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Friday the 13th (1980)



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Friday the 13th is given far too much slack, as it is mistakenly assumed to be the first of its kind. Not by a long shot. Psycho and Halloween predate it, and the plot points and characters were all recycled from countless other movies of other genres. There's not a shred of originality in this boring, plodding, mindless exercise in how not to make a horror movie. Even the music, at times, sounds as close to Bernard Herrmann's great Psycho score as it could conceivably get without being plagiarism. Or good.

There's no story to speak of until the final twenty minutes. For the first seventy, interchangeable camp counselors are offed one by one by a faceless killer (no, it's not Jason yet), and it takes that long for anybody to figure out anything sinister is going on. In a serial killer movie, if the remaining characters haven't discovered the murders after the first or second and then seek to stop them and/or save themselves, exactly what point is there to any of it?

It isn't until all but the last intended victim is killed that anybody finds out what's going on. And then it's still stupid, because this last character keeps knocking the killer out, then running away, then getting attacked again, then knocking the killer out, then running away, and so on. Not scary. Not entertaining. Just tiresome.

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