“Kill her, Mommy! Kill her!”
Whether or not you’re a die-hard fan of the FRIDAY THE 13TH franchise, there’s no denying this is one of the most iconic lines in horror. The franchise has become embedded in pop culture to the point where one can recognize a Jason reference without ever seeing one of the many films.
Over the last few years, a new generation has been introduced to the franchise thanks in part to Friday the 13th: The Game, a multi-console experience that places players in the roles of either a camp counselor or Jason himself. Utilizing online co-op, players must work together to escape the grounds as defeating Jason is a much more difficult task. It worked for both the casual gamer and the die-hard fans of the series due to many references to the sequels and fan-favorite characters.
What surprise me the most is that there are people still unaware that (SPOILER ALERT!!) Jason is not the killer in the original film. He has become so iconic to the series that many have ignored his origins and is actually one of the most famous momma’s boys in horror (alongside Norman Bates).
In FRIDAY THE 13TH, the film actually plays out like a murder mystery as the teens are being sliced apart by an unseen killer, with an opening POV sequence reminiscent of John Carpenter’s Halloween. After some stabbing and slit throating, it’s revealed that Pamela Voorhees is the culprit. She’s avenging the drowning of her son who attend the camp, the result of sex-hungry counselors who weren’t paying attention.
“His name was Jason.”
Pamela delivers this line to our final girl, Alice (Adrienne King), who successfully hacks the killer’s head off. She naps on a boat until help comes along only to be thrown into the lake by a deformed version of the presumably dead Jason. Was it a nightmare or not? The original film has one of my favorite endings as it leaves an ambiguity that delivered nightmares to children everywhere. Is there a dead little boy in the lake waiting to grab me?
It works as a scary standalone slasher, but several sequels later, we get a grown Jason killing anyone who tries to reopen the camp. Sometimes, he ends up in New York City and other times, he somehow manages to get to space with even more super strength and a cool new mask.
FRIDAY THE 13TH has evolved over several decades and been distributed with multiple home releases, some going for extreme prices on reselling sites. A new Jason movie has been thrown around the web, but there’s always the common rights issues, especially when there’s this many movies on the line. Still, the original is the catalyst of many fan’s dreams and has forever shaped the way we look at hockey masks. Some even forget that a young Kevin Bacon is in it and has one of the most memorable kills in the series.
Yes, there’s plenty of spoilers here, but I’m guessing that if you’re reading this, then you’ve seen the movie and possibly all the sequels. Jason continues to live with every sequel, game, remake, and home video release. He proves to be profitable and every Halloween or convention lets us witness the rebirth of one of the most famous cinematic killers.
FRIDAY THE 13TH is now available on Blu-ray Steelbook as well as Digital.