Friday the 13th

Nostalgia and brand loyalty are probably the best explanations for the enduring popularity of this film. The script is as rudimentary as it gets and Cunningham's competent but uninspired direction means the midsection drags when the pileup of kills should be building tension. That said, you can see the outline of the no-brainer sequel juggernaut to come in the economical kill-based structure and the last 20 minutes still pack a punch (once Betsy Palmer arrives on the scene, you've got a movie). MVP: Harry Manfredini's score does more to establish atmosphere in this film than any other element.