40 Years Later: KHC Writers Discuss the Personal Affects, Questions & Characters the 'Friday the 13th' Franchise Has Left Us Thinking About
Today is a special day. It's the anniversary of when we all learned about a boy named Jason who drowned at Camp Crystal Lake...
...Yes, today, May 9th, 2020, is the 40th anniversary of the slasher that started it all, Sean S. Cunningham's Friday the 13th! 40 years later after the night we all met Pamela Voorhees (Betsy Palmer) and learned of the tragedy of her son, Jason, we've had twelve movies, multiple kickass Final Girls (and one legendary Final Boy), and hundreds of gory kills.
In celebration, a few of the writers at KHC thought we would look at the Friday the 13th franchise and briefly discuss one thing that has either stuck with us, affected us, or left us pondering with an answer we may never get.
Boats Will Never Feel Safe Again
By: Katelyn Nelson
I don’t really like boats on the best of days. They’re unstable things, out in unstable territory, able to be brought down by the very thing they seek to conquer. They can’t be trusted. And yet, for many they’re a place of solace and safety. Peace. Certainly for the exhausted Final Girls of Friday the 13th boats are the one place they figure they’re the safest. Jason has spent all this time terrorizing me on land, they must think, he definitely can’t reach me in the water unawares. He was never any good at swimming anyway. But wait! They forget how boats work! They forget how fear works. Jason is all about that false sense of security sneak. Any time you think you’re safe, he’s there. Anytime you think he dies, he lives on. Boats might be safety, yes, but they’re also a trap. It’s only a matter of which side of the water you’re on. And Jason was never as dumb as you thought.
Will We Ever Get to Meet Elias Voorhees?
By: Amylou Ahava
There is a character who holds a presence throughout the Friday the 13th franchise, but he never quite manages to break the surface and make a physical appearance. And despite his lack of established storylines or background, he still remains a character I think about whenever I watch a film featuring Jason. I think if this character were ever to emerge it would create some possibilities for the film series (and the character of Jason) to grow.
All fans of Friday the 13th know the tale of Mrs. Voorhees and her unbreakable bond with her son, but what about Mr. Voorhees? Obviously, he exists, (or did exist) but what role did he play in the creation of the cursed character of Jason? The original version of Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives was supposed to include a brief Mr. Voorhees sighting as it becomes revealed he has been tending to the graves of Mrs. Voorhees and Jason, but the ending scene never made it to the final cut. The scene appears in the novelization of the film and Mr. Voorhees (sometimes called Elias) appears in other forms of media (ex: comic books, video games), but any plans to include him on the big screen all eventually become scrapped. We know the matriarch of the family and even about a half-sister and niece, so why is Jason the only male Voorhees worth discussing? Promises of an origin film come up now and again, so maybe in the next installment we can learn if Jason takes more after mommy…or daddy?
The Look of Jason in Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood Best Represents the Character's Brutal History
By: Jay Krieger
Of all the slasher icons, the Crystal Lake killer has undertaken the most amount of noticeable wardrobe iterations. From Part II's bag head to Jason X's uber-fit, Jason Voorhees’ look has evolved, but none quite as drastically as Friday The 13th Part VII: The New Blood. The most supernatural entry of the series is reflected in Jason's most deranged appearance yet. Jason's The New Blood fit was designed to reflect the damage he had suffered at the hands of teens over his last five film appearances. This manifested in chunks of his flesh stripped away and bits of bone protruding from beneath his zombified exterior. Wardrobe details such as his cracked hockey mask, chain necklace (courtesy of Tommy Jarvis), and exposed jaw bone and spine all give Jason his most weathered look yet to date.
Jason's The New Blood outfit has always rectified my pet peeve of most slasher icons costumes rarely reflecting their history. I want to see an icon’s battle scars, and for someone who has been to hell and back, it is certainly fitting for Jason. Reflecting his history of bodily damage is a roadmap of his journey from the boy who drowned at Crystal Lake to the famed Jason Voorhees.
Justice for Annie
By: Matt Konopka
Of all of the characters to have appeared and died in the Friday the 13th franchise--we're talking hundreds, here--there is one that has always stuck in my mind as one of the most memorable. Not because she was the funniest. Or the toughest. Or even the bitchiest. But because she was so goddamn sweet, and she deserved better.
I'm talking, of course, about Annie (played by Robbi Morgan).
Aside from the two bumpin' and thumpin' horny teens that work as our first kills in Friday the 13th (1980), the very first person we meet is Annie. And what do we see her doing? Petting and talking to a dog, with a smile that stretches miles and an excitement for a summer of camp unmatched by anyone else in the franchise. Yet what happens to her? In a moment of director Sean S. Cunningham's best recreation of Janet Leigh's demise in Psycho, Annie winds up being the first character torn from us, after a matter of minutes, and in brutal, throat-slitting fashion.
Whether or not you believe Annie deserved to be our Final Girl (I do, with the utmost respect to Adrienne King, who is amazing as Alice), we can all, at the very least, agree that Annie deserved better. And we deserved more of Annie. Hell, we could all use more of that kind of smile now. #JusticeForAnnie.