I first watched this film as a 12 year old, alone, having snuck back out of bed once my parents had begun snoring.... At least, that better have been snoring! This was film 3 of a marathon which included "Halloween", "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre" and "Night of the Living Dead". My mum definitely knew I was awake, and I suspect left me to it so I'd learn my own lesson when I was too scared to go back upstairs to the bedroom in the dark myself...
Camp Crystal Lake had been closed for some time, ever since some kids were killed on the premises. But after a few years have gone by the owners decide it's time to bury the past and reopen the camp for the summer. They hire a bunch of teens to clean the camp up and get it ready to receive the young guests. The teens will also act as the camp counsellors once the children arrive. I have a good friend who's flown over to America a few times to work in camps like this. She'd never watch this film with me.... I wonder why?
Everything seems to be going to plan; cleaning, cooking, pre-brutal-death horror movie sex scenes... But it isn't long before people start to go missing...
A lively 80s B-movie slasher with a fair amount of gore that doesn't feel the need to get too OTT, there are some scenes which are very tense and a good, cheesey enveloping back-story to boot. Although, like everyone, I enjoy this film for the 'body reveal aspect' and chase, which is particularly good and very reminiscent of 'Halloween', a film which creator Cunningham was inspired by according to the internet.
In a franchise known to quickly 'jump the shark' with many increasingly outrageous (and frequently hilarious) sequels, the first film is a classic for 80s slashers, with an ending that gave me the serious creeps as a kid and can still catch me to this day!
It doesn't need to be Friday the 13th to enjoy!
[Image: Georgetown Productions inc., Sean S. Cunningham Films, Warner Bros. & Paramount Pictures]