It’s not such a big stretch of the imagination really to figure out how the ending of Carrie inspired the ending to Friday the 13th since the jump scare is a pretty easy thing to figure out. It’s the timing and the content that can be kind of different to emulate since in Carrie the jump scare wasn’t exactly new, but how it was used would become revolutionized after a while. Tom Savini, who’s a legend when it comes to horror movies, had plenty to say about this when asked since if anyone remembers the ending to the Stephen King story Carrie, then they’ll know that the final girl, Sue, went to pay her respects to the eventual antagonist of the movie, Carrie White, and as she knelt down was grasped by a hand that shot from the ground, presumably that of Carrie, signaling that she wasn’t really dead. The scene would cut away quickly to show Sue waking from a dream with a startled look and a very scared look on her face as those around her tried to calm her down. The jump scare, used in this manner, made it appear as though there might be another movie to come, or that the legacy of Carrie White wouldn’t be quick in fading since the scene was something that managed to get a lot of audience members to jump.
That’s kind of the point though, as Savini even agreed since the desire was to jolt people from their seats and get them thinking that it wasn’t over somehow. Friday the 13th benefited from this same type of jump scare when, after foiling Ms. Voorhees, Jason’s mother and the first killer in the franchise, Alice, the final girl, has rowed out to the middle of the lake for safety, or so she believes. It almost appears as though the movie would close on a very quiet note, at least until a disturbing, disgusting form burst from the water on the far side of the craft and reached up for Alice, seeking to drag her down to the watery depths where apparently Jason had been consigned many years before. Much like Carrie though, Friday the 13th ended with Alice waking in the hospital, being assured that there was no boy and that she was safe. Of course, that’s one of the dumbest things to say in a horror movie since as we already know, Jason did come back, and he did build a shrine to his late mother, and he did go on a murderous rampage as people continued to try to use the camp and areas surrounding the territory. Over the years Jason has managed to rack up the kills in a way that few other horror monsters have, but the one thing that has usually set him apart from others is that he has a very narrow region where his dominance is assured, while several other characters have managed to range far and wide at times.
But the use of jump scares in Friday the 13th has definitely become more of a joke these days than it used to be, especially since people can almost time a jump scare to the second given that the formula for horror movies doesn’t always change that often and when it does, things tend to go awry and the story becomes more than a little bungled unless there’s a method to the madness that doesn’t involve more than a few well-timed jump scares. After a while, trying to jolt people out of their seats becomes to predict, and as a result, the movie becomes harder to get into since people happen to know that at some point the real scare is going to come along, and since they’re prepared for it, some folks might actually laugh instead of scream in terror. But given that this is a pretty common reaction in this era, it’s no longer that big of a deal. The jump scare is still effective when used on those that don’t expect it, but a great many horror fans know too much about it and when to expect the tactic, meaning that there are a lot of folks out there that no longer jump when they see certain moments about to happen. The open-ended finish isn’t dead though, since several movies have been able to use this to great effect. Making people think there will be another movie coming usually does have the effect of keeping people on their toes and in some ways can even get them to keep pushing for another movie.
Horror sequels have almost always been guaranteed to be made even if these movies tend to be of lesser quality and possess jump scares that feel more than a little ineffective. Thankfully, jump scares are still popular and can still be used, if one knows how.