Friday the 13th has never been rude to me or called me a bad name. It's never even cut in front of me in line, or refused to hold the door open. It's really been nothing but a nice film to me and yet for some reason, I continue to dislike it. Since I have never had a great reason for my dislike and because people hate when you tell them that you hate something but can't really explain why, I've decided to give Friday the 13th another shot. Just to you know, make sure that there's nothing there between us.
An hour and 30 minutes later and I'm still on the dislike side of the party. Not only that, but I've come to a few conclusions that better sum up my dislike for slashers in general. It's all slowly starting to make sense now.
Slashers are in many ways I think a movie that you can enjoy without really thinking about it too much. One of the main reasons our younger selves gravitate towards them is because we get it. There isn't this alternate meaning, or plots that need clarification from our older siblings. Things are straightforward, people get killed, we find out who did it and then they die. For this reason, Slashers to me aren't the most stimulating. As I said after my viewing of The Prowler, there's a lot of downtime. What happens in those moments of downtime between kills is pretty meaningless. It has nothing to do with the plot, and its only purpose seems to be to get characters from one place to another-so that they can die. This bothers me! I want things to happen. I don't like sitting around and watching strip Monopoly while I wait for someone else to die. I believe this is my main reason for not completely loving the Slasher genre.
However. And a BIG however. The problem and confusion lies in the fact that I do like some Slasher films. For instance, I love Sleepaway Camp, Curtains, Halloween and a Nightmare on Elm Street. There also happens to be downtime in those films and yet I still come away liking them. Why? As far as I can tell, the downtime is interesting to me. Things develop in the downtime that makes me care about the situation at hand. Character development, clues from the past that add up to a reveal at the film's conclusion, funny things, etc.
But what about Friday the 13th? There is virtually no clue or plot development that happens that has to do with the ending and the reveal of the killer. We have really never heard anything about Jason or Mrs. Voorhees till she pulls up and starts blabbing away in her sweater. This too, bothers me. In most Slasher movies, we either have a killer that we know is the killer and there is no doubt about it (Halloween, NOES) or we have a whodunit mystery killer (Sleepaway Camp, Curtains, Scream) that we are typically introduced to early on. This is not the case in Friday the 13th which makes most of the entire movie feel meaningless to me. The downtime is useless, nothing happens and we are forced to watch our main characters run through their daily lives until they are killed. That is boring and pointless to me.
Yes that is it! You see, the main problem I have with this film is that it is actually pretty boring. It really is and there's no amount of but "it's entertaining" that can change my mind. I don't find it entertaining---there aren't even enough moments worthy of a screen grab to make sort of funny joke about. I don't feel suspense and I never get that there's a sense of dread encircling our characters. Mrs. Voorhees doesn't feel like she's breathing down their necks--she's just always there, kills someone and then leaves.
Look, I don't want to hurt anyone's feelings here. That is not my intention. The fact is, Friday the 13th and I just weren't made for each other. We don't necessarily hate one another--we just know that we'd do better apart. I get that it's iconic and how important it is to the slasher genre but that doesn't mean I have to like it. I'm not saying that Friday the 13th is a bad movie, I'm just saying that I don't like it. And I'm not saying I can't still be your friend if you like it. Just because Friday the 13th and I are no longer seeing each other, doesn't mean we can't still hang out with the same people. I will still be giving the sequels another go however. With Jason as the killer out in the open, maybe it will save that whole complex I have about the randomness of the killer and the lack of mystery in this film. If not, then no one can say that I didn't give it a shot.