A Classic Horror Film That Spawned 10 Films & 1 Spin off Film That Terrified Campers for years!
The first film was created to cash in on the success of Halloween (1978),and its own success led Paramount Pictures to purchase the full licensing rights to Friday the 13th. Frank Mancuso, Jr., who produced the films, also developed the television show Friday the 13th: The Series after Paramount released Jason Lives. The television series was not connected to the franchise by any character or setting, but was created based on the idea of "bad luck and curses", which the film series symbolized. While the franchise was owned by Paramount, four films were adapted into novels, with Friday the 13th Part III adapted by two separate authors. When the franchise was sold to New Line Cinema, Cunningham returned as a producer to oversee two additional films, in addition to the crossover film with Freddy Krueger from the Nightmare on Elm Street film series. Under New Line Cinema, 13 novellas and various comic book series featuring Jason were published.
Although the films were not popular with critics, Friday the 13th is considered one of the most successful media franchises in America—not only for the success of the films, but also because of the extensive merchandising and repeated references to the series in popular culture. The franchise's popularity has generated a fanbase who have created their own Friday the 13th films, fashioned replica Jason Voorhees costumes, and tattooed their bodies with Friday the 13th artwork. Jason's hockey mask has even become one of the most recognizable images in popular culture.
Friday the 13th (1980)
Prompted by the success of John Carpenter's Halloween, the film was made on an estimated budget of $550,000. Released by Paramount Pictures in the United States and Warner Bros. internationally, the film received generally negative reviews from film critics, grossed over $39.7 million at the box office in the United States, and went on to become one of the most profitable slasher films in cinema history. It was also the first movie of its kind to secure distribution in the USA by a major studio, Paramount Pictures. The film's box office success led to a long series of sequels, a crossover with the A Nightmare on Elm Street franchise and a 2009 series reboot.
Friday the 13th did not even have a completed script when Sean S. Cunningham took out this advertisement inVariety magazine
Friday the 13th was produced and directed by Sean S. Cunningham, who had previously worked with filmmaker Wes Craven on the film The Last House on the Left. Cunningham, inspired by John Carpenter's Halloween, and films by Mario Bava, wanted Friday the 13th to be shocking, visually stunning and "[make] you jump out of your seat". Wanting to distance himself from The Last House on the Left, Cunningham wanted Friday the 13th to be more of a "roller-coaster ride".
This film was intended to be "a real scary movie" and at the same time make the audience laugh. Friday the 13th began its life as nothing more than a title. Initially, A Long Night at Camp Blood was the working title during the writing process, but Cunningham believed in his "Friday the 13th" moniker, and quickly rushed out to place an advertisement in Variety. Worried that someone else owned the rights to the title and wanting to avoid potential lawsuits, Cunningham thought it would be best to find out immediately. He commissioned a New York advertising agency to develop his concept of the Friday the 13th logo, which consisted of big block letters bursting through a pane of glass. In the end, Cunningham believed there were "no problems" with the title, but distributor George Mansour stated, "There was a movie before ours called Friday the 13th: The Orphan. It was moderately successful. But someone still threatened to sue. Either Phil Scuderi paid them off, but it was finally resolved."
The film was shot in and around the townships of Blairstown and Hope, New Jersey in the fall (September) of 1979. The camp scenes were shot on a working Boy Scout camp, Camp No-Be-Bo-Sco. The camp is still standing and still works as a summer camp.
The script was written by Victor Miller, who has gone on to write for several television soap operas, including Guiding Light, One Life to Live and All My Children. Miller delighted in inventing a serial killer who turned out to be somebody's mother, a murderer whose only motivation was her love for her child. "I took motherhood and turned it on its head and I think that was great fun. Mrs. Voorhees was the mother I'd always wanted—a mother who would have killed for her kids." Miller was unhappy about the filmmakers' decision to make Jason Voorhees the killer in the sequels. "Jason was dead from the very beginning. He was a victim, not a villain." The idea of Jason appearing at the end of the film was initially not used in the original script, and was actually suggested by makeup designer Tom Savini. Savini stated that "The whole reason for the cliffhanger at the end was I had just seen Carrie, so we thought that we need a 'chair jumper' like that, and I said, 'let's bring in Jason'
When Harry Manfredini began working on the musical score, the decision was made to only play music when the killer was actually present so as to not "manipulate the audience".Manfredini pointed out the lack of music for certain scenes: "There's a scene where one of the girls is setting up the archery area One of the guys shoots an arrow into the target and just misses her. It's a huge scare, but if you notice, there's no music. That was a choice."[Manfredini also noted that when something was going to happen, the music would cut off so that the audience would relax a bit, and the scare would be that much more effective.
Since Mrs. Voorhees, the killer in the original Friday the 13th, appears onscreen only during the final scenes of the film, Manfredini had the job of creating a score that would represent the killer in her absence.Manfredini borrows from the 1975 film Jaws, where the shark is likewise not seen for the majority of the film but the motif created by John Williams cued the audience to the shark's invisible menace Sean S. Cunningham sought a chorus, but the budget would not allow it. While listening to a Krzysztof Penderecki piece of music, which contained a chorus with "striking pronunciations", Manfredini was inspired to recreate a similar sound. He came up with the sound "ki ki ki, ma ma ma" from the final reel when Mrs. Voorhees arrives and is reciting "Kill her, mommy!" The "ki" comes from "kill", and the "ma" from "mommy". To achieve the unique sound he wanted for the film, Manfredini spoke the two words "harshly, distinctly and rhythmically into a microphone" and ran them into an echo reverberation machine. Manfredini finished the original score after a couple of weeks, and then recorded the score in a friend's basement Victor Miller and assistant editor Jay Keuper have commented on how memorable the music is, with Keuper describing it as "iconographic". Manfredini says, "Everybody thinks it's cha, cha, cha. I'm like, 'Cha, cha, cha? What are you talking about?'"
Paramount bought Friday the 13th's distribution rights for $1.5 million, after seeing a screening of the film. They spent approximately $500,000 in advertisements for the film, and then an additional $500,000 when the film began performing well at the box office.Friday the 13th opened theatrically on 9 May 1980 across the United States in 1,100 theaters. It took in $5,816,321 in its opening weekend, before finishing domestically with $39,754,601. The film finished as the eighteenth highest grossing film of 1980 Friday the 13th was released internationally, which was unusual for an independent film with, at the time, no well-recognized or bankable actors; aside from well-known television and movie actress Betsy Palmer.The film would take in approximately $20 million in international box office receipts. Not factoring in international sales, or the cross-over film with A Nightmare on Elm Street's Freddy Krueger, the original Friday the 13th is the highest grossing film of the film series.To provide context with the box office gross of films in 2009, the cost of making and promoting Friday the 13th—which includes the $550,000 budget and the $1 million in advertisement—is approximately $4.4 million. With regard to the domestic box office gross, the film would have made $117,917,391 in adjusted 2009 dollars.In terms of recent box office performance, Friday the 13th would be the highest grossing horror film of 2008 using the adjusted figures. On 13 July 2007, Friday the 13th was screened for the first time on Blairstown's Main Street in the very theater which appears shortly after the opening credits. Overflowing crowds forced the Blairstown Theater Festival, the sponsoring organization, to add an extra screening at 11:00 PM. The event was covered by local media and New York City's Channel 11. A 30th Anniversary Edition was released on 10 March 2010
Upon release, Friday the 13th received initially negative reviews from critics but was well received by the public. Its most vocal detractor was Gene Siskel, who in his review called Cunningham "one of the most despicable creatures ever to infest the movie business" He also published Betsy Palmer's home address and encouraged fellow detractors to write to her and express their contempt for the film. Siskel and Roger Ebert spent an entire episode of their TV show berating the film (and other slasher films of the time) because they felt it would make audiences root for the killer. Leonard Maltin initially awarded the film one star, or 'BOMB', but later changed his mind and awarded the film a star and-a-half stating "...simply because it's slightly better than Part 2" and called it a "...gory, cardboard thriller" Variety claimed the film was "low budget in the worst sense—with no apparent talent or intelligence to offset its technical inadequacies—Friday the 13th has nothing to exploit but its title. " The ending sequence of the film was listed at No. 31 on Bravo's 100 Scariest Movie Moments,and the film was voted No. 15 in Channel 4's 100 Greatest Scariest Moments.
The film was nominated for AFI's 100 Years...100 Thrills.
English film critic Mark Kermode opined that the first Friday the 13th film's legacy is not that it's a good, well-made film (it's not, Kermode has argued) but that it successfully brought an aesthetic mostly confined to grindhouse cinema, at least up until that time, into mainstream cinema. "There was a novelty of seeing a film that scrappy and that nasty being distributed by a big studio in a mainstream cinema. You were watching a nasty, grimy movie but in plush seats, in kind of polite surroundings. That was what made it something special, something that hadn't been seen before", Kermode recalled.
