Released in 1980, Friday the 13th is a classic slasher film directed by Sean S. Cunningham. The film centers on a group of teenage camp counselors, who are reopening a camp where a young boy drowned years ago. Over the next few days the counselors are killed off one at a time by an unseen murderer.
The film was created after the success of another slasher film, Halloween, and both are credited as having started the slasher boom of the '80s. Friday the 13th was made on a budget of $550,000, but made close to $40 million in the U.S. box office. The success of the film spawned a long line of sequels, most recently with the reboot of the series: Friday the 13th, making it one of the most profitable slasher franchises in history.
In 1958, two counselors are brutally murdered at Camp Crystal Lake after sneaking off from the main group to fool around. The murderer is never shown on camera.
Camp Crystal Lake
Twenty-two years later, Annie arrives in town, attempting to make her way to the soon to be reopened Camp Crystal Lake. She stops into a diner to ask directions and receives looks of concerns from the local townsfolk as soon as she mentions her destination. One of the women at the counter even refers to it as 'Camp Blood.' Despite their odd reactions, Annie discovers she is approximately 20 miles from the camp and is offered a ride by Ennis, who tells her he can take her halfway. On their way to the car, Ralph warns Annie that the camp is cursed, but Ennis dismisses him as the town crazy. On the ride, Ennis reveals the violent history of the camp and encourages Annie to quit; she refuses. After Ennis drops her off, Annie continues her journey on foot.
Meanwhile, the other counselors also beginning to make their way to the camp. Marcie, Jack, and Ned arrive to find their boss, Steve Christy, hard at work getting the camp ready for it's grand opening. Other employees have also arrived and are hard at work: Alice, Bill, and Brenda. Alice is unsure about her new surroundings and is considering returning to California, but Steve convinces her to stay for one more week, assuring the camp will be ready for its grand opening. Later, Alice runs down to the lake to check in on Bill, and it appears that someone is hiding in the woods and observing her movements. Steve hands out assignments before heading into town and warns that a violent storm is heading their way.
Annie continues to make her way toward the camp and decides to hitch a ride from a passing Jeep. Although Annie is talkative, the driver, who we never see, remains silent; soon, Annie notices that the driver has passed the road for Camp Crystal Lake. Annie urges the driver to stop, but the Jeep only speeds up and Annie is forced to jump from the moving vehicle. As soon as she hits the ground, the Jeep slows down and begins to back down the road. Annie runs into the woods, pursued on foot by the driver of the Jeep. Annie believes she has escaped when she runs into the driver and falls down. The driver then cuts her throat with a hunting knife.
Back at camp, the counselors are working on getting the lake ready for the campers, while they are being observed from the woods. Ned pretends to drown so he can kiss Brenda, which angers the other teens. Later that day, Alice discovers a snake in her cabin, which causes a huge commotion until Bill is able to kill it with a machete. A local police officer arrives looking for Ralph, the town crazy, and tells the kids that Ralph has been spotted in the area. Alice finds Ralph in the kitchen, and he tries to warn the counselors that the camp is cursed and they should leave immediately. After Ralph leaves on his bicycle, the kids find that the power is out and they are forced to turn on the emergency generator.
As the day begins to wind down, Ned, Jack, and Marcie sneak off to the lake. While Jack and Marcie are off by themselves, Ned believes he sees a strange figure in the doorway of one of the remote cabins. He calls out to the figure, but there is no response so he decides to investigate. Noticing the approaching storm, Jack and Marcie return to their cabin and begin having sex. The rest of the counselors are hanging out in the main cabin playing strip Monopoly, smoking pot, and drinking beer. As Jack and Marcie finish, the camera pans out and we see Ned's dead body on the bunk above them. Marcie has to the go to the restroom, so she takes off into the stormy night. While Jack is
Marcie has a splitting headache
waiting for her to return, he remains in bed and lights the remains of a joint. Suddenly, a hand reaches out from under the bed and holds his head down while an arrow is pushed up through his chest. Meanwhile, Marcie is in the bathroom when she thinks she hears someone else enter. When no one responds to the call, she shrugs off the noise as a figment of her imagination. She soon hears another noise, however, and goes to investigate its source. She opens the shower curtains and finds nothing; however, when she turns around, she is struck in the face with an axe.
