terms of special effects, the deaths looked pretty gruesome and realistic for the year it was created. It also featured these unique camera shots that give you a view of what the killer sees, adding mystery to the true identity of who they are. The viewer doesn’t find out who the killer is until the end, who is revealed to be Jason’s mother, or Pamela Vorhees. 


Critic ratings, as usual, show to be a lot more harsh than audience ratings. Rotten Tomatoes gave it a 62%, Metacritic gave it a 22%, and IMDb gave it a 6.5. Reviewers on Rotten Tomatoes are very mixed, with comments varying from “A tame, poorly plotted serving of schlock, less horrific for its ketchup-smeared murders than for the bare-faced fashion in which it tries and fails to rip off Carpenter’s Halloween in matters of style and construction,” to “A hugely influential film that contributed to the 1980s horror boom.”


Overall, Friday the 13th (1980) is an iconic great, but also contains a disappointing plot with mediocre actors to go along with it.


Personal Rating: (4/10)