Saying the Friday the 13th franchise changed horror cinema is an understatement. Before the Jason movies, no other horror series built itself around a single character. But while every Friday the 13th installment made money, the history of the series is a mess. There’s no continuity, the entries vary in tone, and the filmmakers couldn't agree on a set formula to make the movies enjoyable.
As the franchise continued, the films essentially marked the passage of time: another year, another installment. And while directors of later films in the series felt they could tell a unique story within the established outlines, tracing the missteps along the trail of Camp Crystal Lake shows how good ideas end up spoiled without proper oversight.