The impact of the Friday the 13th films on film theory can be seen throughout multiple scholarly (and not-so-scholarly) texts. There are many different interpretations and ways to analyze these movies, and below are compiled examples of these essays.

Click on the title of the book to read excerpts relating to our very own Jason Voorhees, or relating to the Friday the 13th series and slasher films in general.

Ultraviolent Movies : From Sam Peckinpah to Quentin Tarantino. Laurent Bouzereau. (2000)

. . .Violence in the movies has undergone a complete revolution. Beginning with Bonnie and Clyde, The Wild Bunch, Taxi Driver, and A Clockwork Orange, violence has become a regular part of the moviegoing experience. While many of these films number among the greatest ever made, today they seem rather tame. With the recent release of Scream 2, Halloween H2O, and L.A. Confidential, ultraviolence continues to gain new fans, push the envelope... and cause controversy.

Men, Women and Chainsaws : Gender in the Modern Horror Film. Carol Clover. (1992)

. . .Do the pleasures of horror movies really begin and end in sadism? So the public discussion of film assumes, and so film theory claims. Carol Clover argues, however, that these films work mainly to engage the viewer in the plight of the victim-hero - the figure, often a female, who suffers pain and fright but eventually rises to vanquish the forces of oppression.

Film Theory Goes to the Movies : Cultural Analysis of Contemporary Film. Jim Collins & Hillary Radner. (ed. 1993)

. . . "This ambitious anthology examines popular American films of the 1980s and 1990s in light of ongoing issues in contemporary film theory. The work it sets out to accomplish is nothing less than an engagement between recent commercial film practice and methodologies of criticism that often seem, at first glance, to privilege the critic over the work itself. . . . [This] is a book that is long overdue, and one that should be useful in any survey course of current American genre films. It displays a real love for the pleasures of genre, but also reserves the right to critique and examine the popular films we embrace." - Film Quarterly

Planks of Reason : Essays on the Horror Film. Barry K. Grant. (ed. 1984)

. . .A collection of film theory essays ranging from Nosferatu to The Texas Chain Saw Massacre. Mostly focuses on older horror movies, but has comments on modern day horror. Analyzes the cinematic processes of different sub-genres of horror films.

The Dread of Difference : Gender and the Horror Film. Barry K. Grant. (ed. 1996)

. . .An undying procession of Sons of Dracula and daughters of darkness has animated the horror film genre from the beginning. Indeed, in this pioneering exploration of the cinema of fear, Barry K. Grant and twenty other film critics posit that horror is always rooted in gender, particularly in anxieties about sexual difference and gender politics
. . .The Dread of Difference demonstrates that horror is hardly a uniformly masculine discourse. As these essays persuasively show, not only are horror movies about patriarchy and its fear of the feminine, but they also offer feminist critique and pleasure.

Laughing Screaming : Modern Hollywood Horror and Comedy. William Paul. (1994)

. . .William Paul's exploration of an extremely popular box office genre - the gross-out movie - is the first book to take this lowbrow product seriously. Writing about "movies that embraced the lowest common denominator as an aesthetic principle, movies that critics constantly griped about having to sit through," Paul examines their unique place in our culture. He argues that gross-out movies challenge social tastes and values, but without the self-consciousness of avant-garde art. Paul establishes gross-out as a true genre - one that "speaks in the voice of festive freedom, uncorrected and unconstrained by the reality principle... aggressive, seemingly improvised, and always ambivalent."

Recreational Terror : Women and the Pleasures of Horror Film. Isabel C. Pinedo. (1997)

. . .In Recreational Terror, Isabel C. Pinedo analyzes how the contemporary horror film produces recreational terror as a pleasurable encounter with violence and danger for female spectators. She challenges the conventional wisdom that violent horror films can only degrade women and incite violence, and contends instead that the contemporary horror film speaks to the cultural need to express rage and terror in the midst of social upheaval.

Hearths of Darkness : The Family in the American Horror Film. Tony Williams. (1996)

. . .Tony Williams's Hearths of Darkness follows the development of what he calls the American "family horror film" from the 1930s through the early 1990s. Professor Williams argues that the cinematic horror genre deliberately subverts the idealized position of the family unit in American ideology. The genre does so through subjecting representative families to brutal assaults by horrific and/or supernatural elements and, more often than not, demonstrating the beleaguered family possesses an equal capacity for violence and indeed is itself culpable in the cultural attitudes that perpetuate violence.

Sexuality in the Land of Oz : Searching for Safer Sex at the Movies. Wayne Wilson. (1994)

. . .Going to the movies? Chances are you'll see a little sex, maybe a lot of sex. Chances are, too, that you may not think much about it later. After all, you've been watching movies for years and years. why should one more portrayal of seduction change your attitude regarding the use of sex as entertainment?