Top Ten Essential Halloween Horror Films (7) Friday 13th

This is not a list of what we consider to be the ten best horror movies, but merely a list of ten movies that are guaranteed to entertain and have proven important to the genre, must see movies if you like. I have limited the list to English language films and will cover foreign horror in a later post.


I don’t really rate this movie myself, finding it derivative of Halloween which had come out the year previously, but as I said this isn’t exactly a best of list, but more a listing of films that have shaped the genre, and Friday 13th certainly did that and created another modern day horror icon in Jason. That the movie may have been a cut price Halloween didn’t matter to movie goers at the time and this film actually out-grossed John Carpenter’s classic movie.

The plot – is there a plot? Well yeah but it can be summed up as a group of teenagers in the woods, a mad killer on the loose, one by one they get slaughtered until the very end  the tables are turned. The writers must have looked at John Carpenters Halloween and though of another date in the calender that was associated with terror and what better than that most dreaded of dates, Friday 13th. It’s a great title for a horror film and must have excited movie goers back in the day – it excited then enough to pack them into the cinemas in any case.

Another point about this movie is that it holds a greater claim than Halloween to having popularized the slasher genre – Halloween was a superbly crafted suspense movie while this film doesn’t really try for suspense but instead delights itself  in gory killings, each more inventive than the last. And of course it spawned a string of direct sequels plus a crossover with the Nightmare on Elm Street franchise. There has been talk of another crossover for the franchise, this time with Jason meeting both Freddy and Halloween’s Michael Myers but at the time of writing this is looking  unlikely.

Not a great film but a landmark movie in horror cimema


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