Friday The 13Th Movie Review
On Friday, June 13, 1980, a young Jason Voorhees (Caleb Guss) witnesses his mother (Nana Visitor) get beheaded by a camp counselor (Stephanie Rhodes) who was trying to escape Mrs. Voorhees’s murderous rampage around Camp Crystal Lake. Approximately thirty-years later, a group of vacationing friends—Wade (Jonathan Sadowski), Richie (Ben Feldman), Mike (Nick Mennell), Whitney (Amanda Righetti), and Amanda (America Olivo)—arrive at Crystal Lake on a camping trip, and to find some weed that was planted in the woods. As Mike and Whitney explore the woods, Jason (Derek Mears) begins to kill the rest of the group one-by-one. Jason also kills Mike, but instead of doing the same to Whitney he decides to kidnap her because she resembles his mother at a young age.
Six weeks later, Trent (Travis Van Winkle), along with his girlfriend Jenna (Danielle Panabaker), and their friends Chewie (Aaron Yoo), Chelsea (Willa Ford), Nolan (Ryan Hansen), Bree (Julianna Guill), and Lawrence (Arlen Escarpeta) arrive at Trent’s summer cabin, which sits on Crystal Lake, unaware of the events that occurred a few weeks prior. Also in town is Clay (Jared Padalecki), who has come to Crystal Lake searching for his sister Whitney. Clay eventually makes his way to Trent’s cabin, where Jenna agrees to help him look for his sister on the other side of the lake. As Clay and Jenna search for clues to Whitney’s disappearance, Jason kills Nolan and Chelsea out on the lake. Clay and Jenna reach the old Crystal Lake campgrounds, where they witness Jason hauling a dead body into one of the abandoned camp houses.
Clay and Jenna run back to warn the others about Jason, who arrives shortly after them and cuts the power to the cabin. After killing Chewie and Lawrence, who ventured outside the house, Jason sneaks inside the cabin and kills Bree. Trent, Clay and Jenna escape the house, but Trent is killed shortly after when he reaches the main road. Jason then chases Clay and Jenna back to the campgrounds, where Clay discovers Jason’s lair and finds his sister chained to the wall. Clay frees Whitney, and all three attempt to escape as Jason arrives. The trio find an exit, but Jenna is killed before she can get out. Jason comes after Clay and Whitney, who use Jason’s love and memory of his mother to distract him long enough to stab him in the chest with his own machete. Afterward, Clay dumps Jason’s lifeless body into the lake, but before he and Whitney can leave Jason bursts through the lake dock and grabs Whitney.
Friday the 13th Movie Review - Casting
Stuntman Derek Mears was hired to portray Jason Voorhees at the recommendation of makeup special effects supervisor Scott Stoddard. Mears’s pleasant demeanor had the studio worried about his ability to portray such a menacing character on screen, but Mears assured them that he was up to the role. Jared Padalecki signed on as the lead male who investigates what happened at Crystal Lake, with Amanda Righetti taking the female lead. Amanda Righetti had not read the script when she was initially offered the role. Wanting to be a part of the Friday the 13th franchise from the start, Righetti admitted that she was sold on the idea of acting in the film after she did read the script. Danielle Panabaker, Jonathan Sadowski, Travis Van Winkle, Aaron Yoo, Julianna Guill round out the rest of the cast. Nana Visitor was cast as Pamela Voorhees, with Caleb Guss hired for the role of a young Jason.
The casting process was difficult for producers Brad Fuller and Andrew Form on this film, more so than it was on The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, as Friday the 13th had more young actors to contend with and consistent casting/recasting all the way until filming began. Fuller and Form’s first challenge was the size of their cast. Fuller and Form had thirteen young actors in Friday the 13th, whereas in The Texas Chainsaw Massacre they only had five. The pair had to continually recast parts to find the group that worked best together. This recasting process extended all the way to the start of film. Richard Burgi, who was cast as the sheriff, did not sign on until twelve hours before he had to start filming his scenes.