I am avoiding (for now) all the films in between and choosing the winner of the unlucky slasher flicks! The one that started it all versus a recent remake.
Friday the 13th (1980), The Original
Directed by: Sean S. Cunningham (producer of House, Last House on the Left, and several of the Jason films)
This is the film that spawned 11 other Jason-filled slasher flicks, which is pretty impressive in itself. Maybe they’re going for 13 in the franchise, but it’s hard to believe this classic horror will not be remade again and again for all eternity. Not surprisingly, the original has the highest rating of the series, but Part VI: Jason Lives is not far behind. I believe this may also be where one of the first chh-chh-chh hahh-hahh-hahh’s was heard. It has your classic violin symphony death-scenes, your freeze-frames, and Kevin Bacon in a Speedo. The deaths are quick like a band-aid being ripped off, and the story is really as simple as: a psychotic murderer attacks camp counsellors, seeking revenge for an accident that happens years ago. And the movie industry was changed forever. If you haven’t seen this yet, be warned: Jason, the killer, doesn’t really appear until the second movie. Jason’s appearance in this film is short-lived and pretty cheesy.
Score: 5.5/10 (minus 1/2 point due to the chalkboard-clawing music and sound effects)
Friday the 13th (2009), The Modern Remake 30 Years Later
Directed by: Marcus Nispel (Texas Chainsaw Massacre, 2003)
This more recent Jason film is produced by the original’s director, and is made to continue from his story. In this version, a bunch of idiot young adults are looking for a marijuana growth in the forest and stumble across the old, closed-down cabins of Crystal Lake. Jason, the disfigured child, is all grown up now, and apparently still lives amongst the cabins, and now has an opportunity to kill again. He kills the visitors, and then a few years later a new group arrives to search for the old missing group. At this point I’m beginning to wonder who the actual camp counsellors were that let Jason “die” and why I’ve never really seen that play out. And good ole Jason has clearly visited Canada somewhere in between as he goes from wearing a burlap mask to the famous hockey mask you are used to. This film features teen characters that die that I don’t care about, upon teen characters that die that I don’t care about. I’m not really sure why the movie was done the way it was. It really should have been kept simple without all the layers. I can only take so many disposable characters dying in totally random ways.
Verdict: Surprise surprise, the original wins. Mostly because it stuck with the same group of people and I slightly cared about them. The story and background could have been more developed, but I enjoyed the psycho-mom more than the generic Jason, though I was glad to see him. Especially in the remake’s last scare scene.
Love Jason and the Friday the 13th films? There’s a TV series announced for 2017. More info here.