Citizens of Crystal Lake Part IV: The “Old Lady”

With plot details for the Friday the 13th series slowly beginning to bleed out from the CW, it’s becoming evident that a strong focus will be placed on Crystal Lake’s citizens old and new.  With the native Crystal Lake’ers said to be nervously playing hush regarding their home area’s dirty little secret in relation to the Voorhees legacy, and the newer habitants’ eventual awareness of the threat that looms in their forests, viewers can expect to be introduced to many unique residents guaranteed to bring quirky characterizations to the show. While waiting to add new names to the list, let’s look back on some of these unforgettable locals.

Over the years, it became a staple of the franchise to add to the Voorhees myth by colouring each chapter with small appearances by local Crystal Lake citizens.  Recognizing this theme, Marcus Nispel’s 2009 reboot Friday the 13th paid homage with no shortage of characters chiming in on the local legend and adding to the area’s quirkiness.  From the convenience store clerk to the nearby farmer Donnie who Jason gets his signature hockey mask from, this addition was ripe with new local faces. Standing out in the crowd is a character simply credited as “Old Lady.”

In the early scenes following the unforgettable opening slaughter, the audience travels with Clay Miller (Jared Padalecki) as he canvasses the area looking for any clue leading to the whereabouts of his missing sister Whitney.  This brings him to an unwelcoming farm amongst seemingly unending rows of cornfields and a property littered with random junk and materials.  Knocking on the door, and being frightened by an unwarm welcome by her guard dog, Clay has a short but heavily foreshadowing conversation with said “Old Lady.” 

She warns Clay without subtlety that people “go missing around here, they’re gone for good.”  She displays that she does possess knowledge of Jason’s existence in the area with the statement “We just want to be left alone, and so does HE…”  This statement not only provides context to the masked killer’s notoriety in Crystal Lake, but also raises many questions for the audience.  Do the locals keep his existence a secret in an unstated agreement that keeps the killer away from them? Could they possibly even have a hand in covering up the numerous murders in their town? Are the random belongings and boat and car parts littered around her property left behind items from Jason’s victims, indicating that the locals may actually profit from his killing sprees?

None of these questions are answered in their short exchange.  In fact, the “Old Lady” appears to recognize that she’s already said too much, as she quickly turns away and retreats into her home when Clay asks who she is referring to.

Portrayed by Rosemary Knower, the “Old Lady” is a brief appearance but has a strong impact on the overall atmosphere and sense of dread in the latest chapter.  Knower may look familiar to film buffs as she has a lengthy resume of such character part appearances including scenes in Live Free or Die Hard (2007) and Lovely Molly (2011). Knower, a citizen of Baltimore, is also a freelance writer and playwright and, being from Baltimore, became a regular character actor in John Waters’ films including Hairspary (1988), Serial Mom (1994), Pecker (1998), Cecil B. Demented (2000), and A Dirty Shame (2004). Knower’s literary accomplishments can be explored at her website

While her appearance was brief, the “Old Lady” was definitely memorable and opened up the conversation to many possibilities for potential storylines for the much anticipated show Friday fans are anxiously awaiting more details on.
To look back at our previously discussed Citizens of Crystal Lake, follow the link here: Citizens of Crystal Lake