In 1980, two years after "Halloween" scared the hell out of everybody, "Friday the 13th" was released to theaters. This was a clever knockoff of the John Carpenter horror classic, only this one was more violent and gruesome. That aspect turned critics off big time. But moviegoers couldn't resist. They flocked to see this movie and made it a big hit. I never saw this film on the big screen because I was only 9 years old when it came out. After I saw it on cable a few years later, it scared the hell out of me! It doesn't scare me that much today, but it's a far more effective horror/thriller than the last five movies in the series (parts 5 through 9). They should have stopped making these "Friday the 13th" movies after the fourth film, which was subtitled "The Final Chapter". And you know what's even scarier, they're making part 10. "Friday the 13th" was the beginning of the sick slasher genre that played out during the early 1980s. The first films in both the "Halloween" and "Friday the 13th" series' were easily the best. "Halloween" was a great horror film. "Friday the 13th" isn't up there with "Halloween", but it's a well-crafted gorefest.
*** (out of four)