Friday the 13th Part 2 (1981)
Friday the 13th Part II is a 1981 slasher film directed by Steve Miner, who also directed its sequel, Friday the 13th Part III and several other popular horror films. A sequel to Friday the 13th (1980), it is the second film in the Friday the 13th film series. It was a moderate box-office hit, opening on May 1, 1981 in first place. The film was the first to feature Jason Voorhees as the main antagonist, a trend which would be repeated for the rest of the series (with the exception of the fifth film
Adrienne King was pursued by an obsessed fan after the success of the original Friday the 13th and wished her role to be small as possible.
Warrington Gillette only played the unmasked Jason at the end. Steve Daskawisz played the masked Jason.
Daskawisz was rushed to the emergency room when Amy Steel hit his middle finger with a machete during filming. Steel explained: "The timing was wrong, and he didn't turn his pick axe properly, and the machete hit his finger." Daskawisz received 13 stitches on his middle finger. It was covered with a piece of rubber, and Daskawisz and Steel insisted on doing the scene all over again.
In one scene where Daskawisz was wearing the burlap flour sack, part of the flour sack was flapping at his eye, so the crew used tape inside the eye area to prevent it from flapping. Daskawisz received rug burns around his eye from the tape from wearing the rough flour sack material for hours.
The final scene where Jason crashes through the window has been dubbed one of the classic moments in horror cinema history. This, as well as the scene where Jason raises his knife before killing Vicki, were featured in the 82nd Academy Awards' tribute to horror montage.
The film's ending has been a source of confusion for fans. Writer Ron Kurz has stated that Jason's window jump was intended to be set in reality and that Paul was killed offscreen. However, the beginning of Part III, in replaying the end of Part 2, instead showed Jason pulling the machete out of his shoulder and crawling away as Ginny and Paul leave him for dead in the shack. This arguably retcons the scene of Jason's window jump into a dream. In addition, near the beginning of Part III, a news broadcast reports the body count at eight, thus excluding Paul from this count.
Rumors sparked that John Furey left before the film wrapped as his character does not appear in the end. In truth, his character was not intended to have appeared.
In an unused ending, after Ginny questions where Paul is, the scene switches to Mrs. Voorhees' head, which then opens its eyes and smiles, indicating that Jason had killed Paul.
Following the success of Friday the 13th in 1980, Paramount Pictures began plans to make a sequel. First acquiring the worldwide distribution rights, Frank Mancuso, Sr. stated, "We wanted it to be an event, where teenagers would flock to the theaters on that Friday night to see the latest episode." The initial ideas for a sequel involved the Friday the 13th title being used for a series of films, released once a year, that would not have direct continuity with each other, but be a separate "scary movie" of their own right. Phil Scuderi—one of three owners of Esquire Theaters, along with Steve Minasian and Bob Barsamian, who produced the original film—insisted that the sequel have Jason Voorhees, Pamela's son, even though his appearance in the original film was only meant to be a joke. Steve Miner, associate producer on the first film, believed in the idea and would go on to direct the first two sequels, after Cunningham opted not to return to the director's chair. Miner would use many of the same crew members from the first film while working on the sequel.
The film was released theactrically on May 1, 1981, and it has since become a cult classic. The film was released internationally to home video on VHS and DVD.
Friday the 13th Part III (1982)
Friday the 13th Part III is the third film in the Friday the 13th series. Released in 1982, it was the first film in the series to feature Jason Voorhees wearing the hockey mask that has become his prominent trademark. Friday the 13th Part III was released theatrically in 3-D, and is notable as the first Paramount Pictures film produced in 3-D since 1954. Much like its sequel Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter, this film was intended to end the series. Unlike its sequel and the later film, Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday, this film did not include a moniker in its title to indicate as such
Some of the deaths were edited in order to avoid an "X" rating, including: Andy's death, which showed his right leg being cut off and his stomach being torn open; Vera's death was cut of bloodshed and her subsequent reaction (this was cut for supposedly looking "too real"); Edna's death was cut for excessive blood flow; Chili's impalement with the red-hot poker was cut of steaming blood hitting the floor; Debbie's original death showed blood spraying across her chest and face. The film was shot with the Arrivision "over and under" 3D camera, the same that was used with Jaws 3-D.
Friday the 13th Part III was met with negative reviews from critics upon release. It currently holds a 14% rating on Rotten Tomatoes.it still is considered one of the best along with part 1,2,4,6. out of those five movies part three is considered the worst.
The film opened in 1,079 theaters in 3D taking in $9,406,522 its opening weekend. Domestically, the film made $36,690,067, a greater figure than the $21,722,776 of the second film.
For this film in the Friday the 13th franchise, Jason Voorhees was nominated for AFI's 100 Years...100 Heroes and Villains as one of the Top 50 Villains
Jason's original hockey mask was molded from a 1950s Detroit Red Wings hockey mask, and would become a staple or the character for the rest of the series
3D DVD release
When originally released on VHS and later on DVD the film was released in regular 2-D form. It is also known that there was a VHD release for Japan (Part IV, and Part V, would follow).
Otherwise, the 3D version of the film was released as a Deluxe Edition DVD on February 3, 2009. The Deluxe Edition DVD and later BD release includes the 2D and 3D versions of the film, and 2 pairs of blue and red 3D glasses designed to look like Jason's mask.
The Blu-Ray release of Friday the 13th: Part III, was eagerly awaited by fans; however, the BD release disappointed. Paramount did not restore the print for the upgrade. Many signs of dirt and film imperfections are clearly visible when watching the film.
In 1982, Gramavision Records released a LP album of selected pieces of Harry Manfredini's scores from the first three Friday the 13th films. On January 13, 2012, La-La Land Records released a limited edition 6-CD boxset containing Manfredini's scores from the first six films. It sold out in less than 24 hours.
Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter (1984)
Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter (also known as Friday the 13th Part IV or Friday the 13th Part IV: The Final Chapter) is a 1984 slasher film. It is the fourth film in the Friday the 13th film series. Though it was billed as "The Final Chapter", there have been many further sequels in the franchise. The popularity and financial success of the film, which grossed over $32 million, kept Paramount Pictures from retiring the franchise. Because of the finality of this film's plot and title, the next film, Friday the 13th: A New Beginning, attempted to continue the series with a different killer; due to that film's critical failure, it was ultimately partially retconned, making The Final Chapter the indirect predecessor to Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives in the series' canon, in the sense of Jason himself returning at that point in the franchise. Likewise, Tommy Jarvis's storyline was incorporated into A New Beginning, making a direct connection that picks up from The Final Chapter and then into Jason Lives.
An alternate ending to the film, included in the 2009 Deluxe Edition DVD, shows a dream sequence where Trish and Tommy wake up the next morning after killing Jason to the sound of police sirens. Trish sends Tommy to summon the police who have arrived next door. At that point she notices water dripping from the ceiling and goes to investigate. She enters the upstairs bathroom, and finds the body of her mother floating in a tub full of bloody water. Trish lifts her mother out of the tub, prompting Mrs. Jarvis' eyes to open, revealing them to be solid white and devoid of irses. Jason suddenly appears from behind the bathroom door and prepares to attack Trish. Trish then suddenly wakes up in the hospital in a scene reminiscent of the ending of the first movie. In his commentary, the director says this scene was cut because it interfered with the idea that this would be the final film
The film played in 1,594 theaters and opened in first place in the box office taking $11,183,148 during its first weekend. It ended with a total domestic gross of $32,980,000.
CriticalThe film received generally negative reviews, with a 24% "rotten" rating on Rotten Tomatoes, although it is a fan favorite.The film was panned by critics, especially Siskel and Ebert
On January 13, 2012, La-La Land Records released a limited edition 6-CD boxset containing Harry Manfredini's scores from the first six Friday the 13th films. It sold out in less than 24 hours.
Friday the 13th: A New Beginning (1985)
Friday the 13th: A New Beginning (also known as Friday the 13th Part V or Friday the 13th Part V: A New Beginning) is a 1985 slasher film. It was released on March 22, 1985. It is the fifth film in the Friday the 13th film series. Despite the previous film claiming to be the "final chapter", this installment set out to live up to its title by being a "new beginning" for the franchise.
Like its predecessors, the film received mostly negative reviews, earning a "rotten" 17% rating at Rotten Tomatoes
According to the Friday the 13th: Return to Crystal Lake DVD Box set, Corey Feldman was only able to make a cameo in this film as a result of him filming The Goonies. Feldman filmed his Friday the 13th Part V cameo on a Sunday as that was his off day of filming The Goonies
On January 13, 2012, La-La Land Records released a limited edition 6-CD boxset containing Harry Manfredini's scores from the first six Friday the 13th films. It sold out in less than 24 hours.
