Story: A group of counselors are killed off one-by-one by an unseen killer after ignoring warnings from town locals that Camp Crystal Lake has a death curse.
The Film Itself: This low-budget slasher film was obviously made because Halloween was financially successful, and it’s not as well made as Halloween… but it’s a lot more fun, and definitely the next step at the time in making slasher movies more graphic… and also sets in place almost every horror cliche we know to date. The characters aren’t particularly interesting but the actors all do a decent enough job. The “mystery” killer is a bit of a rip-off since there’s no way you can suspect someone who doesn’t show up until the end, but for reasons I won’t mention for the one person alive who hasn’t seen this movie, it’s still surprising. And the shock ending is, of course, a completely classic horror moment and a fond memory from many childhoods. The final confrontation between counselor and killer, always the high point for these movies, is well done here, though there are some dull moments leading up to it, such as a character waiting for water to boil. On the plus side, Harry Manfredini’s score is completely kick-ass and unforgettable, even if it does borrow from other scores, and FX by Tom Savini is near perfection and holds up great even today.
Special Features: I’m not going to complain about the lack of special features since Paramount have a boxed set planned, but all you get here is a trailer. The picture quality is immaculate and worth the upgrade from the old full-frame VHS copies. – chriss.