Thursday, May 18, 2023

Friday the 13th: More Than Just a Date on the Calendar


Picture a genre-defining, game-changing moment in the horror film industry. If you're thinking of Friday the 13th, you're right on the money. It's a movie that not only added to the formula of slasher films but also set the stage for countless others to follow in its terrifying footsteps.

In creating Friday the 13th, Sean Cunningham seemed to share a telepathic bond with John Carpenter, the mastermind behind Halloween. They both understood an essential truth about horror: it's not about the gore. The shock value of guts and gore can only take a film so far; it's the suspense, the dread, the psychological terror that really makes a slasher film stick in the minds of viewers.

Unfortunately, many slasher films have been lured into the trap of gore for gore's sake, a pitfall that Friday the 13th skillfully sidesteps. These films, overly reliant on blood and guts, have mostly faded into obscurity, remembered only by die-hard horror hounds like you and me.

There's a reason why the names of Friday the 13th and Halloween resonate with even casual viewers and genre outsiders. These films, along with the original Texas Chainsaw Massacre and Nightmare on Elm Street, succeeded in transcending the confines of the genre to become cultural phenomena.

This leaves us with an ocean of lesser-known slashers, their waves barely causing ripples in the collective consciousness of the casual viewer. While it's unfortunate that these films have been relegated to the annals of time, it's a testament to the enduring power of Friday the 13th that it still reigns supreme as a titan of the horror genre.

So, here's to Friday the 13th, a film that showed us horror is about more than just gore—it's about creating a sense of dread that lingers long after the final credits roll.

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