Now That It's Summer, It's Time For Me To Rewatch The Early Friday The 13th Movies

 Jason voorhees in Friday the 13th Part VI.
Credit: AMC+

I love horror movies. In fact, when it comes to the best horror movies of all time, I’ve seen pretty much all of them.

And, when it comes to upcoming horror movies, I’ll likely see all of them, too. But, only in the summertime. Because, that’s right, I pretty much only watch horror movies between the months of June and September.

You might think, “well, that’s weird,” and yes, I’lll agree with you. It is weird. But, there’s just something about horror movies in the summertime, namely the Friday the 13th movies, that make me want to watch them in the hottest months of the year. But, why specifically the Friday the 13th series when there are so many other great horror franchises to choose from? Well, you’re about to find out.

Singing camp counselors in the first Friday the 13th
Singing camp counselors in the first Friday the 13th

The Movies Take Me Back To My Own Memories Of Actually Going To Summer Camp As A Child

Like many parents, my mom wanted to get rid of me during the summertime, so she sent me away to summer camp. Okay, maybe she didn’t want to get rid of me (I’m actually pretty sure I asked her if I could go), but the fact remains, for a portion of my childhood, I would get bused off to a campsite, and spend my days there during the summer.

It wasn’t a sleepaway camp (which is another cult horror movie) or anything like that. I would definitely come home every day. That said, I have a sharp memory of the flag going up every morning, the shorts-and-t-shirt wearing camp counselors, and the giant lake that we would sometimes row out on.

All of this is to say that summer camp is a big part of my childhood. Not only that, but I live in New Jersey, which is also the location of the fictional Crystal Lake from the Friday the 13th series.

So, yeah. Every summer, without fail, I take a trip down memory lane and watch the Friday the 13th movies–most notably parts 1-4 (which are some of the best in the franchise) since they were more camp focused. These four movies remind me of what it was like to go to summer camp, and the fun (and sometimes the fears) of being out in nature.

An unmasked Jason Voorhees in Friday the 13th Part 2
An unmasked Jason Voorhees in Friday the 13th Part 2

They Also Take Me Back To My Fear Of Watching The Movies As A Kid, Which Was Coincidentally In The Summertime

It’s crazy to me when I think back, but my mom used to randomly buy me videogames when I was a kid. One such title was the Friday the 13th game for the NES, which was actually my introduction to Jason Voorhees.

In the game, you take on the role of different camp counselors -–some super slow, and some really fast who can jump like Michael Jordan –- and you wander all over the campgrounds, sometimes encountering a purple clad Jason. It wasn’t really all that scary, as whenever you encountered Jason, he used to box you like it was Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out!!

So, my impression of Friday the 13th was that it was kind of silly, and that Jason wasn’t somebody to be feared (Unlike A Nightmare on Elm Street, which I knew was terrifying). Well, one night, when my mom wasn’t home (She worked nights), and my older sister was asleep, I snuck downstairs and watched the fourth Friday the 13th movie, The Final Chapter, and man. Was I wrong about Jason.

You see, my older sister never warned me against the Friday the 13th series. I was supposed to be in bed anyway, and wasn’t prepared for what I was about to see. This Jason was a merciless killer, and it seemed like no matter what you did to him, he would always just keep on coming.

I’ll never forget how terrified I was of Jason after seeing that movie. And yet, at the same time, being a kid, I had a sick desire to see even more movies in the franchise. Slowly but surely, I got through all of the Friday the 13th movies by the time that I turned 17. And, watching them in the summertime has become an annual tradition for me since it takes me back to that first time I ever laid eyes on the destruction of Jason on that sultry, summer night.

Jason Voorhees in Friday the 13th Part 3
Jason Voorhees in Friday the 13th Part 3

I Associate The Halloween Series With Halloween, But Friday The 13th With Summer

Do you know how some people like to consider Die Hard a Christmas movie? Well, I wouldn’t say I completely agree (and neither does Bruce Willis), but I will say that certain movies definitely feel like they should be watched during certain times of the year.

For example, the Halloween series. Even though I rarely ever watch horror movies outside of the summertime season (Which I’ll get into soon), I absolutely must watch my favorite Halloween movie, Halloween III: Season of the Witch, in October. It’s just, like, the perfect fall movie. In fact, even though I’m perfectly okay with watching the other Halloween movies in the summertime, I definitely associate the series as a whole with the Halloween season, because, duh. It’s right there in the title.

That said, I would never deign to watch the Friday the 13th series in the fall, because it is not a Fall series. Yes, some of the later Friday the 13th movies, like Jason X, feel like they can be watched at any time of the year. But, those early movies (specifically Parts 1-4) definitely feel like summer movies.

So, just like how some people have to watch Elf every Christmas, or Halloween every, er, Halloween, I have to watch Friday the 13th 1-4 every summer season. It’s a given.

Jason Voorhees in Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter
Jason Voorhees in Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter

Lastly, The Movies Still Scare Me, And I Like That The Sun Is Still Out By The Time I Finish Watching Them

Finally, as I alluded to earlier, I only really watch horror movies in the summertime, with Halloween III: Season of the Witch, being the rare exception. And, do you want to know why? It’s because horror movies actually scare me. Yeah, I’m a total chicken, and I can’t watch horror movies when it’s dark out. Seeing Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter when I was a child probably scarred me for life on that end.

And, the movies still scare me, believe it or not. My son loves video games where there are these huge chase scenes, but the idea of being chased terrifies me, and that’s all the Voorhees family does -– they chase people. Not quickly, mind you, but slowly. Relentlessly. And that really gives me the creeps.

But, I like that I can watch the Friday the 13th movies in the summertime since the sun is out longer, and it gives me more time to finish them before it gets dark. Because Heaven forbid that I have to see that jumpscare from the first movie at night. I do like to sleep, you know.

So, that’s why I rewatch the early Friday the 13th movies in the summer. Are there any horror movies that you like to watch at a specific time of the year?