Friday the 13th (1980, dir. Sean S. Cunningham) would be the natural choice for Friday the 13th, but I don’t actually much like Friday the 13th. Instead, I’ve turned to other slasher films for this pairing: Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974, dir. Tobe Hooper), a classic, alongside Cabin in the Woods (2012, dir. Drew Goddard), a sort of meta-slasher.
I seriously considered Scream (1996, dir. Wes Craven) for this weekend, because it’s also a pretty great meta-slasher and because it was kind of a big deal for me and my friends in 1996 when it was released. I think it’s ultimately outranked by these two, though.
I just can’t take no pleasure in killing. There’s just some things you gotta do. Don’t mean you have to like it.
I actually only watched Texas Chainsaw Massacre for the first time a couple of years ago. I read about it a lot and knew it was important, but I was scared of it. I thought I wouldn’t be able to handle it. Happily, as it turns out, I could handle it. It, like many other 1970s films on my list, is a favorite because of its combination of violence, philosophy, tension, and boredom.
On the other hand, I saw Cabin in the Woods in the theater not long after its release. I didn’t know much about it going in, so it was a nice surprise seeing how things developed. In fact, this film got me into horror as an adult. I had been watching bad Syfy and Asylum movies with my friend Rachel, but this may have been one of the first actually good horror movies I’d seen in a while. It has moments that work so well as simple, straightforward horror, but it’s also such clever commentary on the genre, really, a love letter to the genre.
Marty: [incredulous] Giant evil gods.
Dana: I wish I could’ve seen them.
Marty: I know. That would have been a fun weekend.
Earlier countdown entries:
- Night of the Living Dead, dir. George Romero (1968)
- Dawn of the Dead, dir. George Romero (1978)
- Invasion of the Body Snatchers, dir. Philip Kaufman (1978)
- Get Out, dir. Jordan Peele (2017)
- Hellraiser, dir. Clive Barker (1987)
- Psycho, dir. Alfred Hitchcock (1960)
- The Birds, dir. Alfred Hitchcock (1963)
- Jaws, dir. Steven Spielberg (1975)
- Teeth, dir. Mitchell Lichtenstein (2007)
- Candyman, dir. Bernard Rose (1992)
- Creep, dir. Patrick Brice (2014)
- The Wicker Man, dir. Robin Hardy (1973)
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