Leighton Trent’s review published on Letterboxd:
I watched this on Friday the 14th. Is that close enough?
Spoiler Alert: The first time I ever saw Scream, the ending to this film was ruined for me the moment Casey Becker got Stu's question wrong and sent him to his guttastic death. Eleven year old me certainly didn't know that one of the most important twists in horror lore would be ruined the moment I put that contraband VHS in. Thank you very much, Kevin Williamson.
That said, of the main three franchises that laid the foundation for the slasher sub-genre we all know and love today, Jason's films never intrigued me in the way Michael and Freddy still do, so knowing what was coming here never felt like a big loss despite how terrificly weird and bonkers it turns out to be. Cable knit sweater anyone? 🧶
This film is everything a low budget, cheap, horny slasher should be and what it's come to be know for. There is an art to the slasher that I feel maybe this series should be given the most credit in creating: atmospheric to a degree, yet dull and lifeless on the other side of the coin. Is there anything more beautiful than that with its holy grail camp setting?
This here is formula with a bland artifice that somehow manages to achieve its goals. With Friday, it's at once equal amounts campy, slutty (see the horniest game of Monopoly every put on screen), yet the intangibe way in which it presents its villain is somehow its greatest asset and a means to a chilling end that sets up Jason, his machete and the entire franchise to come.
Though I hear that getting to some of the later titles here are worth it in the end, after experiencing this, I don't know if Jason holds much water for me. He may just have to stay under the lake at Camp Crystal Lake as I don't see myself going past the first part of one of the most storied franchises in all of horror and honestly, I feel like I'm letting myself and the genre down by feeling this way.