Despite being the second-lowest grossing film in the franchise to that point, it was the first film in the series since the original to receive positive critical reviews. In the years since its release, its self-referential humor and numerous instances of breaking the fourth wall have been praised for prefiguring Wes Craven's Scream series and other similar 1990s horror films. As of 2003's Freddy vs. Jason, Jason Lives was a fan favorite of the series, in addition to receiving positive notice from horror film historians.
The film opened in 1,610 theaters making $6.7 million its opening weekend. Domestically, the film made $19.4 million.
SoundtrackIn addition to an original score, the soundtrack featured:
- "He's Back (The Man Behind the Mask)" by Alice Cooper, from his album Constrictor
- "I'm No Animal" by Felony, from their album Vigilante
- "Teenage Frankenstein" by Alice Cooper, from his album Constrictor
- "Hard Rock Summer" by Alice Cooper, from the box set The Life and Crimes of Alice Cooper
On January 13, 2012, La-La Land Records released a limited edition 6-CD boxset containing Harry Manfredini's scores from the first six Friday the 13th films. It sold out in less than 24 hours.
Pre-production and writing
Although the previous film in the series, Friday the 13th: A New Beginning, had been a financial success, it had disappointed the series' fans and received some of the worst reviews of any film in the franchise. In order to prevent further alienating the fans (and thus potentially endangering the series), the producers decided to take the series in a new direction, moving it away from what producer Frank Mancuso Jr. called the "coarse" nature of A New Beginning.
To this end, Mancuso hired Tom McLoughlin, who had directed the successful horror film One Dark Night but was also known around Hollywood for shopping around various comedy scripts he had written, a dichotomy that appealed to Mancuso. McLoughlin was given free rein on how he would present the story, with the only condition being that he bring back Jason and make him the film's villain.
McLoughlin decided to take the film in the direction of an old Universal Monsters movie, specifically the 1931 version of Frankenstein, which portrayed the monster as a lumbering killer brought to life by electricity. McLoughlin also drew from vampire lore in order to give Jason a weakness, namely being returned to his "home soil"; to achieve this, McLoughlin disregarded the idea presented in Part 2 that Jason had survived his drowning, instead presenting the idea that Jason has always been some sort of supernatural force. He also decided to retcon the events of the fifth film in order to circumvent that film's cliffhanger ending, which implicated that protagonist Tommy Jarvis had become a serial killer.
McLoughlin further decided to expand the series' thematic scope, incorporating action film elements and postmodern metahumor; when Jason is first encountered in the woods near Crystal Lake, the character of Lizbeth comments that she and Darren should flee because she knows about proper conduct to survive a horror movie. McLoughlin would further satirize the franchise itself, as Martin the gravedigger comments on Jason's exhumation, "Why'd they have to go and dig up Jason?" before breaking the fourth wall and addressing the camera with the observation, "Some folks sure got a strange idea of entertainment." In addition to Frankenstein, McLoughlin also cited as inspiration his love of gothic horror, particularly the works of Edgar Allan Poe, and his Catholic upbringing; Jason Lives features the series' only explicit references to God, and during the climax a praying girl is spared by Jason (a similar scene, in which the same girl prays for Tommy while Megan performs CPR, then mouths "Thank you" while looking skyward was deleted from the final cut of the movie, apparently against McLoughlin's wishes; he recalled in the 2009 DVD's director's commentary, "Somehow it didn't stay in... probably too much sentiment").
The decision to retcon the events of Part V resulted in many members of that film's cast—whose characters had survived—having their contracts to return for a sequel terminated. At one point in time when Jason Lives was being considered as a direct sequel to A New Beginning rather than to The Final Chapter, the surviving characters Pam and Reggie from A New Beginning were to have died in the film's opening moments.
Although Mancuso retained control over the film's casting, he deferred to McLoughlin's judgment, with the only caveat being that the final girl had to be a "very attractive blonde." To fulfill this requirement, McLoughlin chose Jennifer Cooke, based on her performance in the television series V. The role of Hawes, Tommy's would-be sidekick who dies within the first five minutes of the movie, was given to another television veteran, Ron Palillo, famous for the role of Horshack on Welcome Back, Kotter.
John Shepherd was initially asked to reprise his role as Tommy Jarvis from the previous film. Shepherd, an evangelical Christian who had reservations about returning to the series based on the atmosphere surrounding A New Beginning, was initially attracted to Jason Lives based on the scene in which a praying girl is spared by Jason. He ultimately decided to film the movie Caught, and shortly thereafter retired from acting to go to seminary. Thom Matthews, who would take over the mantel of Tommy Jarvis, was chosen for his work in the horror comedy Return of the Living Dead, although McLoughlin himself was unaware of Matthews' horror credentials until after shooting began. Other cast members were culled from actors whom McLoughlin had directed before (such as David Kagen) and McLoughlin's own family—Jason's first female victim in the film, Lizbeth, would be played by McLoughlin's wife, Nancy. In keeping with the series' tradition, the role of Jason was given to a stuntman, Dan Bradley.
After the first day of filming, Mancuso decided that he disliked Bradley's appearance onscreen as Jason. Although the scenes that Bradley filmed—in which Jason kills the paintball playing executives—were kept in the completed picture, the rest of Jason's scenes were performed by C. J. Graham, an area restaurant manager and former soldier. As part of a stage show put on at the restaurant, a magician would hypnotize audience members and place them in a scenario during which they encountered Jason Voorhees; Graham, who stood 6'3 and weighed 250 lbs, was asked to play Jason for the scenario. Jason Lives' special effects coordinator, Martin Becker, was in the audience for one such show, and recommended Graham to Mancuso and McLoughlin. Both men were impressed with Graham's presence, and he was hired to film the remainder of Jason's scenes.
Jason Lives would become notable for being the only film in the franchise to contain no nudity; the characters in the film's sole sex scene are both fully clothed, a conscious move on McLoughlin's part to distance the series from the notion that the Friday the 13th films were morality tales in which premarital sex was punished by death. McLoughlin was pressured by the film's producers to have Darcy Demoss remove her shirt during the RV sex scene, but he only suggested the idea to Demoss, who refused.
Jason Lives was filmed in Covington, Georgia, an area close to Atlanta, GA. The scenes involving the police department and town were filmed in Covington while the camp scenes were filmed at Camp Daniel Morgan outside the city limits of Covington. In the film, Camp Crystal Lake has been renamed Lake Forest Green. Surrounding Camp Daniel Morgan are Smokey the Bear signs asking everyone to "Keep the Forests Green".
Some of the climactic moments of the film involving the primary characters in the lake were actually filmed in the swimming pool of McLoughlin's father. Although McLoughlin ruined the pool's filter in the process (it was jammed by gore churned into the water when Jason is hit with the boat propeller), McLoughlin's father was pleased that he could now boast a Hollywood film had been shot in his backyard.
McLoughlin's attempt to deliver a "different" kind of Friday the 13th film were met with skepticism from the producers. In a contrast to the series' other entries, which had to be edited for violence in order to avoid an "X" rating, the film's producers requested that McLoughlin add additional gore, violence, and murders to the film. The original cut of the film contained 13 killings as an in-joke; in order to appease the studio, McLoughlin had to add an additional three killings, bringing the total up to 16 These were the killings of Martin the gravedigger, and the recently engaged couple on a nighttime picnic. The scene of Jason killing Martin would later be cited by McLoughlin as one of his favorite parts of the movie, for the shot in which the picnicing man suddenly realizes that he's been spotted by Jason, which McLoughlin felt to be the film's scariest moment.
Additionally, McLoughlin was made to extend Sissy's death, adding the shots of Jason dragging her to the ground and twisting her head off; as originally filmed, Sissy was simply pulled out of the cabin window, and wasn't seen again until Megan finds her head in the squad car.
McLoughlin also found himself in contention with the producers over how the film should end. As scripted, the movie was supposed to have concluded in the graveyard, with Martin the gravedigger meeting Jason's father, Elias—a heretofore unseen character in the series—with the implication that Elias knows Jason has been resurrected and has come looking for him. The studio balked at the scene, as they did not want the responsibility of having to introduce Elias' backstory in the next installment in the franchise; additionally, the added murder of Martin made the scene an impossibility to shoot. This ending would have tied up a continuity error from A New Beginning, when it is mentioned that Jason was cremated; a deleted scene from Jason Lives had Tommy asking Sheriff Garris why Jason wasn't cremated, as had been planned, at which point Garris informs him that someone paid the city to bury Jason; Elias' handing Martin a wad of money would have indicated that he was the man who paid for Jason's burial. The scene was later storyboarded for inclusion on the film's "Deluxe Edition" DVD release, with Bob Larkin reprising his role as Martin to provide voiceover. Elias, like Jason, was scripted to be completely silent.
