Classic Scene: Jason in Crystal Lake

Jason in Crystal Lake

Friday the 13th (1980)

directed by Sean S. Cunningham

The Scene: The final girl of the original Friday the 13th, Alice (Adrienne King) can now breathe easy as she has seemingly survived the massacre brought on by Pamela Voorhees. She ends up on a canoe which drifts out into Crystal Lake and of course being exhausted she drifts off to sleep. The police even arrive reinforcing the idea that Alice is now safe from danger. As the soft musical score reaches its crescendo the decrepit figure of a boy leaps from the water and attacks, dragging Alice beneath the murky waters.

The Breakdown: More than any other horror movie monster, Jason has experienced a great amount of evolution throughout his film series. In fact most people are shocked to learned it was his mother and not him who was the killer in the original film. Even still it would not be until the third film that he would finally don the iconic hockey mask. But everyone has to start somewhere and Jason Voorhees started here at the very end of the movie. Screenwriter Ron Kurz is the one who took the idea of a young boy who tragically died into the physically deformed child who was ridiculed and neglected that we know today. His fellow screenwriter Victor Miller who came up with the idea of capping off the film with Jason Voorhees making his debut. As far as character introductions go this one is a banger. The protagonist, along with the audience, has been lulled into a false sense of security. The there is a brilliant jump scare which easily ranks among the best in movie history. As contemporary horror films far too often utilize the “jump scare” to excess, director Sean S. Cunningham executed it to perfection in Friday the 13th.

The Best Bit: The score truly captures the mood of the entire scene, being both serene and triumphant until a young Mr. Voorhees changes everything.