By George Bate & Josh Reilly B.
What better way to celebrate Friday the 13th than looking back at the classic slasher franchises’ bloody, crazy, ridiculous installments. Here’s our list and breakdown of the Friday the 13th movies, ranked from worst to best.
12. Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday
The worst Friday the 13th film is undoubtedly this 1993 supernatural slasher. Eliminating Jason Voorhees as a physical character is a baffling decision, and the film’s supernatural inclinations are as convoluted as they are ludicrous. The one redeeming factor is the stunning post-credits scene teasing a face-off with Freddy.
11. Friday the 13th: A New Beginning
The one Friday the 13th film without Jason Voorhees in some capacity tried to restart the franchise as a murder mystery slasher. Unfortunately, the twist is so abundantly obvious, the kills are tame, and the jokes are cringe-worthy.
10. Jason X
At this point, the franchise hadn’t completely stopped taking itself seriously. Jason X is admittedly hilarious, but it loses some of the spirit of what made the franchise appealing in the first place.
9. Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan
A misleading title to say the least, this film fails to live up to its terrific title. The plotting is heavy-handed, the humor is awkward, and it fails in capitalizing off of the truly great premise of Jason stalking the horrific streets of New York City.
8. Friday the 13th Part II
The first installment to feature Jason as the central killer plays like a typical 80s slasher. It’s entertaining and silly, and it’s clear the franchise hasn’t quite found its footing yet. Nonetheless, Part II is a lot of fun.
7. Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood
With the character Tina, the Friday the 13th franchise tried a Jason meets Carrie movie with mixed results. The series is repetitive and tiresome at this point, but there’s still something so fun about returning to Crystal Lake.
6. Friday the 13th (2009)
The 2009 remake is also (shockingly) the last theatrically released installment of the franchise. Intelligently combining elements from Parts I-III, this remake is much better than one might think. Derek Mears plays a menacing, terrifying Jason Voorhees, while Jared Padalecki adds something different to the series as a man searching for his sister.
5. Friday the 13th Part III
Part III is best known for introducing audiences to Jason’s iconic hockey mask look. It also features a number of hilarious, outdated 3D gags as the film was theatrically released in 3D.
4. Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter
Possibly the quintessential Friday the 13th film, The Final Chapter saw the return of visual effects artist Tom Savini, who crafts some of the series’ best kills in this installment. Corey Feldman plays Tommy Jarvis, easily the most interesting character in this series after the hockey mask wearing slasher.
3. Freddy vs. Jason
A slasher matchup years in the making, Freddy vs. Jason is surprising in its ability to blend the two franchises together so well. It’s a guilty pleasure monster mash movie akin to Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man, with the titular battle exceeding high expectations heading into this movie.
2. Friday the 13th (1980)
The original Friday the 13th has gotten a bad wrap over the years. Its lack of Jason Voorhees aside, the 1980 slasher that started the franchise packs a terrific twist ending and captures the creepy campsite atmosphere so well.
1. Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives
A James Bond-style opening title, a Frankenstein-inspired resurrection sequence, and a sniper scope attached to a pistol. It took six films for the Friday the 13th franchise to finally perfect its formula, heavily leaning into absurdity in a way few slashes do as well.