I hadn't seen the originals since I was a kid and I've never bothered with the sequels, so it was time to hit up Blockbuster and finally figure out who is the reigning king of horror, round by round.
Round #1The Loser: Friday the 13th
Friday the 13th - A Nightmare on Elm Street - Halloween
Ok, I know that in round one we don't even really deal with Jason - and I have to admit, his one appearance in the original film is very scary ... hell, it was the only time I even CARED out of the whole 90 minutes - but still, ANY villain that sends his mom to do his dirty work is a complete tool. This film is fodder for MST3K for sure, and even though I really loved it, thought it was a total silly blast, it has to be the least scary movie ever made. The image of Mrs. Voorhees struggled to walk upright in ankle-deep sand still makes me smile. This franchise is ten films long (ten and a half if you count Freddy vs. Jason) and that stands for something. But I better see a hockey mask soon or there's going to be an early disqualification.Scariest Moment:
Jason's cameo.Worst Moment:
The strip Monopoly game gets interrupted.Unintentionally Funny Moment:
"You're all doomed! Dooooooooomed!"
The Runner Up: Halloween
Now, I have to give props to Michael for being the slasher entrepreneur. He was the first with a mask, the first to be supernatural, the first to leer at half-naked girls. But still - does he have to wait SO LONG to make a kill? He never even does anything scary until halfway through the movie! Loomis talks him up like he's Satan, but I had to take his word for it until FINALLY he plugged that kid like the crowning jewel in a moth collection. Jamie Lee Curtis's performance carries this film through the first half, and when it finally gets going Michael really seems like a badass ... I just wish the kids he killed didn't die with bug-eyed cheesiness. But then, in the end, he's stopped TWICE but a high school girl armed with a sowing needle and a clothes hangar. And while the symbolism isn't lost on me, I still wish my villain could find the strength to swiftly kick in a breakaway closet door.Scariest Moment:
After he pins the boy to the wall and stares at him, cocking his head from side to side.Worst Moment:
Showing his face.Unintentionally Funny Moment:
Donald Pleasance's strangely derogatory accent when he yells, "get off ma damn porch!"The Winner: A Nightmare on Elm Street
Easily the most sadistic and creepy of the first round. He doesn't have the swiftness of Mrs. Voorhees or the brute strength of Michael Myers, but damn if he isn't a slinking, devious, gollum-esque pedo-monster. I had forgotten how quickly this film sets up his character (making the glove) and delves into the twisted dream motif (stretchy arms anyone?). Despite some clunky dialog and a few weak performances, this film holds up the best today, and Freddy honestly scared the CRAP out of me.
Tina's ceiling death scene.Worst Moment:
the Home Alone sequence.Unintentionally Funny Moment:
The slapstick sledge hammer in the stomach gag.Summary:
While all films were fun, only Nightmare was consistently scary - but Jason has the most potential for a last minute win.
Coming Soon: Round #2
Friday the 13th Part 2 - A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy's Revenge - Halloween II