The Jeep In Friday The 13th 1980 As A Character In The Film

One of the unique qualities of Friday The 13th 1980 within the franchise is that it is first and foremost a whodunit. Aside from the inventive death scenes in the film, the dread of teens being isolated at a Summer camp and being killed by an unseen killer was secondary to figuring out who could be committing the gruesome acts of violence.

Throughout the film, the filmmakers threw numerous visual clues at the audience as to who may be the killer. Of course, we all know that we were cheated by Mrs. Voorhees being inserted into the final minutes of the film and revealed as the killer. Beforehand, however, one of  the more clever misdirections experienced by the audience was the Jeep driven by Steve Christie as well as Mrs. Voorhees. Throughout the film, viewers are only aware the killer is present by witnessing a hand or feet accompanied by Harry Manfredini's iconic score. However, the use of the Jeep in the film gave audiences serious thought that Steve Christie could be the killer.

In fact, I liken the Jeep to how the yellow barrels in the film Jaws were used. Whenever Hooper and the audience saw the barrels along with John William's score, you new the shark was present and there was going to be a problem. The barrels became a character in itself and I believe the Jeep in Friday The 13th became a character as well as a representation of the killer without actually seeing the killer.

What do you think? Have you ever viewed the Jeep as a character in the film? When you saw it, did you automatically think there would be trouble?