McLoughlin ultimately shot three endings, two of which, against his expectations, were not included on the film's DVD release. In one ending, Jason's mask floats to the surface of Crystal Lake, having become detached during his struggle with Megan. In another, Deputy Colone was seen trying to reach the jail cell keys after having been locked in by Tommy and Megan; the door to the police station opens and the film abruptly ends, indicating that Jason had managed to get free. The producers disliked both of these endings, as each one left Jason's survival ambiguous, and wanted it explicitly shown onscreen that he was still capable of returning for a sequel. As a result, McLoughlin shot the film's current ending, showing a closeup of Jason's open, twitching eye
Popular with critics overall, Jason Lives succeeded in receiving some positive attention from the mainstream press, the first time since the original Friday the 13th that an entry in the series received anything other than a negative review. As of 2011 it held a score of 54% at Rotten Tomatoes (which is still classified as "Rotten", however).
Fan reception was largely positive; as of the release of Freddy vs. Jason in 2003, it was considered a fan favorite in the franchise.This is largely attributed to the use of humor, though some were put off by this approach.
Negative criticism of the movie includes general fatigue with the slasher film genre, and the implausibility of Jason's resurrection
A novelization of Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives was written by Simon Hawke in 1986; notably, the novelization features an appearance of Elias Voorhees, Jason's father who was originally meant to appear in the film, but was cut. The book also includes various flashbacks to Jason's childhood and the backstories of characters such as Tommy and Sheriff Garris are also expanded.
Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood(1988)
Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood is the seventh installment in the original Friday the 13th series, released in 1988. It also marked the first appearance of Kane Hodder in the role of Jason Voorhees, a role which he repeated 3 more times up until Jason X.
ProductionThe film was originally hoped to be Freddy vs. Jason, a clash crossover between Jason Voorhees and Freddy Krueger. Plans fell apart when Paramount Pictures (who held the rights to the Friday the 13th series at the time) and New Line Cinema (who held the rights to the Nightmare on Elm Street films), failed to come to an agreement. That film was eventually made possible when New Line bought the rights to the Friday the 13th series, but did not see release until 2003.
The entire production of this film was scheduled, completed, and released within six months; shooting took place from October to November 1987 in rural southern Alabama near Bay Minette. This film marks the first of four appearances by Kane Hodder as Jason, the only actor to ever reprise the role. Although C. J. Graham, who had portrayed Jason in Part VI, was initially considered, Hodder was ultimately chosen based on his work in the film Prison, for which The New Blood's director, Carl Buechler had worked on as the special effects makeup artist. In that movie, Hodder filmed a scene in which his character—a prisoner executed in the electric chair—rises from the grave; Hodder himself had suggested to Buechler that he have maggots coming out of his mouth during the scene, to heighten the effect of decomposition, and went on to film the sequence with live maggots spilling out of his mouth. Buechler remembered Hodder's commitment to the part when casting The New Blood, and chose Hodder over Graham. Graham expressed disappointment, as he had hoped to reprise the role of Jason and make himself synonymous with the character, as Boris Karloff had with Frankenstein's monster, but ultimately expressed satisfaction with Hodder's portrayal and said that he bore no ill will about not being asked to return. Hodder would go on to make cinematic history for the longest uninterrupted on-screen controlled burn in Hollywood history. For the scene in which Tina causes the furnace to shoot flames at Jason, Hodder was actually set on-fire by an apparatus rigged so that the ignition could be captured on film (as opposed to being edited in later with trick photography). Hodder was on fire for a full forty seconds, a record at the time.
Several explicit scenes of gore were cut in order to avoid an X rating, including: Maddy's death, who originally had a sickle jammed through her neck; Ben's death, which showed Jason mashing his head into a bloody pulp; Kate's demise, which showed Jason ramming her in the eye with a party horn, the box set (DVD) release only shows Jason ramming her in the eye but quickly cuts to another scene before revealing the blood and gore gushing from her eye; we see Eddie's head hit the floor; a shot of Russell's face splitting open with a large blood spurt; Dan's original death had Jason ripping out his guts; Amanda Shepard's death originally showed Jason stabbing her from behind, with the resulting blade going through her chest and subsequent blood hitting Dr. Crews; Dr. Crews's death showed Jason's tree-trimming saw violently cutting into his stomach, sending a fountain of blood and guts in the air; Melissa's original death had Jason cleaving her head in half with an axe with a close-up of her eyes still wriggling in their sockets. The boxed set DVD release of all of the films and the single deluxe edition have all these scenes available as deleted scenes in rough workprint footage, however the deluxe edition features more additional footage than the boxed set.
The narration in the prologue of the film (spoken by Walt Gorney) is as follows:
- There's a legend 'round here. A killer buried, but not dead. A curse on Crystal Lake. A death curse. Jason Voorhees's curse. They say he died as a boy, but he keeps coming back. Few have seen him and lived. Some have even tried to stop him. No one can. People forget he's down there... waiting.
Release and reception
All existing home video versions of this film, including the box set released by Paramount Home Video have the infamous "sleeping bag death" cut to one hit, whereas the original theater-shown version had the uncut, six-hit sleeping bag death scene, with blood all over the sleeping bag, intact.
At the budget of $2.8 million, the film took in $19.1 million at the domestic box office upon its initial release.
John Carl Buechler, the director, who also created the special make-up effects for the film, is credited with creating "the definitive Jason"
The film is mentioned in the novels American Psycho by Bret Easton Ellis and The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger.
The film currently holds a 24% rating on review aggragator Rotten Tomatoes based on 17 reviews.
On September 27, 2005, BSX records released a limited edition CD of Fred Mollin's Friday the 13th Part VII and VIII scores.
Friday the 13th Part VIII:
Jason Takes Manhattan
Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan is a slasher film released on July 28, 1989. It is the eighth film in the Friday the 13th film series, and deals with Jason Voorhees stalking a group of high school graduates on a ship en route to (and later in) New York City. It was the last film in the series to have been distributed by Paramount Pictures in the United States until 2009 (the 2009 reboot of the first film was distributed by Paramount in non-US countries). According to New York Has A New Problem: The Making of Friday The 13th VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan, this was going to be the final film, in the series. The film's tagline is, "New York has a new problem." It took in just $14.3 million at the domestic box office, making it the lowest-grossing film in the series.
The idea behind the eight film was to take Jason away from Crystal Lake and place him in a larger environment. New York City was selected as the main setting, with Jason spending approximately a third of the movie on a boat before reaching New York. Fangoria Magazine originally announced the film's subtitle as being "Terror In Times Square," but the film was eventually subtitled Jason Takes Manhattan. Ultimately, the character spent the majority of the time on the cruise ship, as budget restrictions forced scenes of New York to be trimmed or downgraded. Vancouver had to substitute for the majority of the New York scenes
ReceptionOn his commentary track for the film in the box set, director Rob Hedden acknowledges the faults and even agrees that more of the film should have been set in Manhattan, citing budgetary and schedule problems. The film failed to generate a substantial amount of money at the box office, which continued the decline in grosses the series had been suffering, and Paramount sold the franchise to New Line Cinema soon afterward, and they would later distribute the 2009 reboot together. Rotten Tomatoes details that only 10% of the critics who reviewed the film gave it positive reviews, making it the poorest-received film of the series. It holds an average score of 3.9/10. Entertainment Weekly labeled it the eighth-worst sequel ever made. However, Leonard Maltin gave it a two star rating and called it "The best in the Friday series"
Part of the film's appeal was the idea of setting Jason, a psychopathic killer, loose in 1980s New York, which was both crime-ridden and noted for its colorful method of deterioration (e.g. the garish nature of Times Square, complete with streetwalkers and drug dealers openly selling their wares,porno theaters, and graffiti, gangs, and homeless panhandlers contributing to the anti-social nature of the city). This notion was the idea of Jason both fitting right in in Manhattan and also a bit of Paul Kersey/Death Wish desire for a killer to cleanse New York of its crime. However, as reviews made clear, 90% of the film does not take place anywhere in Manhattan, and Jason's few interactions in Manhattan are limited to cast members from Crystal Lake and a few shots of docks and sewers
SoundtrackOn September 27, 2005, BSX records released a limited edition CD of Fred Mollin's Friday the 13th Part VII and VIII scores
Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday (1993)
Due to major development issues over several years, New Line Cinema wasn't sure if Freddy vs. Jason would ever get made. To tide over fans they made Jason X in 2001. Since this film was subtitled the The Final Friday, they decided against a repeat of the Friday the 13th title for further films, and dubbed the following film Jason X, and set it in the future so as to avoid continuity problems with a possible Freddy vs. Jason film. Freddy vs. Jason was eventually released ten years after this film, in 2003
Box office and reception
The film opened in 1,355 theaters, making $7.6 million its opening weekend. Domestically, the film made $15.9 million, making it the third lowest grossing Friday the 13th film.
