Friday the 13th [Blu-ray]  [US Import]
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As the years go by, two camp counsellors are murdered. Fires and bad water thwarted the camp's reopening.
In 1979, Camp Crystal Lake relaunches with the help of a few new counsellors.
Ignoring the warnings from good old Crazy Ralph, popping up everywhere, the murders start again while a mysterious stalker prowls the area.
Even though the film is in my opinion the epitome of eighties slasher movies and the beginning of one of the best horror franchises ever, its not the most fun movie to watch from the series, unless your one of the lucky ones who saw the movies in chronological order.
Its a shame if you saw Scream before this, because there is a major plot spoiler in the opening scene.
Its a simple set up that has been homaged, ripped off, and copied several times, especially in the eighties with the likes of The Burning, Sleepaway Camp etc, but this has never been bettered.
But what makes it hold up, is the actual plot and narrative, and its very sinister, even by today's standards. And the killers revelation and their rationale, is totally brilliant.
The sequels after part two were very tongue in cheek and virtually threw the sinister parts away, but they were and are still, a lot more fun for a group to watch.
The cast are great and add to the nuance, and even 33 years later, its still one of the best stalk and slash movies ever made.
The picture quality is very good, but not the best I've seen on blu-ray. But let's be balanced about it, this is a low budget movie shot mostly at night. Not day-for-night, but simply night, which is never easy. The result is graininess in the blacks, although you can significantly compensate for this by adjusting your contrast settings etc. Grain doesn't bother me too much anyway, as I don't sit too close to the screen. However, despite the grain, the image is otherwise very clean and sharp. I do think they've gotten the best transfer out of the negative or interposotives they used, as the sharpness of the image can't be criticised.
The audio has been cleaned up very nicely. Again, the source material was never the strongest, with analogue issues in all previous releases (including the first DVD release) but all that seems to have gone. The dialogue is mostly clear and the score has never sounded better. I think Manfredini's music benefits from this release as much as anything else; it's certainly the aspect I noticed felt "newest" if you know what I mean. It doesn't sound as tinny as it did before, and that's a good thing.
The extras are very nice, if a little short. But what's there is welcome, especially seeing some of the key cast/crew members again. Most of us want to see how everyone's doing, and seeing Betsy Palmer and Adrienne King sitting at the same table after nearly 30 years is great. The cast reunion isn't very well edited, but then it's only really a convention appearance so the filmed material is limited. But yes, it's nice to see them.Read more ›
Camp Crystal Lake, a picture perfect summer camp with a sinister history that is bathed in blood. After several years of closure the son of the camp's owners decide to make yet another go at turning around the camps fortunes, unfortunately one embittered individual is determined that the camp should never open again, even if murder is required to accomplish. Decent plot, for a horror film, unsuspected murderer and a young Kevin Bacon!
Bluray provides very good video and audio for what essentially was a low budget mainly night-shot film so you do have some inevitable imperfections but in many ways this adds to the charm.
Bluray is region free so can play on UK/US players without issue (tested on PS3 UK slim).
The soundtrack is also quite impressive for the age. Forceful and sinister, particularly in the last half hour. Dialogue is maybe occasionally a bit light-sounding, but on the whole the True HD 5.1 soundtrack does a terrific job, with respectable surround and subwoofer effects. To compare it with its great rival "Halloween" of which this film was something of an imitation: the sound quality is comfortably better, the colours are richer, and sharpness is also somewhat better. I must say that I disagree with the reviewer who states that this is not a worthwhile upgrade from the DVD. This seems to me unfair as picture quality and sound quality are markedly superior.
It's hard to say how well the film has aged as it leaves such mixed impressions. Much of the acting seems much weaker now than I had remembered. The plot remains the great ace in the sleeve, with a magnificent twist and a truly shocking ending. It is true that the effects are no longer very convincing, especially in HD, and double especially for anyone who has also seen the recent remake!Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Not my favourite,parts 2 and 3 were but a decent horror film with a creepy camp by the lake setting and a maniac offing the camp leaders one by one in gruesome fashion. Read morePublished 17 days ago by kieran
I love this old-school horror feel to this film don't need to say much about it with it being a such well known film around the world. But it's always going to be a classic flick.Published 2 months ago by Sam Cobbett
Not as good as the original! Just okay and too much unnecessary nudity.Published 3 months ago by E C LANE
Derivative and full of appalling teenage stereotypes. Some good kills and action but a lost opportunity to revitalise the franchise and bring some originality to it.Published 4 months ago by BavaBlood