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Every Friday The 13th Movie Ranked Worst To First


The spookiest time of year is quickly approaching,
and if you’re looking for a gory movie marathon, you could do a lot worse than the Friday the
13th series. Friday may not be the father of the slasher
genre, but it’s definitely the crazy uncle — and the unstoppable Jason Voorhees’ signature
hockey mask is now one of the most recognizable icons in American pop culture. For newcomers and hardcore fans alike, we’re
running down every Friday the 13th movie, ranked from worst to best. After sprinting past the events of the original
film, the 2009 reboot moves on to an adult Jason with an intelligent, cunning characterization
that seemed like a pointless change, if not an outright betrayal of the original series. Jason’s seemingly supernatural abilities are
neatly explained away, callbacks to the previous films fall ridiculously flat, and Jason captures
a girl and holds her prisoner — as if he’d ever bother with mere kidnapping. The film had a so-so performance at the box
office but earned dismal reviews, and a lengthy tug of war over rights issues helped sink
another attempt at a reboot. This film simply shouldn’t exist — even
the worst entry from the original series is preferable. On that note… Just one in a long line of films that were
meant to end the series, Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday undoes the mythology built
by the previous entries, reinventing Jason as a vengeful spirit that can only be taken
by members of his own bloodline using a special magic dagger. After being taken by the FBI in the beginning,
Jason spends most of the movie as a spirit, possessing random people by forcibly installing
his heart into their chest cavities. Its only notable moment comes at the very
end, when an appearance by a familiar knife-gloved hand sets up a much better movie — that
wouldn’t show up for another decade. A film that definitely fails to live up to
its title, 1989’s Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan benefits only from the
presence of Kane Hodder in his second turn as the man behind the mask. A ridiculous amount of the movie takes place
in the confines of a cruise ship, while Jason’s actual romp through the Big Apple takes up
perhaps 20 minutes — at the movie’s end. “You don’t understand, someone is trying to
kill us!” “Welcome to New York.” Of course, director Rob Hedden had intended
something very different. As he explained in a making-of book, Jason
was supposed to slay his way through all sorts of iconic New York locations before jumping
off the Statue of Liberty, but the measly $5 million budget wouldn’t allow for any of
that. Instead of that awesome-sounding movie, we
got one of the most visually flat, tedious entries in the entire series. Every long-running horror franchise eventually
embarrasses itself by sending its villain into space. So it’s only fitting that the final proper
installment of the original Friday the 13th series would do just that. After being captured by the government, Jason
is placed into cryogenic stasis for hundreds of years. Revived by some students, he wreaks his special
brand of havoc on a spaceship, receives an insane cyborg upgrade, and is once again seemingly
dispatched for good. Despite its silly premise, 2001’s Jason X
is surprisingly solid, with a ferocious performance by Hodder in his final outing and at least
a couple of the series’ most truly bizarre and inventive methods. A late-film sequence featuring cyborg Jason
in a Holodeck-like recreation of Camp Crystal Lake is also a nice touch, and features a
remixed version of what Hodder called his favorite slay of all time, which just happens
to be featured in the next entry. Despite being little-remembered, 1988’s Friday
the 13th Part VII: The New Blood is noteworthy for marking Kane Hodder’s debut as Jason,
and also for the infamous sleeping bag scene. The film’s protagonist is Tina Shepard, a
telekinetic young woman who inadvertently revives Jason from his watery grave at the
bottom of Crystal Lake while trying to bring her drowned father back to life. Many fans felt that the “Jason vs. Carrie”
premise was a bit of a stretch. But Hodder held the film together, and he
even helped the film set a record for stunt work. In the film’s climactic battle, Tina uses
her powers to set Jason on fire, a scene that was achieved by having Hodder actually be
on fire for a whopping 40 seconds as the cameras rolled. His dedication to the role showed early, and
his hot performance helps make The New Blood a solid entry. It wasn’t until 2003 that fans’ hopes and
the promise made in the last few frames of Jason Goes to Hell were finally fulfilled. Fortunately, the movie of fans’ nightmares
ended up being worth the years-long wait. While it isn’t actually part of the main Friday
the 13th franchise, the crossover Freddy vs. Jason earns its place on this list by virtue
of being so awesomely over the top. A Nightmare On Elm Street’s Freddy Krueger
is bummed that his memory among the living is dying out, making it harder for him to
invade the dreams of children. He decides to free Jason Voorhees from Hell
and turn him loose on his old Elm Street stomping grounds in the hopes that the fresh wave of
gruesome happenings will rekindle the legend of Freddy. But once Jason starts slaying, it’s pretty
tough to get him to stop, so Freddy maneuvers Jason into a showdown before he can slay off
all of Freddy’s potential victims. The film works far better than it has any
right to after spending an eternity in development hell. The franchises’ styles mesh well and there
are a couple of genuinely creepy moments amidst the carnage. The fifth film in the series, 1985’s Friday