Like the films before it, Jason Goes to Hell did not fare well with critics, currently holding a 29% "rotten" rating on Rotten Tomatoes. However, it did fare better than Jason Takes Manhattan.
The film was released unrated on DVD in North America, and includes both versions of the film: the censored R-rated version, and the unrated version, which runs three minutes longer than the theatrical version of the film. In certain regions of the world including Australia, the DVD was only released with the censored R-rated version of the film available to view.
A three-issue comic adaptation of Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday written by Andy Mangels was published by Topps Comics. As the comics are based upon the original shooting script of the film, elements that were left out of the film are used in them. Topps also released a series of trading cards for the film.
The FBI sting that occurs at the beginning of the film is foreshadowed in the novel Friday the 13th: Hate-Kill-Repeat, which takes place between the events of the seventh and eighth films. The epilogue of the book states that the FBI, upon discovering Jason Voorhees actually exists, have begun making plans to trap him and "send him straight to Hell"; the actual events of the 'sting' are revealed in Friday the 13th: Church of the Divine Psychopath.
Freddy Krueger's clawed hand coming out of the ground and taking Jason's mask was a reference to the future crossover, Freddy vs. Jason between the two (similar to the Alien Skull scene in Predator 2, which was a production in-joke), which had been in development hell since 1987. It was finally finished in 2003, a year after this film's sequel.
The film features the appearances of the skull dagger and Necronomicon from the Evil Dead films. Jason, Freddy, and Ash Williams (the main protagonist of the Evil Dead movies) would later meet in the comic book series Freddy vs. Jason vs. Ash (a story adapted by writer Jeff Katz from a Freddy vs. Jason 2 screenplay treatment he had written in 2004) and again in Freddy vs. Jason vs. Ash: The Nightmare Warriors.
Jason X (2001)
The film was conceived by Todd Farmer and was the only pitch he gave to the studio for the movie, having suggested sending Jason into space as a means to advance the franchise while Freddy vs. Jason was still in development hell and is set in the future so as not to confuse the continuity of the series.
Development of Jason X began in the late nineties while Freddy vs. Jason was still stuck in development hell. With Freddy vs. Jason not moving forward, Sean S. Cunningham decided that he wanted another Friday the 13th film made to retain audience interest in the character. The film was conceived by Todd Farmer, who plays "Dallas" in the film, and was the only pitch he gave to the studio for the movie, having suggested sending Jason into space as a means to advance the franchise while Freddy vs. Jason was still in development hell.
ReceptionThe film made $13,121,555 domestically, making it the lowest-grossing film in the series. It earned $3,830,243 foreign for a worldwide gross of $16,951,798.
The film received unfavorable reviews, holding a "Rotten" rating of 21% on Rotten Tomatoes, based on 102 reviews, with the consensus being that "Jason goes to the future, but the story is still stuck in the past." Metacritic shows the film as having "generally unfavorable" reviews based on 23 critics, with a score of 25/100. American film critic Roger Ebert wrote a scathing review of the film, quoting one of the film's lines: "This sucks on so many levels."
However, the film was better received in the United Kingdom, gaining positive reviews from the country's two major film magazines, Total Film and Empire. Empire's review by Kim Newman in particular praised Jason X as "Wittily scripted, smartly directed and well-played by an unfamiliar cast, this is a real treat for all those who have suffered through the story so far."
The film score was composed and conducted by Harry Manfredini. It was released on Varèse Sarabande. Jason X's theme song is "Bodies" by Drowning Pool from their album Sinner
Other mediaIn 2005, Black Flame, a subsidiary of Games Workshop, began publishing a series of paperback books based on Jason X and aimed towards young adults. While the first book adapts the film, the following books feature new story lines based on the character in the setting established by the Jason X film. The five books in the series are Jason X by Pat Cadigan, Jason X: The Experiment by Pat Cadigan, Jason X: Planet of the Beast by Nancy Kilpatrick, Jason X: Death Moon by Alex Johnson and Jason X: To the Third Power by Nancy Kilpatrick.
Avatar Press produced two comic book titles based on this film: Jason X, a one-shot by Brian Pulido that picks up as a sequel to the movie, and Friday the 13th: Jason vs. Jason X, a two-issue mini-series by Mike Wolfer that pits the two versions of Jason (original-classic Jason vs Uber Jason) against each other.The scene where Jason freezes Adrienne's head in liquid nitrogen before smashing it to pieces was the subject of an episode of MythBusters. The team built several fake heads, dipped them in liquid nitrogen and attempted to smash them with a robotic arm. The myth was declared "busted" after none of the heads appeared to replicate the effect in the movie.
Freddy vs. Jason (2003)
In the film, Freddy (Robert Englund) has grown weak, as the citizens of fictional Springwood, Ohio have suppressed their fear of him. In order to regain his power, Freddy resurrects Jason (Ken Kirzinger) and manipulates him into traveling to Springwood to cause panic and fear. However, while Jason succeeds in causing enough fear for Freddy to haunt the town again, he continues to intrude on Freddy's territory and steal his potential victims. This ultimately sends the two monsters into a violent conflict.
This film marked Robert Englund's final appearance to date as Freddy Krueger, having portrayed him in all seven previous Nightmare films and the 1980s TV series, as well as the first movie since Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives not to feature Kane Hodder as Jason Voorhees. This is also Ken Kirzinger's second and final appearance as Jason; having doubled for Hodder in the film Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan. This film was the debut of R&B singer Grammy-winner Kelly Rowland as an actress.
New Line and Paramount tried to make a Freddy vs. Jason movie in 1987. But the two studios failed to agree on a story or what to do with the two franchises. When Jason Takes Manhattan failed to perform successfully at the box office, Sean Cunningham decided that he wanted to reacquire the rights to Friday the 13th and start working with New Line Cinema on Freddy vs. Jason, as New Line owned the Nightmare on Elm Street franchise. The concept of a fight between Freddy and Jason was not new; Paramount had approached New Line about filming a crossover years before the latter had gained the licensing rights to Friday the 13th. At that time, both companies wanted the license to the other's character so that they could control the making of the film. Negotiations on the project were never finalized, which led Paramount to make The New Blood. After Jason Takes Manhattan was released in 1989 the rights reverted back to Scuderi, Minasian and Barsamianto, who sold them to New Line. Before Cunningham could start working on Freddy vs. Jason, Wes Craven returned to New Line to make New Nightmare. This effectively put Freddy vs. Jason on hold, but allowed Cunningham the chance to bring Jason back into the spotlight with Jason Goes to Hell.[The ninth installment "turned a healthy profit", though it was only intended to open the door for a crossover with Freddy Krueger, rather than start a new series for New Line. Ultimately, the film series would go through another sequel before that would happen. Cunningham's "frustration" with the delayed development of the Freddy vs. Jason project forced him to create another sequel in an effort to keep the franchise in the minds of audiences. Based on Jason Takes Manhattan's concept of taking Jason away from Crystal Lake, the tenth film would put the titular character in space.The film suffered from the loss of its biggest supporter, President of Production Michael De Luca, when he resigned from his position. Lack of support forced the finished film to sit for two years before finally being released on April 26, 2002; it would go on to become the lowest grossing film in the franchise at the domestic box office; it also held the distinction of having the largest budget of any of the previous films at that time.
After more than fifteen years of off-and-on development, and approximately $6 million spent in eighteen unused scripts from more than a dozen screenwriters, New Line finally produced Freddy vs. Jason for 2003. One of the biggest hurdles for the film was developing a story that managed to bring the two horror icons together. Potential stories varied widely, from 2 different drafts: 1 was titled "The Millennium Massacre" where Freddy was revealed to at one time be a counselor at Camp Crystal Lake and molested Jason as a child, and another dealt to a cult called the "Fred Heads" who were going to sacrifice this little girl to Freddy and the older sister puts her dead boyfriend's heart in Jason's body to fight Freddy and rescue the younger sister.According to writers Mark Swift and Damian Shannon several endings were considered for the film and finally producer Robert Shaye came up with his idea which was acceptable for everyone. He shot the final scene and the last scene of the movie which shows Jason was filmed without Ken Kirzinger. It was shot in Los Angeles with another actor, Douglas Tait, playing Jason Voorhees.
