Arguably no horror series better epitomises the slasher boom of the 1980s than Friday the 13th. It didn't kickstart the slasher trend (that honour goes to Halloween), nor did it advance the subgenre in a sophisticated way (as Nightmare on Elm Street did). And yet, it struck a chord that resonated with horror fans, and continues to resonate to this day.
Often with long-running franchises, conventional wisdom dictates that each successive film should strive to subvert audience expectation, twist the format, do things its predecessors hadn't. Not so with Friday the 13th.
From the beginning, the many various filmmakers to have taken on the property have tended to understand that all the fans really want is more of the same: college kids in cabins misbehaving, then getting colourfully slaughtered one by one, preferably by the hockey masked hulk Jason Voorhees (although, as fans will know, it isn't always him).
This basic set-up has been the backbone of 12 movies to date, the first 8 of which were made before the 1980s were over, and it's worth noting that the entries which tend to be held in a somewhat lesser regard are usually the ones that were trying too hard to mess with the formula. When it comes to Friday the 13th, innovation is a dirty word.
As easy as it might be to dismiss the entire Friday the 13th series as a cynical cash-grab, there's tons of fun to be had with all these films; even those that come out at the bottom.