Every ‘Friday the 13th’ Film, Ranked

12 of 13

2. Friday the 13th (1980)

Paramount Pictures

The original Friday the 13th is a classic. Really, it’s an amazing horror film, and essentially a blueprint for what slasher movies should aspire to be. It’s creepy as hell, unique, and really, just downright amazing.

While later Friday the 13th films satisfy fans by showing Jason kill his victims in dastardly ways, the film series actually kicked off with more of a murder-mystery angle. The actual killer wasn’t revealed until the end of the movie, in what was a big surprise for audiences at the time.

The killer was revealed to be Mrs. Voorhees, a sweet older lady played by Betsy Palmer. After her son Jason drowned at Camp Crystal Lake, presumably because of the counselors sneaking off for coitus instead of doing their jobs and watching him, Mrs. Voorhees went totally insane and now kills anyone who steps foot into the campgrounds. Imagining her son telling her to kill, Voorhees murders nearly everyone in the film.

Even though you know the twist is coming, it still works. Palmer was such a convincing actress in the role, and she proved that killers don’t always need to be in tattered clothing and a hockey mask to be scary.

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