Younger audiences viewing "FRIDAY the 13th" for the first time, may consider it dull in comparison to the gorier, bigger budgeted horror films of today. While rather simple in narrative, the plot is still better laid out than most contemporary horror films. Camp Crystal Lake has had its major challenges. After an accidental drowning of one of the campers, followed by the murders of several counselors the next year, the camp looked certain to be closing. However, this year a new group of counselors and kids are attending, optimistic that things are going to be different and better than before. Of course, the audience knows different. And, in the style that began with these earlier horror films, the more sexually active the camper, the more likely to become a victim. Still, no one is safe from the violent rampage that begins, and to director Sean S. Cunningham's credit, there are some impressive sequences popping up around the killings and "near-killings" and even an ending that could've easily fell flat, somehow remains effective nearly thirty years later!
PARAMOUNT has provided the correct 1.85:1 aspect ratio for this 1080p/AVC MPEG-4 blu-ray release, and 16:9 enhanced dvd. One could easily think after viewing the opening sequence, that what will follow will be disappointing. The opening sequence looks abysmal, with abundant grain and dull colors. However, as the film progresses, colors become more vibrant. While colors never reach the vibrant levels found on bigger budgeted films, they remain impressive, and notably deeper when compared to the newly remastered dvd. While colors improve on the dvd after the disappointing sequence, it's just not with the same impact as the blu-ray improvement offers. Further distinguishing the rest of the film from the opening sequence, the detail is really impressive in every bright sequence. Grain is abundant, but it doesn't diminish the level of depth during these moments on blu-ray. While blacks aren't ever inky, they are deep enough to maintain an impressive amount of resolution in darker scenes. The dvd, however, lacks this pay-off. Darker scenes only appear grainier than the rest of the film. It's not a "bad" dvd transfer, with the image being limited by the standard resolution and original low-budget source material. But, opting for the blu-ray if possible, is a no-brainer.
PARAMOUNT has provided a Dolby TrueHD 5.1 mix along with the original mono mix for blu-ray. Even with limitations of the lossy mix, it's a much more fun mix than the mono! Fidelity is wanting at times, causing some effects to still sound harsh rather than full, but, the music and various scenes play out with the eerie impact this film calls for. Without the lossy option, the mono mix of the dvd, suits it just fine.
The same extras, including a great, candid commentary with the film's director, writer and others, is included and highly entertaining. Featurettes, a panel discussion and the film's trailer, are also included, with most of these in high-def on the blu-ray.