CastingNew Line believed Freddy vs. Jason needed a fresh start, and chose a new actor for Jason. Cunningham disagreed with their decision, believing Hodder was the best choice for the role.Hodder did receive the script for Freddy vs. Jason, and had a meeting with director Ronny Yu and New Line executives, but Matthew Barry and Yu felt the role should be recast to fit Yu's image of Jason. According to Hodder, New Line failed to provide him with a reason for the recasting, but Yu has explained he wanted a slower, more deliberate Jason, and less of the aggressive movements that Hodder had used in the previous films. Yu and development executive Jeff Katz recognized the outcry among fans over the replacement of Hodder as Jason, but stood by their choice in recasting. The role eventually went to Ken Kirzinger, a Canadian stuntperson who worked on Jason Takes Manhattan. There are conflicting reports over the reason Kirzinger was cast. According to Yu, Kirzinger was hired because he was taller than Robert Englund, the actor who portrays Freddy Krueger. Kirzinger stands 6' 5" (196 cm), compared to the 6' 2" (188 cm) of Kane Hodder. Yu wanted a much larger actor to tower over the 5' 9" (175 cm) Englund. Kirzinger believes his experience on Part VIII helped him land the part, as Kirzinger doubled for Hodder on two scenes for the film, but also believes he was simply sized up and handed the job. Although he was hired by the crew, New Line did not officially cast Kirzinger until first seeing him on film. Kirzinger's first scene was Jason walking down Elm Street. New Line wanted a specific movement in Jason's walk; Kirzinger met their expectations and signed a contract with the studio. Even though Hodder expresses some resentment at not being chosen, he and Kirzinger are still good friends, and some fans think Ken's Jason surpasse's Kane's Jason.
However, even Kirzinger did not perform the role throughout the entire film. In the memorable final scene where Jason emerges from the water holding Freddy's head in his hand, the role was played by another actor, 6'5" (196 cm) Douglas Tait. Almost a year after originally auditioning for Yu, Tait was called in for the reshoot of the climactic closing sequence.
In an interview, Tait explained the reason for the reshoot. He said, "Unfortunately for me, it was the only scene I was hired to do. The test audiences were confused about the original ending, they thought Jason Ritter’s character was becoming Jason. You can see it in the deleted scenes, that is why they decided to reshoot the ending. Originally I was being considered for playing the role of Jason in the entire film. It was actually between me and Ken. When they took the film to Canada, I was out of luck. There was no way they were going to pay for my flight and hotel stay when Ken was a local. Also, Ken is older than me and he was a lot more established in the business than I was at the time."
Describing the scene, Tait said "I was on the film for a couple days. The water sequence took a lot of preparation. They realized that when I got wet, I looked too skinny in the clothes, so they had to bulk me up with pads and extra clothing so it would look like I was still big. Being with all this extra weight, one eye covered, a machete in one hand, Freddy’s head in another hand, and being totally submerged in water, made that scene very difficult. Also, Ronny Yu wanted me to walk like I was walking on land. He wanted it to look like I could walk through the water without it making me rise to the surface. To do this effect, they had a rope tied under water that I held onto with my left hand (with Freddy’s severed head in it also), and I held myself down on the ground so I could pull myself and walk forward.
The movie received generally mixed reviews. Based on 153 reviews collected by Rotten Tomatoes, Freddy vs. Jason has an overall 41% approval rating from critics, with an average score of 4.9 out of 10 saying, "Fans of the two horror franchises will enjoy this showdown. But for everyone else, it's the same old slice and dice". Among Rotten Tomatoes' Top Critics, which consists of popular and notable critics from the top newspapers, websites, television and radio programs, the film holds an overall approval rating of 25% By comparison, Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, the film has received an average score of 37 based on 29 reviews, but a 7.6 for users.
On its opening weekend, Freddy vs. Jason grossed $36 million. By November 9, 2003, it grossed $82,556,855 million in North America and $32,286,175 in foreign sales
Home mediaThe film was released on VHS and DVD as part of New Line's Platinum Series on January 13, 2004. The DVD included a second disc of special features, including:
- Audio Commentary by Ronny Yu, Ken Kirzinger, and Robert Englund
- Deleted and Alternate scenes with commentary (including original opening & closing)
- Behind the Scenes Coverage including screenwriting, set design, make up, stunts and photography
- Visual Effects Exploration
- Storyboards and Galleries
- Ill Niño "How Can I Live" Music Video
- Trailers and TV Spots
- Script-to-Screen & Trivia viewing modes
- Cutting Room Floor - make your own fight scene
- Killer sound bites
Publishing company Black Flame released a novelization of the film on July 29, 2003. It was written by Stephen Hand, who also penned the novelization for New Line's The Texas Chainsaw Massacre the next year. The book, as with many other novelizations Black Flame published for New Line, follows closely the plot of the film with a few alterations. For example, the novelization utilizes the original ending where Will turns into Freddy when he is about to have sex with Lori.
Doug Chapman and Melvin Martinez were nominated for the Best Fire Stunt in the Taurus World Stunt Awards 2004 for the double full body burn and wire stunt. Doug Chapman doubled for Robert Englund as Freddy and Glenn Ennis doubled for Jason in the stunt.Friday the 13th (2009)
The concept for the 2009 film originally started as an origin story, but the film evolved into a reimagining of the first four Friday the 13th films. Along with bringing the film back to its tonal roots, Jason was designed as a leaner and faster killer, with a backstory that could provide a little sympathy for the character, but not enough that he would lose his menace. Although this film reboots the continuity, Jason's iconic hockey mask,which was not introduced until the third film in the series, is acquired through the progression of the film. In keeping with the tone of the film, Jason's mask was also brought back to its roots, created from a mold of the original mask used for Part III; though there were subtle changes. Friday the 13th incorporated some of Harry Manfredini's music score from the original Friday the 13th film series, as the producers recognized its iconic status.
The film was released on Friday, February 13, 2009, to the most theaters of any of the Friday the 13th films. Although the film was met with primarily negative reviews, it earned approximately $19 million on its opening night and $40 million for its opening weekend. With its opening weekend, Friday the 13th broke two records, having the largest opening day for the film series and the largest opening weekend for any horror film. It is currently the second-highest grossing film in the Friday the 13th franchise with $65 million, and has earned over $91.3 million worldwide
New Line Cinema's Toby Emmerich approached Platinum Dunes producers Michael Bay, Brad Fuller, and Andrew Form about restarting Friday the 13th in the same fashion that they had done with the Texas Chainsaw Massacre franchise. They agreed, and spent over a year securing the film rights from all the involved parties: Paramount Pictures, New Line, and Crystal Lake Entertainment. Crystal Lake Entertainment is run by Friday the 13th creator Sean S. Cunningham. Paramount executives approached the Platinum Dunes producers and gave them license to use anything from the original films, including the title; Paramount was given the rights to distribute the film internationally. Fuller and Form said they did not want to create Friday the 13th Part 11 or 12, but wanted to put their own spin on the mythology. The pair acknowledge that there were elements from the first four films that they liked and were going to use in the 2009 film, like how a particular character is killed or story points that they appreciated and wanted to reuse, and once Paramount was on board they were able to do that. Fuller said, "I think there are moments we want to address, like how does the hockey mask happen. It’ll happen differently in our movie than in the third one. Where is Jason from, why do these killings happen, and what is Crystal Lake?" The producers initially expressed an interest in using Tommy Jarvis, a recurring character who first appeared in Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter, but the idea was scrapped.
Though the producers decided that Friday the 13th would not be an origin story, they said that they wanted to work out a logical origin story for Jason that would provide a sense of history as the film progressed. Form and Fuller explained that the audience gets to see how Jason attains his famous hockey mask, and is given a reason for why he puts it on. Jason would transition from wearing a bag over his head—similar to the one seen in Friday the 13th Part 2—to finding and wearing his hockey mask, whereas in Friday the 13th Part III he obtains the mask off-screen and comes out of a barn already wearing it.
Unlike The Texas Chainsaw Massacre remake (2003) and the The Amityville Horror remake (2005), both of which were produced by Bay, Form, and Fuller, it was decided that Friday the 13th would not be a period piece. As Form and Fuller explained it, the film was not a remake in the strictest sense, so there was no reason why they could not tell the story in modern times. In October 2007 Damian Shannon and Mark Swift, the writers of Freddy vs. Jason, were hired to write the script for Friday the 13th Jonathan Liebesman was in negotiations to direct the film, but because of scheduling conflicts Fuller and Form went with their second choice, Marcus Nispel. Nispel was apprehensive about taking the job, primarily because he would be taking over another film franchise, but Fuller eventually convinced him Principal photography began on April 21, 2008, in Austin, Texas, and wrapped on June 13, 2008.
