Friday the 13th parents guide

Friday the 13th Parent Guide

With high levels of explicit gore, this is only suitable for adult fans of the genre.

Overall D

In preparation for the busy summer season, the counsellors for Camp Crystal Lake have arrived early to get everything set up. But they come to find that one of the campers has come even earlier, and has a very different idea of summer fun...

Release date May 9, 1980

Violence D
Sexual Content D
Profanity B-
Substance Use D

Why is Friday the 13th rated R? The MPAA rated Friday the 13th R

Run Time: 95 minutes

Parent Movie Review

In remote Camp Crystal Lake, a group of young adults has arrived to set up camp for the busy summer season. The camp has everything you need for tons of camping fun - cozy cabins, a boat dock, even an archery range. But not all is as it seems: in the nearby town, locals call the place Camp Blood for a horrible, unsolved double murder that occurred there over twenty years ago. And now, on the night of the full moon, Friday the 13th, the young counsellors start to wonder if there might not be something more to the local superstitions…

The Friday the 13th franchise is one of the staples in the horror genre, and as with most big genre horror films (Halloween, Nightmare on Elm Street, Saw…), the movies get goofier as they go. By that logic, this ought to be the most straight-up entry in the franchise. And, for the most part, it is. Lazy writing and campy acting aside, the film takes itself about as seriously as you can expect under the circumstances. That’s largely why the film has retained a “cult classic” status. The contrast between the serious approach and the downright silly writing make this a lot of fun to watch.

Fun is, however, relative. It depends how much you enjoy watching the energetic young cast get slowly butchered by a lone killer. And you see a lot, because the movie loves showing off its gore effects. Memorable incidents include an arrow slowly being pushed through a young man’s throat, and a young woman falling to the ground with an axe gruesomely embedded in the side of her face. The physical effects are reasonably impressive for the time, but compared to some more modern gore-fests, they tend to look a little rubbery.

This may be one of the most pro-abstinence movies to ever feature nude sex scenes. Friday the 13th really solidifies the trope set by Halloween that teenagers or young adults having sex is the thing deranged murderers hate the most and is sure to draw their immediate fury. Just remember kids: having sex in any context can lead to a violent end.

If you’re new to horror, this is a bad place to start. Low production values, poor screenwriting, and a seeming inability to maintain tension mean that this 95 minute flick feels nearly half an hour longer. Brutal violence and frequent sex make this unsuitable for family viewing as well, leaving this with a limited audience: existing adult fans of classic horror with a strong stomach for gore.

Directed by Sean S. Cunningham. Starring Betsy Palmer, Adrienne King, and Kevin Bacon. Running time: 95 minutes. Theatrical release May 9, 1980. Updated

Friday the 13th
Rating & Content Info

Why is Friday the 13th rated R? Friday the 13th is rated R by the MPAA

Violence: An individual is stabbed in the abdomen and is shown bleeding heavily. A person’s throat is cut. A real snake is killed on camera. Two dead bodies are shown with their throats cut. A man is stabbed through the throat with an arrow. A woman is struck in the face with an axe. A dead body is shown pinned to a door by arrows. An individual is struck with a frying pan. A person is bitten. An individual is decapitated with a machete. A child’s dead, decayed body is shown.
Sexual Content: Young men and women are shown kissing passionately and having sex with some nudity. Individuals are shown playing “Strip Monopoly”.
Profanity: There is one use of scatological profanity, and fewer than a dozen uses of mild profanity and terms of deity.
Alcohol / Drug Use: Young adults are shown drinking beer and smoking marijuana.

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Horror fans looking for more of the same will likely enjoy Halloween and Nightmare on Elm Street, the other heavy hitters of 80s horror. If you enjoy low production value and “cult” status, George A. Romero’s Night of the Living Dead and Sam Raimi’s The Evil Dead are a good place to go.

Those looking for a more nuanced approach to horror should check out Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho or Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining.