Ranking All The Friday The 13th Films

For a reason that horror fans would understand, I decided to re-watch all of the Friday The 13th films.  After watching them, how I have them ranked has changed. It was very interesting to see these films again and how some stuck out more than others. Here is my ranking of all of the films, from least favorite to favorite.

*SPOILERS*

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12. Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday

I try and pretend this one doesn’t exist. For that reason, I won’t be reviewing it. If you’re watching all of the Fridays, I really don’t think it’s necessary to include this one. Although Kane Hodder is great as always.

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11. Jason X

There are some fun parts about this one. The kills are entertaining and sets are pretty cool. I’ve never been a huge fan of space movies, so that may have bumped my rating down a bit. David Cronenberg had a fun cameo. Lexi Doig carries the film with her performance. She plays the scientist who ends up battling it out with Jason. I did really enjoy how they incorporated Crystal Lake into the film though. Basically like a hallucination of the lake and female counselors. A lot of people have a soft spot for this one, but it’s really not for me. I don’t think I will be revising it anytime soon.

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10. Friday the 13th: A New Beginning

I liked the setting in this one. A house for psychiatric patients in the middle of the woods. We follow an adult Tommy Jarvis, as he deals with his trauma from the Jason attack years ago. I liked most of the characters in this one too. There were some unexpected kills that were entertaining. I also liked the red neck neighbors, Ethel and Junior. Although Junior’s character was overacted at times, like many of them. I think the disappointment for me, was that Jason wasn’t even in it. I appreciate that they went and tried something new. Apparently a new trilogy was planned with this new iller, Roy. I just wasn’t interested in him enough. Maybe if they went deeper into his backstory, or we even saw more of him throughout the film, not as the killer. You can’t even call it a Friday the 13th movie at that point.

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9. Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan

Jason Voorhees in Times Square? That sounds awesome! Only he’s in New York for about 20 minutes of the movie. The whole thing takes place aboard a ship, which is transferring students to New York. There were some great kills, such as the guitar scene. It has a bit of charm and I credit the filmmakers. It’s such a ridiculous plot, like why would he go onto the ship in the first place? Was the ship in Crystal Lake? If so, how did it get there and why? Once we do get to New York, there was some interesting parts. The whole muggers scene went to a bit to far for me. I did like how Jason was chasing the two characters through the middle of the city. Citizens just stood out of the way and watched. Honestly in this situation, what would you do and is it even real? It looks so out of place, and I thought that was interesting.

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8. Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood

In this one, the main character Tina, has telekinesis. Her Dad is killed in Crystal Lake, by her, which is her tie with Jason. I liked the characters, except for the doctor. I didn’t like the whole telekinesis thing. It reminded me of Alice from A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master, which I’m not to fond of. It’s an interesting angle for a protagonist to have, but it just didn’t work for me.

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7. Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives

The Bond intro is probably the best part about this one. This is where the humor in the franchise really starts to pick up. Although the zombie Jason is pretty cool. Having him come back [to life] by lightning means that he literally cannot die. Now they can the franchise anywhere they want, which they took advantage of.  I didn’t like the re-cast of Tommy. Some of the kills seemed out of place and unnecessary. the kills that made sense, were good. This film did create the iconic Jason, with a chain tied around his neck, at the bottom of the lake.

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6. Friday the 13th (2009)

I was surprised with this one. I first saw it in theaters and I loved it. I was in ninth grade, so it makes sense that I would love it. But when I revisited it again recently, I still felt the same way. I also realized that it’s same director as the Texas Chainsaw Massacre remake from 2003, Marcus Nispel. That is one of my favorite horror remakes. I think the main thing is that this film’s run time is only 97 minutes. I like that because it’s short, sweet, and tells a simple story with just enough action. I liked, yet also disliked, that they basically included the first three films all in one. I know this is a re-telling, but I wish we could’ve gotten more with the first story. That’s just a personal preference. All of the kills were great with classic Friday style. This time around, I noticed that they referenced almost every other movie in the franchise at some point. I loved that! I’m curious to see what kind of Friday movie they’ll make next. I know a few years ago there were rumors about a found footage version. That could be interesting. I loved Derek Mears, but Let’s bring back Kane Hodder!

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5. Freddy vs. Jason

I remember seeing this as a kid, and it scared the crap out of me. But it’s just a blast. It’s not meant to be taken seriously whatsoever and that’s what I like about it. They actually use the characters and their stories in a very believable way. The fight scenes are ridiculous but fantastic. It does a great job showing the difference between goods actors and bad ones. The heavy metal music just brings it to another level. I feel people don’t appreciate this one as much, but it’s definitely one of my favorites. I would’ve loved to see Michael join the fray, but it doesn’t make as much sense. To bad we never got the sequel with Ash, from Evil Dead that was planned. There was also an alternate ending planned with Pinhead bringing Freddy and Jason to hell. Now that would’ve been amazing. Maybe in the future!

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4. Friday the 13th Part III

I really liked part 3 more this time around, as it was lower on my list previously. What I like about it, is that is has the vibes of part 1 and 2. For some reason, the teenager partying in the woods never gets old to me. Plus, this is the movie where Jason finds his hockey mask. You can tell the filmmakers were starting to have some with the kills. I even liked the motorcycle gang, even if they’re put into the story just so Jason can up his kill count.

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3. Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter

A young Corey Feldman and Crispin Clover? Count me in. This was a brilliant way to bring Jason back. This was the film that gave us really who/what Jason was. Presumed dead, Jason escapes a morgue and returns to Crystal Lake. This basically proves that he’s unstoppable and can’t be killed. Tommy’s (Feldman) interest in mask making was a nice nod to the great Tom Savini. I enjoyed the different storylines that were happening simultaneously. I wish they would’ve explored Tommy’s pasion a bit more. Savini, who had not worked on part 2 or 3, came back to finish what he started. Like part 3, this was also supposed to be the final installment of the series, hence the title. But money and popularity happened, and they decided to keep them coming.

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2. Friday the 13th Part II

I love this sequel! We actually get a dose of Jason as the killer in this one. He doesn’t quite don the hockey mask yet, but the sack is a nice touch. This is by far one of my favorite Jason looks, with the overalls, the flannel and the long hair. There’s another group of counselors who (in my opinion) are just as good as the ones from part 1. To me, this is the scariest Jason. It’s the most realistic and disturbing. I wish I could’ve see this one when it came out. Seeing this for the first time, not knowing such a big franchise will spawn, would’ve been awesome.

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1. Friday the 13th (1980)

You can’t compete with the original. To me, this is a near perfect horror film. You have a group of camp counselors who have no idea what’s coming. They start getting picked off one by one. you don’t find out who the killer is until the end, and you can’t even start to guess who it is throughout. The atmosphere and tone is captured perfectly. The first person point of view is effective and mysterious. Betsy Palmer plays the role of Mrs. Voorhees perfectly. I would’ve loved to see a prequel of when Jason was a boy and Mrs. Voorhees worked at the camp. The first Friday paved the way for some many future horror films.

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