Crystal Lake Memories: The Complete History Of Friday the 13th – Review


Skulls out
of five

Directed by Daniel Farrands Starring Corey Feldman, Melyssa Ade, Loyd Albin
Original Music by Harry Manfredini Written by Peter Bracke, Daniel Farrands

400 min - Documentary - 13 September 2013 (USA)

Reviewing a release as gargantuan as Crystal Lake Memories is never easy. The Friday the 13th documentary is about six and a half hours long, making it exceptionally long even for a documentary.

As I sat trying to decide what to say about the film, I decided that it would be better to say right off the bat that Crystal Lake Memories is for fans only! Trying to get someone else to sit down and watch this with you will be a bit of a struggle unless you know some die-hard horror fans.

For myself, six and a half hours was basically the perfect length of time, but for those who aren’t heavily invested in the core series, this is a tough release to recommend. Luckily director Daniel Farrands is notom stranger to horror documentaries; he also directed the fantastic His Name Was Jason for TV. If you are more of a modest horror fan, I’d say check that one out before moving on to something like this.

Gather Round the Campfire for some Crystal Lake Memories

Now for all those who are fans of the series, Crystal Lake Memories is one of the easiest recommendations I have made all year. I hardly ever think of the words epic and documentary as being compatible, but Crystal Lake Memories sure does make its case. The film was inspired by the book of the same name and thankfully Daniel Farrands was the one to do this. Just a few years ago, Farrands made another epic documentary called Never Sleep Again, which was based entirely on the franchise history of the Nightmare on Elm Street. The two films are actually quite similar both in length, subject, and presentation.

Crystal Lake Memories

Starting from the early stages of getting Friday the 13th into development to the 2009 remake, Crystal Lake Memories dedicates about 45 minutes to the histories and stories behind each film in the now legendary franchise. Crystal Lake Memories is narrated by Corey Feldman, and features a who’s who of just about everyone ever involved in the franchise, from gore effects legend Tom Savini to rock star Alice Cooper. The film even discusses the offshoot television series that has basically nothing to do with the rest of the franchise.

Who’s Along For the Ride?

What is most interesting about this film, like most of Farrands other films, is all the awesome cast and crew members he brings on board to interview. You have cast and crew from pretty much every single movie in franchise either giving some new insight or telling an unknown story. This is all built around hundreds if not thousands of behind-the-scenes clips and videos that make up the different sections.

By and large this is one of the most all-encompassing documentaries I’ve seen on any subject, horror or otherwise. The amount of content embedded onto these discs is something that no Friday the 13th fan should do without. So, it is with a resounding smile that I give this documentary my highest grade possible.

Crystal Lake Memories: The Complete History of Friday the 13th

Buy Crystal Lake Memories: The Complete History Of Friday The 13th at Amazon for an unbelievable $24.99.

The Verdict:

As I said earlier, if you aren't really a fan of the franchise, this probably isn't going to hold your interest, but this isn't intended for the casual fan. Crystal Lake Memories is strictly for the die-hard fans and the die-hard fans would be hard pressed to find any major flaws with what's presented here. Even the run time is of little consequence if you are interested in the material. It's also alright to take breaks and give your mind a breather from all the awesome interviews and footage. Basically, if you believe yourself to be a true fan of Friday the 13th, then this documentary is as essential as any film in the franchise. Pick it up ASAP!

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