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Into the Woods: Spine-Tingling Secrets About the Friday the 13th Franchise


Friday The 13th - 1980Moviestore Collection/Shutterstock

Kids, if you’ve ever wondered why it’s a bad idea to have sex at your picturesque lakeside summer camp, look no further.

While it didn’t invent the idea of punishing teenagers for getting rowdy with an over-the-top death, the Friday the 13th film franchise—which first littered littered a campsite with bodies in 1980—certainly hammered (and stabbed, and sawed, and impaled) the point home.

Hailed as a fresh take on the stalker-killer trope with its twist ending, the first movie in what so far is a 12-film franchise (counting Freddy vs. Jason and the 2009 reboot) is an unequivocal horror classic that has inspired numerous imitators, modern reinventions (AHS: 1984, anybody?) and more than a few nightmares. As for what came after the identity of the first homicidal maniac was revealed…

Well, that’s up for critics to roll their eyes at, but the series has made more than $821 million at the box office (adjusted for 2018 inflation), enough to make it the sixth-highest-grossing horror franchise of all time, according to Forbes (so long as you count the No. 1 Alien movies as horror, not sci-fi).

In honor of today’s date, which inspired the original fright fest, we’ve compiled some chilling behind-the-scenes secrets. But before you head into those woods, beware that there will be spoilers and a few disturbing images, but we tried to take it easy on the blood:


Sean S. Cunningham produced his pal Wes Craven’s 1972 terrorsploitation fest The Last House on the Left, which remains notorious for its graphic, low-budget depictions of truly horrible things. He pivoted to directing a couple of kid-friendly films,

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