Today, as you all already know my Little Monsters, is Friday the 13th. It’s a day when some people want to stay home and pull the covers over their heads in order to avoid bad luck or a cruel twist of fate. Some take it as a personal challenge for fate to just go ahead and try something if it dares to do so…grrrr. But moreover, it tends to bring to mind the tragic story of a grieving mother of a dead son AND the crazy, kill rampage she perpetrates on a group of camp counselors who had NOTHING to do with it.
Now while Jason was not the focal point of the original Sean Cunningham classic, he definitely was the driving force behind the subsequent chapters in the franchise. And despite only having very brief screen time in the 1980 film, Ari Lehman’s curtain call as Jason in the final minutes has always registered with me as hands down THE biggest all time Jason scare in the Friday the 13th series.
Now I know there are going to be some of you out there that will wholeheartedly disagree with me, and that’s your prerogative. But for me there has not been a more masterfully set up and delivered Jason Voorhees scare in the entirety of the franchise.
Let me break it down for you.
First, the antagonist of the film, Mrs. Voorhees, has been vanquished. This we are fairly certain of due to the fact that Alice (played by Adrienne King) kinda sorta CUT OFF HER HEAD with a MACHETE.
Second, a new day is dawning, Alice has drifted out to the middle of the lake in a canoe. There she safely awaits any form of help or rescue. In the background, Harry Manfredini’s score is serene and melodic, while also conveying a feeling of safety and hope for our final girl.
Third, as the police arrive on the shore of Crystal Lake, a sense of relief seems to wash over Alice. Now the framing in this shot is important to note. As they pull in on Alice, she is being cheated to the right side of the frame. Of course nobody is likely paying attention to it the first time they ever see this film. Certainly there’s never been a time that someone remarked, “hmmm, they seem to be leaving a lot of space to the left of the shot instead of centering on Alice”. Why have they done this?
They did it for the fourth and final part of my scene break down, that moment when Jason Voorhees makes his grand introduction to Alice and the viewing audience. He rises from the depths of Crystal Lake, rapidly emerging in the left portion of the frame behind Alice. This is a jarring jump scare and completely unexpected to everyone, as there is no reason to expect any further danger. Sean Cunningham wanted a final scare to send the audience off and drew inspiration from the dream sequence in the finale of Carrie, when Carrie’s arm reaches out of the ruins of the house and grabs Sue Snell (played by Amy Irving).
And with that, below I give you THE scariest Jason moment of all time (in my opinion anyway)…ENJOY!
Now if you beg to differ on this issue, THAT’S GREAT! I truly want to know which scene any of you Little Monsters out there feel is THE scariest Jason Voorhees moment of all time. This doesn’t mean it has to be his bloodiest or most brutal kill, but the moment you were actually the most scared by Jason. Feel free to comment on the article at the HorrorFuel page at Facebook or Twitter to share your scare.