Friday the 13th was once a superstitious holiday of sorts…at least, it was until the slasher horror film boom of the 1980s. After the success of John Carpenter’s “Halloween” in 1978, many more films like it were born, but few have been as relentless, as financially successful, and as sequel-spawning as the “Friday the 13th” series. And soon, after 12 films featuring the indestructible hockey mask-wearing monstrosity named Jason Voorhees, the people of Crystal Lake and the killer stalking them will come to television.
Now, from 1987 to 1990, there was a show entitled “Friday the 13th,” but strangely, it had nothing to do with Jason or any characters from the films (not that there were many to choose from since so few make it out of the films alive), and was instead about an antique shop that sold cursed artifacts, and the protagonists’ attempts to retrieve them. Essentially, the title was meant to draw viewers in thinking it had a connection to the film series. The films, however, were generally simpler, centering on promiscuous teens (and others) who would run afoul of the deformed Jason (and later undead) as he murdered them for revenge at what was done to him as a boy, i.e., his supposed drowning, and the murder of his mother, who was the killer in the original film, paving the way for her son to take the reins.
But this time, the untitled television series will deal with Jason and the people of Crystal Lake trying to cope with his return, and possibly their attempts to stop him. It seems this will be in the same vein as recent successes “Hannibal” and “Bates Motel,” two shows that take established film franchises (though those two are based on novels as well) and providing a unique spin on characters we know and love…and fear. As a fan, I’m excited but also cautious, but I feel that with the right people involved, this may be a success.
The director of the original film, Sean S. Cunningham, will executive produce, and hopefully, we’ll see Jason driving machetes into hapless victims soon.