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To kick off my month of horror I presumed there was no better way to start then with Friday the 13th. I was wrong. Friday the 13th doesn't necessarily follow the story of any one character, but instead a group of campers spending the summer at Camp Crystal Lake. Soon after arriving and settling in, each of the campers slowly begin to disappear, each disappearance soon being solved with the discovery of a bloodied body. And so the game begins.
This being my first adventure into the Friday the 13th franchise, I wasn't entirely sure what to expect. I'd heard different things from different people, but for the most part I'd heard that it was a fairly straightforward horror movie. It's simple and unoriginal, yet somehow managed to spark 9 sequels, a spin-off involving a confrontation with A Nightmare On Elm Street's Freddy Kruger and then a reboot/remake a few years ago. Friday the 13th is not "all that", so to speak. All it is is your generic, run of the mill horror film with a few grisly kills and an iconic killer, although the famous hockey mask isn't introduced until Part 3. The film opens incredibly eerie, showing us the first of many violent murders that this film has on offer. From then on out it lowers in quality. The soundtrack isn't as effective, the screenplay becomes even cornier and the plot is a mess. Not to mention all the clichés crammed in throughout, the most infuriating one being a man who walks up to one of the campers and announces that the camp is haunted. As most horror characters do, they ignore his warning, ensuring that we'll actually get a film to watch.
The film's fast pace and surprising twists are enough to make this at least slightly entertaining. Ignoring its genericness and occasional boringness, Friday the 13th offers the odd moment of entertainment. Perhaps it's because I'm a sucker for horror movies, hence the reason why I'm dedicating a whole month to the genre, but this film was a decent 95 minutes. It's deliciously eerie, delightfully sexy and thankfully short. Full of the cheesiest 80s style performances and 80s style scares, Friday the 13th succeeds in a lot of ways, but fails in almost just as many.
The film fails to withstand its own weight once we get to the third act. This film really crumbles once we hit the third act. The second act concludes with a big reveal, a reveal almost every cinephile or horror hound knows of. From here on out there's no suspense as to what's happening. There's no entertainment value. There's nothing happening of any interest. The final act becomes slow, dull, repetitive and suspense-less, managing to jam in even more clichés than the first two acts combined. There really isn't one good moment in this final third until a scene on a small boat towards the film's conclusion. This brief, yet shocking moment unfortunately doesn't make up for the rest of the act.
To sum up, Friday the 13th is about as generic as they come. Jammed with clichés and terrible acting, Friday the 13th may be considered bad by most, but with its eeriness and delightfully disturbing kills, I can somehow find enjoyment in it.