One of the first of the 'next generation' of slasher pics to emerge following the success of "Halloween", from Director Sean Cunningham (producer - "Last House on the Left"), attempts to distance itself from its predecessor, by ramping up the tension and upping the gore and the body count.
Set at a remote lakeside summer camp, Camp Crystal Lake is preparing to re-open it's doors for the first time in years. Following a series of unfortunate incidents, ranging from polluted water, fires and even murders, that have forced it to remain closed and the locals to believe it's cursed.
Unfortunately, as the new counsellors arrive, it seems that someone, or something, is lurking in the shadows and is determined to make sure it stays closed forever, as the hapless counsellors fall prey to an unseen killer. Throats are slashed, heads are decapitated and one unfortunate counsellor (played by a very young Kevin Bacon in an early role) gets an arrow rammed through his neck by someone lurking under his bed.
Legend has it, the camp was cursed after a boy named Jason drowned in the lake one summer. But if that's so then who is doing all the killing and what is his connection to it?
Though somewhat derivative from John Carpenters "Halloween", Friday the 13th managed to carve a name for itself and become a true classic in it's own right. Largely due to its bloody depiction of the murders, which although may be considered tame by todays standards, were excpetionally bloody for its day. Particularly when compared to the virtually blood-free Halloween. But then when Tom Savini is your effects guy, you know what you're in for.
The film still holds up pretty well today, just a pity about the endless sequels (10 to date) and the remake.