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Friday The 13th Blu-ray Steelbook Review

F13

“Friday The 13th” is an 80’s slasher classic.

In celebration of the 40th anniversary (yes, it really has been 40 years) of the original “Friday The 13th,” Paramount has released a new Blu-ray steelbook edition of the uncut version of the film that started a beloved horror franchise. I’m sure you all know the plot. A group of counselors are busy getting the seemingly cursed Camp Crystal Lake up and running only to be preyed upon by an unknown serial killer. 

Even though it was intended as a rip-off of “Halloween” by director Sean S. Cunningham, “Friday The 13th” is very much its own thing. Writer Victor Miller crafted a script that is part revenge story, part whodunit, part teen movie, and, yes, part slasher film. The whodunit element is really what sets it apart from “Halloween” as the big twist is what makes the first installment so memorable. For the entire runtime you are wondering who the killer is and when it’s revealed it’s a surprise (especially since you are left believing it’s the other Voorhees). 

Another element that doesn’t get enough respect is the atmosphere. The combination of Cunningham’s direction and the cinematography by Barry Abrams provide the film with an eerie vibe.

While I will stick up for this film, I have to admit the last act can be pretty ridiculous. Before the thrilling final confrontation with the killer, we (the audience) have to continually see the final girl Alice knock the killer over and walking away only to be attacked again minutes later. It lingers on for far too long and defies logic. 

Even though most characters are doomed to live short lives, the cast is quite likable. Adrienne King is a strong lead, a young Kevin Bacon makes a lasting impression, Betsy Palmer is deliciously creepy as Pamela, and so on and so forth. 

Video/Audio:

Presentation: 1.78:1 How does it look? This is a fantastic print that maintains the 80s style while being more polished. With that said, I am puzzled as to why there wasn’t a 4K release instead given that this film is already available on Blu-ray. Perhaps a 4K set of the series is being planned for later in the year? Who is to say, but it’s a strange decision to just repackage the Blu-ray.

Audio Track: Dolby TrueHD 5.1. How does it sound? Harry Manfredini’s great score has never sounded better.

Extras (nothing new here):
* Digital copy
* Theatrical trailer
* “Friday The 13th Reunion”- A 2008 reunion panel featuring Tom Savini, Harry Manfredini, Betsy Palmer, Adrienne King, Victor Miller, Ari Lehman,
* “Fresh Cuts: New Tales From Friday The 13th”- Various interviews with discussions about everything from the origins of F!3 to casting young Jason.
* “The Man Behind The Legacy: Sean S. Cunningham”- An interview with the director.
* “Lost Tales From Camp Blood- Part 1”- The first part of an ongoing series of shorts spread out over all the film’s individual releases.
* “The Friday The 13th Chronicles”- A featurette with numerous interviews, discussions about the production and the film itself, etc.
* “Secrets Galore Behind The Gore”- A featurette on the special effects and how some were done.
* Commentary by Sean S. Cunningham, Victor Miller and Peter Bracke.

June 10, 2020 - Posted by | Blu-Ray review | , , , , , , ,

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