Friday the 13th is a 1980 American slasher film directed by Sean S. Cunningham and written by Victor Miller. The film stars Betsy Palmer, Adrienne King, Harry Crosby and Kevin Bacon in one of his earliest roles. The film concerns a group of teenagers who re-open an abandoned camp site years after a young boy drowned in a nearby lake. One by one, the teens fall victim to a mysterious killer. Friday the 13th, inspired by the success of John Carpenter's Halloween,:1112 was made on an estimated budget of $550,000.:314315 Released by Paramount Pictures in the United States, and Warner Bros. internationally, the film received mixed reviews from film critics, but grossed over $39.7 million at the box office in the United States,:60 and went on to become one of the most profitable slasher films in cinema history. It was also the first movie of its kind to secure distribution in the USA by a major studio, Paramount Pictures. The film's box office success led to a long series of sequels, a crossover with Freddy Krueger and a series reboot released on February 13, 2009.
The film begins in 1958 as two summer camp counselors at Camp Crystal Lake, Barry (Willie Adams) and Claudette (Debra S. Hayes), sneak away from a campfire sing-along to have sex. Before they can completely undress, an unseen assailant sneaks into the room and murders them both. The film then moves forward to Friday, June 13, 1980. A young woman named Annie (Robbi Morgan) enters a small diner and asks for directions to Camp Crystal Lake, much to the shock of the restaurant's patrons and staff. Enos (Rex Everhart), a truck driver from the diner, agrees to give her a lift halfway to the camp. A strange old man named Ralph (Walt Gorney) reacts to the news of the camp's reopening by warning Annie that they are all doomed. During the drive, Enos warns her about the camp, informing her that a young boy drowned in Crystal Lake in 1957, one year before the double murders occurred, followed by several fires and poisoned water. After Enos lets her out, Annie hitches another ride in a Jeep. The second driver, whose face is never seen, murders Annie by slashing her throat with a large hunting knife after her futile efforts to escape. At the camp, the other counselors, Ned (Mark Nelson), Jack (Kevin Bacon), Bill (Harry Crosby), Marcie (Jeannine Taylor), Brenda (Laurie Bartram), Alice (Adrienne King) and the camp's owner, Steve Christy (Peter Brouwer), are refurbishing the cabins and facilities. As a violent storm closes in on the horizon, Steve leaves the campgrounds to get more supplies. The unidentified killer begins to isolate and murder the counselors. First Ned, who is lead into a cabin and is killed by slashing his throat (off-screen), then Jack who is impaled from underneath his bed by an arrow, followed by Marcie, whose face is slashed with an axe. Meanwhile, Alice, Brenda and Bill are playing strip Monopoly in the main cabin. Brenda soon leaves and goes to her cabin to bed. While in bed reading a book, she hears a childlike voice outside crying "Help me" several times. As she goes out to investigate, the lights at the archery range suddenly turn on and Brenda is murdered off-screen. Alice informs Bill that she thinks she heard Brenda screaming and that she saw the lights turn on at the archery range. Alice and Bill leave the cabin to investigate and find a bloody axe in Brenda's bed. Attempting to phone the police, they discover the phones are dead and, when they try to leave, the car won't start. Later that evening, Steve returns from town and is also murdered, apparently familiar with his off-screen attacker. Back at camp, when the lights go out, Bill goes to check on the power generator. Alice heads out looking for Bill when he doesn't return. She finds his body pinned to a door by several arrows and the throat slashed. Now alone, Alice flees back to the main cabin and hides. After a few moments of silence, Brenda's corpse is hurled through the window. Alice hears a vehicle outside the cabin and, thinking it to be Steve, runs out to warn him. Instead, she finds a middle-aged woman who introduces herself as Mrs. Voorhees (Betsy Palmer), stating that she is an "old friend of the Christys". Alice hysterically tries to tell her about the murders. Mrs. Voorhees expresses horror at the sight of Brenda's body, but she soon reveals herself to be the mother of the boy who drowned in the lake in 1957, and that today is his birthday. Talking mostly to herself, she blames her son Jason's drowning on the fact that two counselors were having sex and were unaware of Jason struggling in the lake. Mrs. Voorhees suddenly turns violent and pulls out a knife, rushing at Alice. A lengthy chase ensues, during which Alice flees her attacker and finds Steve and Annie's bodies in the process. Alice and Mrs. Voorhees have multiple confrontations, each time with Alice believing she has finally beaten Mrs. Voorhees. During their final fight, Alice manages to decapitate Mrs. Voorhees with her own machete. Afterward, Alice boards a canoe and floats to the middle of the lake. As the sun rises, the decomposing corpse of Mrs. Voorhees' son, Jason (Ari Lehman), attacks Alice, just as the police arrive. As she is dragged under water, Alice awakens from the nightmare in a hospital, where Sergeant Tierney (Ron Carroll) tells her that they pulled her out of the lake. Alice is informed that everyone is dead; when she asks about Jason, Tierney informs her they never found any boy, which leaves her with the impression that he is still there.