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SEE! HEAR! CUT! KILL! - Experiencing Friday the 13th


Experiencing Friday the 13th

By Wickham Clayton
Hardcover : 9781496830319, 238 pages, 64 b&w illustrations, October 2020
Paperback : 9781496830326, 238 pages, 64 b&w illustrations, October 2020

The first-ever book devoted to close analysis of the modern, multimillion-dollar cult classic franchise


Sean S. Cunningham and Victor Miller’s Friday the 13th franchise is one of the most successful horror film franchises in history. To date, it includes twelve movies, a television show, comic books, and video games, among other media. In SEE! HEAR! CUT! KILL! Experiencing “Friday the 13th,” Wickham Clayton explores several aspects of the films including how the technical aspects relate to the audience, their influence on filmmaking, and the cultural impact of the franchise.

Clayton looks at how perspective is established and communicated within the Friday the 13th films, which is central to the way the audience experiences and responds emotionally to these movies. Then he considers how each sequel gives viewers, whether longtime fans or new audiences, a “way in” to the continuous story that runs through the series. Clayton also argues that the series has not developed in isolation. These films relate to contemporary slasher films, the modern horror genre, and critically successful Hollywood films in general. They reflect popular trends of film style and often act as key examples in the genre and beyond.


"Through its cogent and convincing examination of the long-maligned Friday the 13th franchise, SEE! HEAR! CUT! KILL! proves that low-budget genre cinema is worth taking seriously. "

- Blair Davis, author of The Battle for the Bs: 1950s Hollywood and the Rebirth of Low-Budget Cinema

"Providing a witty and chatty but deeply serious and comprehensive analysis of the slasher franchise Friday the 13th, Wickham Clayton offers arguments about using the series to explore developing aesthetics of several decades of cinema. Something for both fans and cinephiles. "

- Janet Staiger, professor emeritus, University of Texas at Austin

"Clayton places foundational academic horror texts in conversation with recent scholarship to produce compelling critical observations about the franchise. . . . SEE! HEAR! CUT! KILL!: Experiencing “Friday the 13th” contains a treasure trove of information that caters well to general readers, students, and scholars."

- Sean Woodard,

"Overall, Clayton’s book is an excellent and well-detailed critical analysis of the Friday the 13th franchise, proving beyond a doubt that these films—as well as their slasher brethren—are well worth academic consideration and that the viewer experience is a complex and variable phenomenon. . . . See! Hear! Cut! Kill! is an excellent resource for the casual fan, the horror aficionado, and the film scholar alike."

- Alyssa Burger, Journal of Popular Film and Television

"Wickham Clayton is arguably one of, if not the, eminent scholar of slasher films arising out of the recent generation of film scholars. . . . See! Hear! Cut! Kill! provides an outstanding contribution to the existing literature in slasher studies and horror film studies. His work offers a novel theoretical take on analyses of the slasher film and provides readers with a fresh lens through which to view these films. I believe this book belongs on the bookshelves of every slasher scholar, horror scholar, film scholar, film student, and horror film enthusiast."

- Khara Lukancic, Film and History