OBJECTIVE: Watch a popular or critically acclaimed film we’ve never seen to the halfway point. Pause it. Work together to predict the ending.
FRIDAY THE 13TH (1980)
THE LAST THING WE SAW: We paused at 00:47:30, right when one of the partially nakers strip Monopoly players suits up to close her cabin windows.
And now… discuss!
Phil: I’m going to stop you there.
Phil: Well, I, uh… Actually, I got nothing.
Ben: Not on this one.
Phil: I guess third time isn’t the charm.
Ben: Thanks for that. What I was going to say is that this time, and frankly every of the times, I’ve gone in with expectations lower than this month’s stock market. But among all the dumb shit, I actually have nice things to say about this film.
Phil: I agree. I mean, I’m kind of bored, because every scene is pretty much, “Oh, this person is now about to get murdered. And since we know that, all this ‘tension’ before the murder is hardly suspenseful.” But yeah, I’m pretty much just going along for the ride and enjoying what I can.
Ben: That makes the whole “predicting the movie” part of our movie prediction as lame as a duck that just got voted out of office and also has no legs. But as far as actual predictions go, I’d really enjoy it if Ralph was killing people as part of some sick self-fulfilling prophecy. Don’t think it’s gonna go that way, though.
Phil: I agree with you there. Ralph is way too red-herring-y to be our guy. Frankly, I don’t think our killer is anyone we’ve seen yet. I did an inventory of all the characters: dead so far are the Hitcher, Ned (I didn’t know the writers were up on their Scottish slang), Kevin Bacon, and Pink Girl; still alive are the Girl with Flares, Guitar Guy, and Strip Monopoly Suggester Girl (as you can see, these characters made a big impression on me). MIA are the Shirtless Camp Owner and Ralph (and the truck-driver and cop, I suppose), and none of these seem like the killer. I think the killer is just a lone stabber with his own M.O.
Ben: This is probably one of those films where “Whodunnit” is not as important as “WHYdunnit.”
Phil: Exactly! Actually, I started thinking about that pretty early on, but I feel that Freddy Krueger, or Jason, or whichever franchise this is (I don’t watch a lot of horror), is on a moral crusade. Maybe it was all that Christian-like campfire music at the beginning, but it made me think that perhaps he’s, like, super against promiscuity and is slaying all these bikini-clad strip-game-obsessed camp counselors to rid the earth of such sex-crazed sinners.
Ben: The guy/gal/ghost who’s doing the killing definitely has something against camp counselors humpin’. And, having worked at a summer camp as a teen, that was definitely job perk #1. It’s like working in a candy factory and the only rule is “don’t eat the candy.” Actually, that’s probably rule #1 in a candy factory.
Phil: Yeah, he’s either on a crusade, or he was one of the counselors not getting boned and is jealous.
Ben: Completely possibly. Whoever the Chief Executioner is, I predict that they won’t even be defeated, until future franchise entries, anyway. Full disclosure: I saw Jason X in theaters, but it was so bad, I don’t consider it to be a movie and therefore immaterial as a spoiler.
Phil: Okay, so it’s Jason. Warn your buddy next time. Well, here’s my prediction for the second half. He kills everybody. (If he doesn’t, biggest subversion of expectations ever.) The possible exception to the killing spree is the “The ’70s Aren’t Over” Flares Girl: she seems to have it together more than any of the other characters, so she might be resourceful enough to escape. However, I agree with you that Jas-bo is going to get away no matter what.
Ben: Actually, I’m not sure which franchise this spawned either, so I’m not trying to drop a knowledge bomb into Spoiler Street, but I feel a) I had to be honest and b) I think whatever I saw is so far removed from any quote-unquote source material that it doesn’t matter anyway. And (SPOILER ALERT) even if Antagonisty McStabStab doesn’t get away, he/she/ghost could always inspire someone else, as some drunk girl tried to explain to me about the Saw movies before throwing up near me and not getting my phone number.
Phil: Well, we both know that these people are going to get killed in boring and gory ways, preceded by elongated scenes of waiting around that the director thought was suspenseful. Shall we watch two or three more of these?
AND NOW, WE FINISH THE MOVIE:
Philip Hobby grew up in Falmouth, Maine. His parents, having met in a film course, exposed him to hundreds of the world’s cinematic offerings. However, there are still some glaring lacunae in his film knowledge, which he thankfully exploits in this Cinema 52 feature. Contact Ben Katz at (207) 797-3400 if you’re looking for work in the Portland, ME area.