Back in the main cabin, Brenda remembers that she left the windows in her cabin open and takes off into the storm to make sure they're closed. In town, Steve finishes his meal at the diner and starts the trip back to the camp, despite the terrible storm. At camp, Brenda heads to the bathroom to prepare for bed. She believes she hears something in the shower, but she ignores it and heads back to her cabin. Steve's Jeep dies on the way back to camp and a local police officer stops and offers him a ride. While lying in bed, Brenda hears a call for help and gets up to investigate. She steps onto to the porch and hears the cry again, so she heads out into the storm to investigate. While she is walking through the woods, spotlights suddenly turn on, and Brenda discovers she is standing the middle of the archery range. As the movie cuts back to the main cabin, we hear her scream. Just at that moment, Bill returns from checking on the generator. Alice tells him she heard a scream and noticed that the lights were on at the archery range, but Bill tells her he didn't hear or see anything. Bill decides to investigate and Alice, not wanting to be left alone, decides to tag along. In Brenda's cabin, they discover a bloody axe in one of the beds. After failing to find anybody in the boys' cabin, they head to the bathroom and then to the office, where they can try to call for help. They discover that phone is dead; the camera pans out and we see the line has been cut. Bill and Alice decide to try to take the truck into town, but it won't start. Alice suggests they just walk back into town, but Bill shoots down the idea saying it would be better to wait for Steve and take his Jeep.
The police officer receives a call to work a traffic accident so he lets Steve out to walk the rest of the way. As Steve approaches the road that takes him back to camp, he runs into someone he knows, although he never identifies who it is and the viewer is unable to see. He approaches the person when he is stabbed. Back at camp, the killer turns off the generator, killing power to the entire complex. Bill decides to go investigate and tells Alice to stay behind and try to get some rest. Assuming the generator has run out of gas, Bill opens the gas cap only to discover there is plenty of fuel. Alice, unable to sleep, decides to make some coffee. Soon, however, she is unable to just sit around and decides to go looking for Bill. She finds Bill's poncho in the generator room and discovers his body when she closes the door. Terrified, Alice takes off for the main cabin.
When she arrives, Alice tries to barricade all the doors by moving furniture to prevent any one from entering. She enters the kitchen, when suddenly Brenda's dead body crashes through the window. Alice crawls to the main room and sees Steve's Jeep pull up outside. She runs to the vehicle and discovers it is being driven by a woman, Mrs. Voorhees, who claims to be an old friend of the Christys. Alice tells her that everyone else is dead, but Mrs. Voorhees appears to be surprisingly calm. She then reveals to Alice that many years ago, a young boy drowned at the camp because none of the counselors were paying attention. She also reveals that his name was Jason and that he was her only son. Mrs. Voorhees attacks Alice, apparently blaming her for her son's death. Alice is able to
Alice plays cat and mouse with the killer
fight off her attack, and runs into the woods where she finds the bodies of Annie and Steve. Alice runs to grab a shotgun, but the ammunition is all locked away. Before she can get shells, Mrs. Voorhees attacks Alice once again, but again, she is able to escape. Alice makes her way back to the main cabin and locks herself in the food pantry, but she soon hears Mrs. Voorhees enter the building searching for her. Mrs. Voorhees begins chopping down the door to the pantry, but Alice is once again able to fight her off, this time with a frying pan to the head. Believing her attacker to be dead, Alice goes to the lake; but Mrs. Voorhees shows up and attacks Alice again. The fight ends when Alice chops Mrs. Voorhees' head off with a machete. Her nightmare over, Alice gets into a canoe and heads to the middle of the lake to wait for the morning when she can seek help.
The morning after
The next morning, the police arrive and find Alice still floating in the canoe, passed out from sheer exhaustion. Just as she awakens to see the police, the decomposed body of a young boy comes out of the lake and pulls her with him back into the water. Suddenly, we see Alice wake up in a hospital bed, and a nurse comes in and tries to calm her. The police inform her that her parents are on their way and that everyone else has been killed. She asks about the boy that pulled her into the water and the officer informs her they never found anyone else in the lake.
The Body Count: 10
Barry: Stabbed in the stomach after being caught with Claudette.
Claudette: We don't see her death, as the film cuts to the title before she is killed, but it's probably safe to assume she is killed immediately following Barry's murder.
Annie: Has her throat slit with a hunting knife in the woods.
Ned: We don't actually see Ned get killed, but it appears that he was murdered after following the mysterious figure into the isolated cabin. His body is seen after Jack and Marcie have sex and is throat is slit.
Jack: An arrow is forced through his chest after having sex with Marcie.
Marcie: Axe to the face in bathroom.
Brenda: Killed off camera. We see her standing in the middle of the archery range when the camera cuts away. We hear a scream. We next see her thrown through the kitchen window.
Steve Christy: Stabbed in the stomach.
Bill: Pinned to the door of the generator room with arrows.