Halloweenathon 2023 · Horror · Microreview · Movies

Halloweenathon 2023: Revisiting the Friday the 13th Franchise on Friday the 13th of October, 2023

On the thirteenth day of Halloween: FRIDAY THE 13th Part VII: The New Blood (1988). Bonus: FREAKY (2020)

Happy Jason Voorhees Day, Y’all! Whenever Friday the 13th actually falls in October it should be an international holiday, especially for horror fans.

So of course I have to honor this day by talking about one of my favorite slasher franchises of all time, Friday the 13th. A franchise I’ve also written a whole lot about too over the years.

Let’s start at the beginning with the original. For the first film’s 40th birthday I wrote a psychological profile of Mrs Pamela Voorhees, an unlikely serial killer wrapped in a doting mom envelope. She’s a fascinating character and I wish someone would make a prequel film about her.

While each of these twelve films have a special place in my heart for different reasons, my absolute favorite comes in at lucky seven, Friday the 13: The New Blood. This is the installment I call the “Feminist Friday,” and Jason Voorhees is a perfect metaphor for the monstrousness of the patriarchy. But he’s not the only one bringing this point across in the film, as The New Blood is arguably the most theoretically rich example of the franchise. After all, this was the Friday the 13th that was supposed to win an Oscar, and even had Frederico Fellini on deck to direct. For real. Here’s the full analysis I wrote on the film for its 30th birthday a few years back.

In case you haven’t revisited these films in a while I also wrote a rundown of the entire franchise, one of the most fun pieces I ever wrote for Looper.

And as a bonus — because it was originally titled Freaky Friday the 13th — Christopher Landon’s exceptional queer body-swap horror Freaky also takes place on Friday the 13th. Freaky has so much fantastic Friday the 13th homage, and features the most outstanding performance of Vince Vaughn’s career. It’s also gorgeously inclusive and has become an all-time favorite. I wrote about it for the now-defunct Bitch Magazine when it first came out.

✨13/5 stars. Highly recommend ki-ki-ki-ki ma-ma-ma-ma.✨