Review: 40th Anniversary of Friday the 13th

Crystal Lake’s history of murder doesn’t deter counselors from setting up a summer camp in the woodsy area. Superstitious locals warn against it, but the fresh-faced young people — Jack (Kevin Bacon), Alice (Adrienne King), Bill (Harry Crosby), Marcie (Jeannine Taylor) and Ned (Mark Nelson) — pay little heed to the old-timers. Then they find themselves stalked by a brutal killer. As they’re slashed, shot and stabbed, the counselors struggle to stay alive against a merciless opponent.

Plot: A group of camp counselors are stalked and murdered by an unknown assailant while trying to reopen a summer camp which was the site of a child’s drowning and a grisly double murder years before.

Director: Sean S. Cunningham

Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1

Runtime: 95 min

Rotten Tomatoes Consensus: Rather quaint by today’s standards, Friday the 13th still has its share of bloody surprises and a ’70s-holdover aesthetic to slightly compel.

Online Ratings:

  1. Rotten Tomatoes 63% (Audience 60%)
  2. IMDB 6.5
  3. Metacritic 22
  4. Cinemascore

“Whether you like it or not — it’s a classic.”


Can you believe that it’s already been 40 years? Wow.

Originally released on May 9, 1980, Friday the 13th captured audiences’ imaginations and permeated our collective psyche.  The film spawned one of the longest-running and most successful horror franchises in film history with 11 subsequent movies and, 40 years later, the iconic machete-wielding killer continues to haunt, fascinate and terrify new generations.

The Friday the 13th Limited Edition Blu-ray Steelbook features artwork from the original movie poster and includes the uncut, unrated version of the film, as well as access to a digital copy of the original theatrical version.  Plus, plunge deeper into the film with previously released bonus content including commentary, interviews with cast and crew, and behind-the-scenes featurettes.

I’m not going to waste your time talking about the plot of this film because everyone’s heard of it some way or another — if you’re in the small minority and you haven’t seen this film for some reason, make the time to do so. (Every generation will be introduced to this movie one way or another — Friday the 13th has a timeless effect.) This new steelbook release is a celebration of the film — enjoy it.

In conclusion —

I didn’t see this film for the first time until I was in my early 20’s and I was confused and shocked at how bad it was. This movie lacks depth in a lot of major categories if you sink in with critical thought, but you have to pay your respects because it helped pave the way for every slasher film — even to this day.

What other movies were hugely influential to the horror boom? The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Black Christmas don’t forget the GOAT of this conversation Halloween. All of those films were released in the 1970’s and this film continued to boost the genre into the 80’s. A classic villain-killing-machine with tons of violence, gore, legendary kills and young people running around… BAM! you have a slasher film. I’m probably not the person to speak on the history of horror, I was born in the 90’s and I think the first slasher film I ever saw was 2003’s The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. I wasn’t around for the early days, but I did get to reap the benefits as a big horror fan today.

As a side note, something I see a lot of today with the horror genre is a big group of collectors buying up all physical media in sight. The horror genre’s fan base will eat it up! For example, The Friday the 13th 11-movie collection is going for $300 on eBay right now — there are a lot of factors as to why it’s that price due to rights, but this is just one example of many. A Limited Edition Steelbook like this will be gone quickly!

Taking everything I’ve said into account, the 40th Anniversary Steelbook of Friday the 13th gets my recommendation for a purchase, especially if you’re a fan of the series and the horror genre in general. This is a classic horror movie whether you like it or not! You can grab a copy at your local retailer on Blu-ray June 16th. 

Are you a fan of Friday of the 13th? Will you be picking it up to own? Let me know what you think in the comments below.



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