Would you watch a slasher named “Long Night at Camp Blood”? Cunningham didn’t think audiences would, so Miller’s idea was scrapped and “Friday the 13th” was born. The longer working title simply doesn’t roll off the tongue, nor does it have the same sticking power.
Had Miller’s title been used, the franchise would have looked way different. In an interview with a fan website, Miller explained that he was inspired by the helpless teenage horror of “Carrie” and “Halloween” and had no intentions of turning Jason Voorhees into an unstoppable monster. When discussing the first sequel, he revealed that had he been involved, he likely would have “fought the idea of making Jason the bad guy and been fired from the project anyway.”
Creative differences and sequels aside, the genius of the original “Friday the 13th” inspired decades of horror films and remains one of the most famous slashers of all time. Had Cunningham not prematurely placed an advertisement for the unfinished film, who knows what generic sports mask people would be donning every year on Halloween.