Stuntman Derek Mears was hired to portray Jason Voorhees at the recommendation of special makeup effects supervisor Scott Stoddard.Before the producers contacted him, Mears had already heard about the production of a new Friday the 13th and decided to start physical training so that he could pursue the role on his own, unaware that Stoddard and other industry professionals were suggesting him to the producers Mears's pleasant demeanor had the studio worried about his ability to portray such a menacing character on screen, but Mears assured them that he was up to the role. Mears has stated he always related to "Jason the victim" when he was growing up as a child, and that was how he wanted to portray Jason in the film. To Mears, Jason represents all those individuals that were picked on in high school for being outcasts, specifically those with physical deformities. Jason is unusual in that he exacts his revenge on those trying to take over his territory at Crystal Lak
When Mears went in to audition for the role he was asked, "Why do we need an actor as opposed to just a guy in a mask?" Mears explained to them that portraying Jason is similar to Greek Mask Work, where the mask and the actor are two separate entities, and, depending on the scene, there will be various combinations of mask and actor in the performance. Mears feels that if an actor is thinking something, then the energy from those thoughts will transfer to what the camera picks up. Mears compares his experience behind the camera to a NASCAR race: he is the driver and the effects team is his pit crew. As he performs, the effects team provides subtle suggestions for ways that he can give the character more life on camera.
Amanda Righetti had not read the script when she was offered the role of Whitney Miller. Wanting to be a part of the Friday the 13th franchise from the start, Righetti said that she was completely sold on acting in the film after she did read the script. Jared Padalecki describes Clay Miller as a real hero because he sets out "to do the right thing" the moment his sister goes missing, and goes about it as the "lone wolf" who wants to take on this responsibility by himself Adjustments had to be made to the filming schedule to accommodate Aaron Yoo, who portrays Chewie. Yoo had his appendix removed shortly before filming began, and could not film his scenes right away. As soon as he was ready for filming, Nispel immediately hung him upside down in some rafters, exposing the staples over his surgical wound, for the character's post-death shot.
Fuller and Form admit that the casting process was more difficult for Friday the 13th than it had been on The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, as Friday the 13th had more young actors to contend with. The producers had thirteen young actors in Friday the 13th, whereas in The Texas Chainsaw Massacre they only had five. The pair had to continually recast parts to find the group that worked best together. This recasting process extended all the way to the start of film. Hostel Part II's Richard Burgi, who was cast as Sheriff Bracke, did not sign on until twelve hours before he had to start filming his scenes.
When Shannon and Swift sat down to write the script for Friday the 13th, they decided to institute a few new rules for themselves based on lessons learned when they wrote Freddy vs. Jason. They wanted their teens to "sound normal". Shannon and Swift said they did not want the characters to even know Jason's name, or become what they saw as "the Scooby-Doo cliché where it's a bunch of kids trying to figure something out"The writers also wanted to step away from the self-referential slasher films—such as Scream—and take the film back to a grittier, more 1980s feel that had been lost in recent films; they wanted to create a faster, looser Jason. The writing team decided to create a version of Jason "who was actually in the woods surviving off the land", and whose killings are presented as a way of defending "his turf" rather than simply randomly murdering whoever came along.
The writers did not want to spend a lot of time covering Jason's childhood experiences, as they felt it would take away from the mystery of the character. They attempted to craft scenes that would lend realism, like the audience coming across a deer carcass lying on the ground as they followed Jason through his underground tunnels. At a cost of $100,000 a carcass, Fuller informed the pair that they would have to do without that particular element. Because of budget constraints, certain character deaths and the ending of the film also had to be scaled down from what Shannon and Swift had originally envisioned.
The writers had originally written a scene where Willa Ford's character, Chelsea, is stranded out on the lake for hours after she spots Jason standing on the shore Eventually, the girl would tire and drown, which Shannon and Swift felt was something they had not seen in this genre of movies. Ultimately, they decided to make the death quicker and more "visceral". A similar incident occurred with Danielle Panabaker's character Jenna. As Panabaker reveals, Jenna was scripted to survive longer than she did in the final version of the film; Jenna was supposed to make it out of Jason's lair and recite a "cute line" about a second "date" with Clay, before an elaborate fight sequence that ends in her death. The writers wanted to strike a balance between finding new and interesting ways to kill the characters while paying homage to popular death scenes that have appeared in previous installments of the series. To accomplish this, Shannon and Swift included the presence of a wheelchair in Jason's tunnels—the character of Mark (Tom McBride) was a paraplegic who was killed by Jason in Friday the 13th Part 2—and the sweater that Mrs. Voorhees wore in the original Friday the 13th.
The pair also put their own spin on Jason's characteristics. Mears describes him as a combination of John Rambo, Tarzan, and the Abominable Snowman from Looney Tunes. To Mears, Jason is similar to Rambo because the audience sees him setting the other characters up to fall into his traps. Like Rambo, he is more calculating because he feels that he has been wronged and he is fighting back; he is meant to be more sympathetic in this film. However, Fuller and Form said they learned from their experience with The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning not to make Jason too sympathetic to the audience. One of the reasons they decided against an origin story was because they did not want to put focus on Jason being tormented as a child, as the producers felt that would "demystify" the character in an unhelpful manner. As Fuller explained, "We do not want him to be sympathetic. Jason is not a comedic character, he is not sympathetic. He's a killing machine. Plain and simple."
Visual effectsAsylum Visual Effects was given the task of creating the digital effects for Friday the 13th. Although director Marcus Nispel is a proponent of practical effects, there were instances where Asylum had to digitally create various shots, in some instances to protect the safety of the actors, and sometimes to allow the director to achieve a specific look. Visual effects supervisor Mitchell Drain assigned ten crew members to work on the visual effects for the film, and the first thing they did was analyze the script in pre-production so they could get a sense of where digital effects would be needed. Ultimately, Asylum only worked on 25 shots for the film.
One of the first scenes Asylum was given was the death scene for America Olivo's character, Amanda. In the scene, Jason ties Amanda up in her sleeping bag and hangs her over the campfire. As the risk to the actress was too great, as well as the risk to the surrounding woodlands, Asylum had to create a composite of two different shots in order to show Amanda burning in her sleeping bag. Instead of creating a computer generated (CGI) model of the campfire, a real campfire was filmed, and Asylum compositor John Stewart blended the that footage and shots of the hanging sleeping bag into a single image. Stewart altered the flames digitally in order to keep continuity between frames. Another composite shot was used when Ford's character is hit by a speedboat. As it would be too dangerous for even a stuntperson to attempt, Asylum digitally combined footage of Willa Ford reacting as an imaginary boat runs over her with shots of the actual boat to create the effect.
Asylum also had the chance to enhance some of Jason's signature kills with his machete. In multiple instances, Asylum used a computer-generated machete to kill a character, as Nispel wanted to be able to keep the characters' deaths all in one shot, as opposed to cutting from the act of killing them to the aftermath of their death. In one case, Jason kills Ben Feldman's character, Richie, by slamming a machete into his head. Instead of using a real machete with a fake head, Nispel had Feldman pretend to be dead with Mears pulling a handle—with only a portion of the blade attached—away from Feldman's head. Then, Asylum went in and digitally created the rest of the machete blade to complete the effect. For this scene, Asylum adjusted the facial expressions of the actor to create a more "post mortem" look: the special effects team used the computer to digitally droop one half of the actor's face to give the impression that the nerves had been severed by Jason's machete.
Asylum digitally created entire weapons for use in various scenes. In the scene where Ryan Hansen's character Nolan is killed suddenly—he is shot in the head with an arrow by Jason—Asylum had to create the entire arrow in post-production. Another scene involved Jason hurling a hatchet at actor Arlen Escarpeta, as he is running away, striking him in the back. As the image of a hatchet flying through the air, and in one instance in the same frame as the actor, would be too difficult to achieve practically, Asylum rendered a complete 3D model of the hatchet. Asylum then inserted the model into the frames leading up to where the digital image hits the character in the back. One of the final images added by Asylum was for the death of Travis Van Winkle's character, Trent. Here, Asylum was required to create a digital metal spike which bursts through Trent's chest as Jason slams him onto the back of a tow truck.
Effects artist Scott Stoddard described his particular look for Jason's face as a combination of Carl Fullerton's design in Friday the 13th Part 2 and Tom Savini's work in Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter. Stoddard's vision of Jason included hair loss, skin rashes, and the traditional deformities in his face, but Stoddard attempted to craft Jason's look in a way that would allow for a more human side of him to be seen. Mears was required to wear full body makeup from the chest up while performing as Jason. The actor wore a chest plate with fake skin that would adjust to his muscle movement; he wore a fake hump on his back to give the impression that Jason had scoliosis. A prosthetic eye was glued to Mears's face to allow for more realistic movement. Stoddard initially spent three and a half hours applying all of the makeup to Mears's head and torso.He was eventually able to reduce the required time to just over an hour for scenes where Mears was wearing the hockey mask. When it came time for the scenes that involved Jason's face to be revealed, it took approximately four hours to apply all of the makeup.