the 13th: A New Beginning is a near-perfect Friday the 13th film…that fans absolutely
hate for one totally understandable reason. The ending of the movie reveals that the Jason
who’s been slaying his way through a teen rehab facility wasn’t ever actually Jason
at all, but just some…random guy — specifically a paramedic, upset over the passing of his
son early in the film. Okay. The Jason copycat’s weak motivation was especially
disappointing considering the interesting psychological thriller angle the film takes
before the reveal. A now teenaged Tommy Jarvis, who as a child
put a brutal end to Jason’s reign of terror with the slayer’s own machete, is among the
residents at a home for troubled teens when the happenings begin anew. The implication that Tommy may be responsible
for this new round of mayhem is teased throughout, and his ultimate face-off with the Jason copycat
is truly nerve-jangling. But for most fans, the fakeout ending wasted
all the good will the movie engendered with its crazy ways and high body count. It all makes A New Beginning a very good franchise
entry with one king-sized flaw that ultimately shouldn’t keep it from being enjoyed. The third entry in the Friday the 13th franchise
had the misfortune of being produced in 1982, smack in the middle of the early ’80s 3-D
revival. But if you can get past all the unnecessary
3-D shots that only exist to throw something at the audience, Part III is a tight, suspenseful
shocker that features some jaw-dropping things and sees Jason put on his iconic hockey mask
for the first time. The film’s plot is nothing special: Jason
removes a bunch of teenage friends and their biker gang rivals. Producers toyed with the idea of definitively
ending the franchise with this entry, scripting a conclusion in which Jason’s head is lopped
off by protagonist Chris. But ultimately, Jason’s fate is left hanging
after a nightmarish false ending that illustrates how fakeout dream sequences should be done. At a scant 87 minutes, 1981’s Friday the 13th
Part 2 is short, dark, and efficient. When the carnage starts, it comes fast and
furious. The movie wastes no time unceremoniously dispatching
Alice, the sole survivor of the first film, within its first few minutes. This installment’s Jason is a mute, ferocious
beast. And the means by which he’s defeated — confusing
him by invoking the memory of his dead mother — would become a reliable means of at least
slowing him down in future entries in the series. Despite the departure of the first film’s
special effects wizard Tom Savini, Part 2 offered passing sequences creative enough
to invoke the wrath of the MPAA, who insisted that a total of 48 seconds be cut to avoid
an X rating. It’s still a brutal, relentlessly paced entry
and a worthy sequel to one of the greatest slasher films of all time. The film that launched a seemingly unstoppable
franchise is actually more of a crazy mystery than most of the slasher flicks it inspired. The third act reveal that the guy is former
camp cook Mrs. Voorhees, driven insane by the drowning passing of her weirdo son Jason,
was absolutely jaw-dropping — as was her ultimate fate, thanks to the film’s special
effects genius, Tom Savini. According to director Sean Cunningham, Savini
obsessed endlessly over how to accomplish Mrs. Voorhees’ final scene, and he also designed
young Jason’s look for his surprise appearance at the end. Friday the 13th was a film born of pure money-making
opportunism, but Savini’s groundbreaking makeup effects work turned it into a horror classic. Of course, it also doesn’t hurt that the performance
of veteran actress Betsy Palmer as Mrs. Voorhees is super creepy. “Slay her, mommy. slay her.” The second-best film in the franchise has
it all: tons of campy takings, skin-crawling scares, and great performances all around. The film opens with a delirious sequence in
which Tommy Jarvis literally digs up Jason’s grave on a stormy night, impales the corpse
with an iron stake from the cemetery’s fence, and angrily tosses a hockey mask and machete
into the grave. “F— you, Jason.” Anybody who’s ever seen Frankenstein can guess
what happens next: there’s a freak lightning strike, and a newly reanimated Jason — an
explicitly supernatural being for the first time in the series — goes on a slaying spree. The opening sets a self-referential tone that
continues throughout the movie, successfully making audiences laugh between the jump scares
and brutal happenings. The film is simply a blast: the body count
is absurdly high, and stuntman C.J. Graham is second only to Kane Hodder in his menacing
portrayal of Jason. It’s almost the best Friday the 13th ever. Almost. As the name suggests, the fourth installment
of the series was indeed intended to be the final one. And if it had been, the franchise may have
had a completely different legacy. The film begins with Jason escaping the morgue
and getting set to embark on another rampage — before finally meeting his match in an
unlikely adversary. Jason’s soon-to-be long-time nemesis Tommy
Jarvis makes his first appearance as a 12-year old, played by a young Corey Feldman. Tommy ends up saving his sister’s life in
the film’s nerve-wracking climax, one of the most intense and graphic final scenes in any
mainstream horror film. Ask any truly hardcore fan, and they’ll tell
you: The Final Chapter is the quintessential Friday the 13th film. Unbelievably brutal, and at times unbearably
tense, it’s not only the best film in the franchise, but one of the greatest slasher
films ever. Check out one of our newest videos right here! Plus even more Looper videos about your favorite stuff are coming soon! Subscribe to our YouTube channel and hit the bell so you don’t miss a single one!

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