Friday the 13th is one of the most iconic horror franchises of all time, with Jason being one of the genre’s most recognizable faces. While the series was never known for having complex storytelling, it delivered with it’s in your face gore,atmosphere, creative kills and the fact that the films don’t take themselves too seriously. This franchise also is more consistent than the Nightmare on Elm Street and Halloween franchises, though it’s not without it’s bad installments and the best Friday films aren’t as good as the best from those other two franchises. To celebrate everyone’s favorite unlucky day, the first of Anthony’s yearly horror trilogy and the Alternative Nation Rank up series crossover to give you Friday the 13th Gets Ranked Up! Warning some of these entries contain minor spoilers (though I doubt anyone watches these for the plot).
Friday the 13th : A New Beginning
The first film made after Jason’s “death”, this fifth instalment is the worst in the whole series. While like always some of the kills are good, the humor isn’t very funny, the film is mostly boring and the twist is easy to see coming a mile away. Out of the first eight films, this is the only one to get reconned.
Freddy Vs Jason
At the end of Jason Goes to Hell, a little teaser for Freddy and Jason finally meet. the end. After many years of waiting, fans were unfortunately met with this awful film. Many scripts were written for this film and it is very hard to believe that this is the one we ended up with. The film reeks of the post-Scream era slasher tropes, Freddy has the role of main villain yet he barely gets any kills, and the movie in general just further proved that both franchises had long run out of steam.
Friday the 13th Remake
The 21st century has been loaded with remakes of classic horror and while we had a few good ones (Dawn of the Dead, Hills Have Eyes, Evil Dead, Maniac) the majority of them ranged from bland to horrible. This one falls in the bland category. The film fuses the first four films (though skips through the first one pretty fast) and while that is a good concept, this film falls flat on it’s face like every other Platinum Dunes remake.
Jason Goes to Hell
The first of the New Line Cinema made Jason films and what was planned (for the second time) to be the last in the series. The film had a lore that explained that Jason’s heart can possess people and that it can only be killed by a family member. This lore felt out of place in a slasher and makes the film kind of hard to follow. It does have it’s moments though including the fact that the kills are mostly really cool.
Jason Takes Manhattan
The last film in the series before the license would leave Paramount and go with New Line Cinema who own the series to this day. The title is pretty misleading as Jason does not take over Manhattan he just ends up going there and most of the film is set on a boat. While the film shows that the franchise was running out of ideas it is still enjoyable to watch. With high levels of 80’s cheese and hilarious scenes such as Jason killing someone with their own guitar and one where he uppercuts a student’s head into a dumpster this is a great entry to watch with your brain off.
In space sequels are normally a sign the series is jumping the shark. By this time Pinhead, James Bond and even The Muppets had gone into space. Now it was Jason’s turn. Jason X, while a bad movie, knows it’s nothing great and just tries to be an entertaining schlock fest. The film is full of hilarious scenes and dialogue and feels more like a satire on the series than a full on sequel. Also Uber Jason rules!!!
Friday the 13th Part VII : The New Blood
Nicknamed “Jason Vs Carrie” by many fans, this seventh installment is one of the most underrated in the whole series. In this film a telekinetic girl named Tina who can’t control her powers accidently brings Jason to life at Crystal Lake where her and her friends are staying. This film is a whole lot of fun and actually has a decent story even if it feels sorta of out of place. This also the goriest in the series with many scenes having to be removed when it came to theaters, due to the film getting an X rating. Later releases of this film would add the scenes back as deleted scenes.
Friday the 13th Part 2
This second installment of the franchise is the first to feature Jason as the killer as well as the first of two to be directed by cult horror icon Steve Miner (House, Warlock). Several years after the death of Pamela Voorhees, her son Jason comes back to Camp Crystal Lake to kill the camp counselors. One of the best in the series, this entry is loaded with good kills, gore, direction and atmosphere.
Friday the 13th Part 3
The second and last entry helmed by Steve Miner is also the film where Jason first gets his trademark hockey mask and machete. The film has a similar plot to the last one with it just being the next day and Jason just going around killing more people at the camp,but it has a much higher entertainment value than the last one more memorable overall.
Friday the 13th
The film that started one of the biggest horror franchises today and helped kick off the 80’s slasher explosion is still a great horror film to this day. A mysterious killer (who 99.9 percent of people reading this will know who it is) is killing teens at Camp Crystal Lake after reopening years after a young boy named Jason drowned years ago. This debut in the franchise is a really well done homage to Psycho, has some of the best atmosphere in the series, and Pamela Voorhees is a scarier villain than Jason for sure.
Friday the 13th Part VI : Jason Lives
Tommy Jarvis, the hero of the fourth and fifth films in this series, goes to the cemetery to get rid of Jason’s body for good. This accidentally brings him back to life, as the metal pole he uses to impale Jason is struck by lightning (not making this up). With Jason on the loose again, Tommy knows he must stop him. This entry is noted to be the first in the series to have supernatural elements, and became popular with fans for its fourth wall breaking sense of humor.
Friday the 13th : The Final Chapter
This original intended finale to the series, is also one of the best slashers ever made. A young teen is seeking revenge on Jason for the death of his sister in the second film, while Jason preys on random town folk just going on vacation including the Jarvis family. This film has the best kills and atmosphere out of the whole franchise. It also marked early roles by both Crispin Glover and Corey Feldman (later playing the recurring character Tommy Jarvis). Tom Savini who did gore effects on the first film returns for an even more blood soaked job and the film’s ending is frankly bizarre and creepy. All these come together to make the best film to feature our favorite hockey masked killer.