For his wardrobe, Mears was given a pair of combat boots and a "high priced t-shirt" that allowed the special effects makeup to be seen through holes in the shirt. The jacket Jason wears in the film was created by combining a hunting jacket and a military jacket—Mears wanted the hunting jacket, but the creative team liked the way the military jacket billowed as he was making his "kill movements". The top of the hunting jacket was removed and placed over the top of the military jacket. Mears characterizes it as a "giant Frankenstein jacket". He describes Jason as being leaner in this film, given the rationale that the character does not eat much. A "leaner" Jason was deemed more functional, and allowed more emphasis to be placed on the hump on his back. Stoddard took inspiration from the third and fourth films when designing Jason's hockey mask. Using an original mold that he was able to acquire, Stoddard crafted six new versions of the mask. As Stoddard explained, "Because I didn't want to take something that already existed, there were things I thought were great, but there were things I wanted to change a bit. Make it custom, but keep all the fundamental designs. Especially the markings on the forehead and cheeks. Age them down a bit, break them.
A bust of Jason in the 2009 film; effects artist Scott Stoddard combined characteristics from Jason's appearance in Friday the 13th Part 2 and The Final Chapter when crafting his own design
In addition to taking story elements from the first four Friday the 13th films, Form and Fuller recognized the iconic status of the music, which had been part of every film since the first one was released in 1980. The pair immediately had the studio attain the licensing rights to the music originally composed and performed by Harry Manfredini for their 2009 film. Even though they secured the license for Manfredini's score, they did not plan on using it in its entirety. Instead, they brought on Steve Jablonsky, who had worked with Form and Fuller on previous films, to compose a score that was reminiscent of Manfredini's while creating the atmosphere that was wanted for the 2009 film. Nispel contacted Jablonsky to do the score for Friday the 13th after having worked with him on the remake of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. Nispel explained to Jablonsky that he wanted him to create something that Nispel could "whistle when [he] left the theater", but was subtle enough that it would not immediately register while watching the film. As Nispel explained further, "I don't believe that, when you watch a Friday the 13th film, you want to feel like John Williams is sitting next to you with the London Symphony Orchestra.
On Friday, February 13, 2009, Friday the 13th was released in 3,105 theaters in North America. The 2009 film was given the widest release of any Friday the 13th film, including the crossover film with A Nightmare on Elm Street. It was released in nearly three times as many theaters as the original 1980 film, and edged out Freddy vs. Jason by 91 theaters. Friday the 13th also saw release in 2,100 theaters throughout 28 foreign markets. The film was released on DVD, Blu-ray, and Apple TV on June 16, 2009.The DVD and Blu-ray releases contain both a theatrical release and an extended cut of the film.
On its opening day, Friday the 13th grossed $19,293,446, and immediately surpassed the total individual box office grosses for Jason Takes Manhattan (1989), Jason Goes to Hell (1993), and Jason X (2002), which earned $14,343,976, $15,935,068, and $13,121,555, respectively. From February 14–16, the film took in an additional $24,292,003, to round out its 4-day President's Day weekend with $43,585,449. By the end of its 3-day opening weekend it was already the second highest grossing Friday film in the series with $40,570,365,and just barely beat out The Grudge (2004) for the best 3-day weekend opening for any horror film. When comparing the 2009 film's opening weekend to that of its 1980 counterpart, in adjusted 2009 US dollars, the original Friday the 13th only brought in $17,251,975. Although the 2009 film made more money, when factoring in the number of theaters each film was released in, the 1980 film earned more per theater with $15,683, compared to the 2009 film's $13,066.Friday the 13th saw a significant drop in attendance in its second weekend. On its second Friday, the film took in only $2,802,977, which was an 85.5% decrease from opening Friday. By the end of its second weekend, the film brought in $7,942,472, an 80.4% overall decrease from the previous weekend. As a result, the film went from first place to sixth place in the weekend box office. By its third weekend, Friday the 13th had dropped out of the top ten, earning $3,689,156, which was a 53.6% decrease from its second weekend. By the end of its box office run, Friday the 13th earned an estimated $65 million at the United States box office, but failed to regain a top ten spot after its third weekend.The 2009 film sits in fifth place for all-time President's Day weekends with $45,033,454. It is eighth in highest-grossing weekends in the month of February, as well as eighth in highest-grossing weekends for the winter season, which is defined by the first day after the New Year weekend through the first Thursday of the month of March. Friday the 13th finished as the fourth-highest grossing film of the month of February, with $59.8 million, just behind Taken with $84.3 million, He's Just Not That into You with $77.2 million, and Madea Goes to Jail, with $60.9 million.It is the fifteenth-highest grossing R-rated film of 2009. Because of the significant decrease in box office gross in its second weekend, the film sits in sixth place for the largest second-weekend drop; it is the seventh-largest drop for a film that opened as the number one film in the United States.With its $65 million in domestic box office, Friday the 13th is the highest-grossing film among the recent slasher remakes, which consist of When a Stranger Calls (2006), Black Christmas (2006), Halloween (2007), Prom Night (2008), and My Bloody Valentine 3D (2009). The film is ranked seventh overall when compared to all horror remakes, as well as seventh place for all slasher films in general, in unadjusted dollars.In addition to its North American box office gross, Friday the 13th earned over $9.5 million in foreign markets on its opening weekend. The film's biggest markets were the United Kingdom, Russia, Italy, Spain, and Germany. Friday the 13th took in approximately $1.7 million in both the United Kingdom and Russia, an estimated $1.1 million in Spain, and $1 million in Italy and Germany. According to Paramount, this was the largest foreign opening of any of the Friday the 13th films. The film finished its North American box office run with $65,002,019; coupled with its foreign take of $26,377,032, the film has accumulated $91,379,051 in worldwide box office.
Critical receptionBased on 162 reviews collected by Rotten Tomatoes, Friday the 13th has a 25% overall approval rating from critics, with an average score of 4.2 out of 10. Among Rotten Tomatoes' Top Critics, which consists of popular and notable critics from the top newspapers, websites, television and radio programs, the film holds an approval rating of 19%. Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, calculated an average score of 34, based on 29 reviews. CinemaScore polls reported that the average grade cinemagoers gave the film a "B-minus" on an A+ to F scale, with exit polls showing that 51% of the audience was male, and 59% was at least 25 years old or older.
Alonso Duralde wrote that the film should please slasher fans, but concluded that it added nothing new to the genre or the franchise, and thus will not appeal to people who already did not like slasher films. Duralde went on to chide the film for adding a black and an Asian character in an attempt to "update the movie for the new millennium", but noted in the end that the prospect of another Friday the 13th—crafted by the film's "sequel-friendly" ending—did not leave him with a feeling of dread.Along the same lines, Bill Goodykoontz of The Arizona Republic stated that the film accepts the "ridiculousness" of what it is trying to accomplish, which is primarily the "death and dismemberment" of "party-hungry kids", and that audiences would enjoy it if they recognized that as well. Although Goodykoontz acknowledges the unique touches the film brings to certain characters' deaths, he was unimpressed with the acting and noted that Padalecki's presence gave the film a "less-good episode of Supernatural" vibe
The New York Post's Kyle Smith felt that Nispel made no attempt to create a movie beyond blood and guts, and even those attempts were "forgettable". Smith noted that, apart from Clay and Trent, the rest of the cast were merely "faces in the crowd" with no attempt provided to give them any sort of backstory. USA Today's Claudia Puig wrote that the 2009 entry keeps to the same formula as its predecessors, with a story that adds little to nothing to the franchise. However, Puig noted that Padalecki and Panabaker filled their lead roles well enough, and that Aaron Yoo's comic relief made him one of the most likable characters on screen.
In contrast to the film's detractors, The New York Times's Nathan Lee believed that the film managed to "reboot the concept" of the original films, and do so with style. Lee stated that the film takes pleasure in killing off each of its characters. Lee pointed out that there is a desire among cinemagoers for this type of material, and Friday the 13th satisfies that desire. Adam Graham, from The Detroit News, remarked that the 2009 film is the most effective and scary film in the Friday the 13th series, praising the film's choice of allowing Jason to run after his victims—as opposed to slowly walking behind them, as had become prominent in later sequels—as it made him more "menacing". Graham further pointed out that the film does not "soften" Jason's scariness by providing a sympathetic backstory. Entertainment Weekly's Clark Collis believed that director Nispel made a competent film that performs better as a whole than the previously released remakes of Prom Night (2008) and My Bloody Valentine 3D (2009), although it does provide a few too many unbelievable character moments.
Jason Anderson of the Toronto Star felt that the film succeeded in adding freshness to the standard formula of the previous films by focusing on the chasing and killing aspects, instead of lingering on the prolonged suffering of victims like the Saw films. Concurring with Puig's evaluation, IGN's Chris Carle felt that Aaron Yoo stole the film with his comic timing and with what Carle saw as his "memorable death". Commenting on Derek Mears' portrayal of Jason, Carle noted that he brings more to the character than being simply a stuntman; Mears's subtle movements, athleticism, and physicality created an "imposing" image of Jason.