Thursday, October 20, 2011

My Halloween Movie of the Day: Day 20

29. Friday the 13th (original version) - I have to confess, as slasher movies go, Jason (or his mother, or his copycat, depending on which of the movies you're watching) has never done much for me. I've always found the Nightmare on Elm Street movies to be more interesting, just because they have an opportunity to get a lot more creative with their plots and kills, and those two are about the only classic slasher franchises I've seen more than the first movie of. Still, this one is a classic, so I thought I might as well give it another chance. And while I don't have the desire to rewatch the rest of the series, this one is better than I remember. It has a pretty great score, makes some very good use of POV shots, and light and shadow, throughout, and does a pretty good job with its limited special effects budget, too. The kills aren't too drawn out, or outrageous (though the arrow through the throat is pretty surprising), which allows for the few shots that are used to look better, since there weren't as many of them for the special effects team (led by Tom Savini, coming off of Martin and Dawn of the Dead) to concentrate on. Though I think the version I have is the edited one, so that could be part of it - not sure how different the versions are. From a technical standpoint, it's much better than I've come to expect most early slashers to be, and is probably even better than Nightmare on Elm Street in that regard, since Nightmare is more ambitious, but not quite as capable of bringing those ambitions to life in convincing ways.

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