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Psycho really isn't that scary, but it builds tension incredibly well, holds up to modern day film standards, and is a solid film through and through. This may have pioneered a few slasher elements, which is debatable given that some pretty violent films like Last House on the Left came out before this, but it is so uninspiring beyond that it hurts.
And compare this to a movie like Nightmare on Elm Street, which is still a great film. Hellraiser also holds up better than this. That is because they all had some substance behind what you see on the screen. You pick this one apart, and it is just dull to the bone.
Slightly better than its reputation and with a few surprises along the way, Friday the 13th became one of the most influencial horror movies of its time, following on the heels of Halloween's box office success the year before, that launched the era of slashers haunting cinema screens everywhere in the 80s. The sinister musical score and Tom Savini's special effects are the highlights of an otherwise ordinary slasher, but built with more style and tension than the host of similar pictures to flood the market after it.
i love the sequels, but the original is pretty crap.
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