Happy Friday the 13th! For me, one of the big allures of the franchise is that it takes me back to simpler times. There’s not a single installment I don’t like on some level. I love the atmosphere of the first four installments, not just the woodsy environment but their inherent innocence. Sure the characters had sex and smoked dope, but there was something (usually) innately sweet about the whole endeavor. I also loved the sleaziness of A New Beginning, the cleverness of Jason Lives, the Voorhees design from The New Blood and Creighton Duke from Jason Goes To Hell.
The 2009 remake also hit a lot of sweet spots for me and is among my very favorites of the franchise. For those of you who think that the most recent entry is cynical, I actually don’t think it is so much. Remember, the studio had zero respect for the franchise during its first incarnation, these were turn and burn gigs that people were turning down left and right because there was no money and the powers that be insisted on unrealistic schedules to keep the money flowing in. I’d argue that the folks behind the 2009 version actually cared more about the quality of the film than most of the people involved in the original sequels (especially later on).
I’d also argue that Steve Miner’s 1981 installment Friday the 13th Paet 2 had a lot of care put into it. I think Miner really took Part 2 seriously (as evidenced by the bravura finale). And, while it’s not the hands down best F13 movie, in many ways it’s the prototypical one – even without the hockey mask. You’ve got Crystal Lake. You’ve got counselors. The vibe is right (the tone of Part 3 is almost as icky as A New Beginning) and there’s still a sense of mystery about the series.
You’ve also got an all time great F13 kill when Tom McBride’s Mark takes that long tumble downstairs in his wheelchair. Not only is that moment shocking in its (almost literal) willingness to go abruptly off the rails, it’s preceded by one of the most effective pre-kill builds in the franchise. So even with everything else that’s great about this franchise – and there’s a lot – this is probably my favorite moment. Ask me tomorrow and it might be another one.
What’s your favorite moment from the franchise?