The Season of the Witch is here, and that means it’s time for a throwback to our favorite holiday-themed horror franchise… Friday the 13th! We all love the films, but we can’t deny that some are better than others. Here we’ll be taking a look at all 12 movies and ranking them from the absolute worst to the very best!
“Space… the final frontier…” and the last step in knowing a horror franchise has taken it too far. Jason in space not only jumps the shark but also kick-flips over the moon and blows up the sun. It certainly does not have the feel of the franchise that we fell in love with 36 years ago. Jason X also marks Kane Hodder’s last film appearance as Jason, whose performance helped make the film somewhat enjoyable. All in all, Jason X is like Alien, but without the alien, the charm, or the fear.
Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday
Don’t you just hate it when the people you love turn evil and try to make out with you and plant a demon inside of you? Me too. The worst thing about this film is that the Jason we’re all familiar with only appears for about 5 minutes of screen time. Every other minute of the film, he’s playing Freaky Friday with the other cast members, which can trick you into thinking you’re watching another slasher movie entirely. Friday just falls apart in this entry.
Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan
The more appropriate title is “Jason Takes a Cruise Ship.” While it is fascinating to see Jason exploring territory outside of Crystal Lake, the beauty of New York is overshadowed by the fact that we only see it for about 20 minutes. Jason Takes Manhattan is also the last to be produced by Paramount, as after the disappointing box office results came in, the rights were sold to New Line Cinema, and not for the better. The Big Apple takes a bite out of Jason in this film.
Friday the 13th (2009)
Reboots don’t always go over very well with the audience, and unfortunately Friday the 13th was no exception. This film attempts to answer many questions posed by the earlier entries (such as Jason’s ability to move around quickly), but only adds more confusion to it. The fact that the movie was produced by Michael Bay is horribly apparent in the character’s performances. The “twist ending” wasn’t much of a twist, either. Derek Mears’ gave us quite a few scares as Jason, however, saving the film from being a complete disaster.
Friday the 13th Part V: A New Beginning
It may have been a new beginning, but there wasn’t much hope for it. The film’s plot is decent, following Tommy’s struggle in coping with his previous encounter with Jason, and keeping us guessing as to whether he has lost his grip on sanity or that Jason has returned from his grave. But this is all ruined by the fact that IT’S NOT JASON.
Freddy vs. Jason
Freddy vs. Jason spent years in development hell, and finally emerged to bring us the battle between the two titular killers that we wanted. The battles are the only enjoyable thing about the film, though. Every other scene in the film appears chopped up like an incomplete thought, and the rest of the plot is completely forgettable. And who can forget the fact that they decided to replace Kane?
Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood
The New Blood was the start of the trend of “let’s see how we can 1-up the last movie.” The shoddy acting, psychic powers, and heavy censorship didn’t do the film any favors. The only plus is that this film marks the beginning of the “Kane Hodder era” of Jason; his new blood brought new life to the hockey-masked killer and captivated us for the next 3 films. The only thing that came close to being better was the incredible make-up prosthetics for the Jason costume, which reminded us of everything Jason had been through.
Friday the 13th Part III (3-D)
Despite the quirky, forced 3-D effects, this entry to the series still has its moments. The most notable being the first appearance of Jason’s iconic hockey mask. Richard Brooker also gives quite a performance as Jason; his stalking of the campers and his composed gait reminds us of classic Michael Myers. Final Girl Chris Higgins, however, didn’t instill us with a lot of confidence. (Come on, don’t tell me I’m the only one who wanted her to die.)
Friday the 13th Part IV: The Final Chapter
The Final Chapter marked the beginning of the “Tommy Jarvis trilogy,” and was also the last film to feature a living Jason. Alongside Ted White (who terrified us with his portrayal of Jason), the film also features other celebrities like the Crispin Glover, Kimberly Beck, and of course young Corey Feldman as Tommy Jarvis himself. Who would have thought that Clark Devereaux would be the one to take down the unstoppable Jason Voorhees?
Friday the 13th Part II
Terror strikes again, and its name is Jason. The first of many sequels to original film, and the first featuring Jason Voorhees as the killer. Sporting a burlap bag over his head instead of the iconic hockey mask, Jason takes revenge for his mother, adding more bodies to the ever-growing count. Final Girl Ginny brings the heat against the killer, outshining many of her fellow campers as they are brutally picked off. Today, the film still leaves one question unanswered… “Where the hell is Paul?”
Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives
Perhaps the last good entry to the franchise out of the later films, Jason Lives was a solid film all-around. The meta-humor and action sequences, car chases and shoot-outs, provided a refreshing and welcome change of pace for the series. It also marks the end of the “Tommy Jarvis trilogy,” which honestly would have ended much better if Jason killed Tommy. Damn campy, happy endings. C.J. Graham also gave a memorable performance as the Crystal Lake killer.
Friday the 13th (1980)
“It’s got a death curse!” Camp Blood may be cursed, but the first entry to the franchise certainly wasn’t. While Jason Voorhees may not have been the feature killer of this film, the curiosity and the sense of dread that fills us as we watch the mystery unfold is real. The kills are fascinating, and even the characters are memorable. Of course, who can forget the moment when Mrs. Voorhees shows her face? Who would have thought that kindly old lady was getting ready to stick a knife in our face? It just goes to show you can’t beat a classic.
That’s end of our list ranking the Friday the 13th films. Did you agree? Let us know if we got it right and what your favorite film is!