Man, I guess I can see why people responded to this trailer back in 1980. Slashers were the “new thing” and, after Halloween in 1978, the public was primed to be scared again. I’m sure there was something about this trailer for Friday The 13th that seemed dangerous at the time, the narrator even adopts the kind of no-nonsense medical examiner tone that re-emerged in the “Thanksgiving” trailer in 2007.
But, and I say this as a huge fan of the film and its franchise, the trailer is garbage. As soon as I started watching it and got the overall gist, I began dreading its 2:40 running time. The whole thing is so rote, by the time they get to the number “4” you’re sort of like, “okay, I think I got this one.” It’s a shockingly honest parallel to the actual intent of the film, which wasn’t to innovate so much as it was to coast off the success of Halloween. It manages to portray the film as a more by the numbers slasher than it actually is, which is a feat. Adding insult to injury, the editing is surprisingly slack – I counted more than a few shots where entire seconds seem to pass after the overall point is made.
Check it out below. For comparison I’ve included the original 1978 Halloween trailer as well, which actually manages to be interesting.