The Friday the 13th Series
Friday the 13th (March 13/09)
As disposable and uneven as one might've expected, Friday the 13th nevertheless boasts an opening half hour that admittedly holds some promise - as screenwriter Victor Miller offers up an effective bit of misdirection in the form of a bubbly protagonist (Robbi Morgan's Annie) that unexpectedly becomes the film's first victim. There quickly reaches a point, however, wherein the almost relentlessly routine storyline - which follows several camp counselors (including Kevin Bacon's Jack and Adrienne King's Alice) as they're individually knocked off by a mysterious figure - becomes oppressive in its uneventfulness, as the emphasis is consistently placed on the fun-loving shenanigans of the central characters (ie a group participates in a game of strip monopoly). And while it's hard to deny the strength of the increasingly sporadic kill sequences, the payoff for the almost interminable build-up ultimately comes off as anti-climactic and dull - with the last survivor's efforts at evading the murderer transpiring within the claustrophobic confines of the camp's poorly-lit environs. The ongoing inclusion of needlessly light-hearted elements - ie there's a town nutjob (Walt Gorney's Crazy Ralph) and a goofy cop (Ron Millkie's Officer Dorf) - only cements Friday the 13th's place as a curiously uninvolving horror effort, although it's admittedly worth noting that the movie does fare marginally better than its overblown 2009 remake.