31 in 31: Friday the 13th (1980)

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Story: We are the CITs so pity us. The kids are brats, the food is hideous! We’re gonna smoke and drink and fool around! We’re…oh wait. No, not Camp North Star. Camp Crystal Lake. And these guys are dooooooomed.

Scares: A bunch, actually. But that’s if you’re watching with people that aren’t drunk off their ass. Alone, or with a small, quiet, group? Chilly. With drunk-a-palooza? Depends on their quick wit, but it’ll definitely harsh your horror mellow.

Splat factor: This amp goes to 11. Oh yeah baby. And you haven’t lived til you’ve seen Kevin Bacon get an arrow through the trachea. (Sorry, Kevin.)

Closing scene “shocker”: This is THE slasher movie with a twist at the end. (Yes, so did Psycho. But I don’t count that as a slasher flick.) And back in the day, it was effective as hell. But with sequel after sequel, it’s…uh…lost it’s effectiveness.

Sequel, Remake or OG (Original Ghoul): This is the first. Of many. MANY.

Trick or Treat?: I was lucky enough to beg my parents to let me see this in theaters opening night (hey, it was my birthday weekend and I got first choice.) We didn’t get to sit next to each other – the place was packed – but I still remember my mom’s reaction to Betsy Palmer’s Mrs. Voorhees. “Oh good, everything will be okay now; she always plays the good girl.” Needless to say my mom about crapped herself. Switching the game on my film-addict mom is enough for me to love this film.

But there’s more. Plenty of super effective gore, thanks to Tom Savini. And this is the movie that made him an FX star. Enough of a story to get you invested in the characters, something that future installments – and the genre itself – forgets to do.

Plus, there’s Jason. Just a kid, but he makes a helluva entrance. I have the DVD, and yet whenever it’s on cable (even if it’s edited to Hell and back, and loaded with commercials)? I can’t help but watch. Maybe this time Betsy will be nicer mom. But I highly doubt it.

Score:  wpid-pumpkin9.jpgwpid-pumpkin9.jpgwpid-pumpkin9.jpgwpid-pumpkin9.jpgwpid-pumpkin9.jpgout of 5 pumpkins.

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