MURDERS BY THE LAKE | Offscreen
Crystal Lake is one of the most legendary locations in horror cinema. The cursed summer camp by a lake is haunted by one of the greatest boogeymen in the history of American slasher films: Jason Voorhees. With no less than 12 films, the Friday the 13th series is one of the most successful horror franchises ever! The Friday the 13th films, criticized over the years by critics, are indeed very basic compared to the adventures of Freddy Krueger or Michael Myers, but thanks to formidable and efficient marketing, they scored film after film with the audience.
The first installment was directed by Sean S. Cunningham, one of Wes Craven's early collaborators, who wanted to build on the success of Carpenter's Halloween with a more brutal and extreme film. It was such a success that throughout the 1980s, a whole wave of slashers followed, some of which, like Sleepaway Camp and The Burning, returned to the mythical setting of the lake.
The Possessed is, in turn, from the hands of Luigi Bazzoni (The Fifth Cord, Footprints on the Moon), one of the most brilliant directors of the giallo, the Italian genre that strongly influenced the slasher. Bazzoni's first film is at the crossroads between giallo intrigue, with a woman found dead at the bottom of a lake, and author cinema in the style of Antonioni. That Giuglio Questi (Death Laid an Egg, Django Kill… If You Live, Shoot!) wrote the screenplay should come as no surprise, given his penchant for blending genre films with a more arty cinema, akin to the French Nouvelle Vague.
In the 1950s, the young Jason Voorhees drowned at the Crystal Lake summer camp... a year later, two counselors were murdered. Since then, the camp has been abandoned. 21 years later, someone gets the idea to reopen the camp on a Friday the thirteenth. It doesn't take long before the murders start happening again!