Friday The 13th by Simon Hawke (Book Review)
Plot: It was going to be a fun summer at Camp Crystal. The young counselors were getting ready for it while they joked about the scary rumors attached to the isolated camp. But evil was waiting in the shadows as the sun set. The laughter turned to screams…the easy living to agonized dying. For the light had gone and the wind was howling and it was — Friday The 13th. This is the novelization to the hit Horror movie Friday The 13th.
My Review: These novelizations to the Friday The 13th movies are one of the hardest items to win on Ebay. Unless you are willing to spend $75+ for a good copy. I got my copies of these books well over 10 years ago and only read each one once. It was mainly for research for my Friday The 13th site, Camp Blood. I decided “what the heck” I’ll give them another read now and review them for SOH.
One of the cool things about reading novelizations to any movie is picking out all the differences between the two. Sometimes you get to know characters better, some blanks are filled in or you see that the book is completely different then the movie. A lot of times the novel was written before the movie was made. But that isn’t the case really with the Friday The 13th books. To my knowledge these movie novelizations were written based on the original shooting scripts to the movie, and came out as sort of companion pieces to the movies. Its because of this that I consider them part of the Friday The 13th world. A lot of fans do not. Honestly, I think most of those people only think that because they haven’t been lucky enough to get their hands on the books. But, whatever. I’m not here to debate that argument. I accept them into the world of Friday The 13th to help fill in blanks.
If you don’t know what Friday the 13th is, WOW! Its one of the most well known slasher movie franchises ever made. Its about a camp in a small town that has met accidents, murders, and various other problems when trying to reopen it, after the death of a little boy back in 1957.
The movie and book center around Steve Christy who is trying to reopen the camp again with the help of some camp counselors; Jack, Ned, Brenda, Alice, Annie, and Bill. Steve never comes back from a trip to town to pick up some supplies, Annie never shows up at all. And as for the rest of the counselors, they meet various grisly deaths at the hands of an unknown killer until only one remains in a classic slasher movie final chase/showdown.
The book pretty much follows the movie almost word for word scene for scene. Obviously we get a lot more character development because we can read what each character is thinking. For example, Steve Christy, the owner of Camp Crystal Lake, is determined to get the Camp up and running and prove that the rumors of the place are untrue. He is also in a relationship with one of his counselors, Alice. But Alice was also having another relationship with another man across the country in California and debates leaving Steve to return to that man. None of this is explored in the movie. Alice and Steve’s romantic relationship is SLIGHTLY hinted at, but you never really KNOW. In the movie it seems like Jack and Marcie are just horny lovers, but in the book they are actually both scared to “go all the way” before breaking up to attend colleges far away from each other. Ned has the hots for Brenda, and they flirt a lot off and on. Bill isn’t explored all that much from what I recall.
There are a few added scenes, like one where Ned convinces Brenda that a little salamander is actually a baby crocodile and he goes on and on about crocodiles living in the sewers of New York and the military having to bomb the sewers. Cute story.
But as I said, it plays out like the movie. The deaths are a little more detailed but all done in the same ways as on film and a little more frightening because you get to read what’s going on though the person’s mind AS they are being murdered. Creepy shit.
Honestly for YEARS as a child/teenager I wasn’t fond of the first movie in this series. But as I’ve gotten older that opinion has changed a lot. I wonder if I had read this book back then how I would have felt about it. I bet I would have loved it.
Overall: I wish I could find more books with the slasher movie style. I bet they are out there and just aren’t as well known as Friday The 13th. If you are a fan of Friday The 13th, this is obviously a must read at least once in your life. Its probably a good read for those who like slasher books too. If you haven’t been able to read it or track it down though, you can read excerpts on my Friday The 13th site; Camp Blood. I have only posted small bits that are different from the movies.