Friday the 13th – Ranking the Films
I’ve read over the past month a few lists of how people would rate the Friday the 13th movies. I’ve done my recommended movies for this time of year but left out this franchise and the A Nightmare on Elm Street franchise as well because I wanted to focus on these two series in their own articles so I could share how I’D rank them.
I’m leaving Freddy vs. Jason (2003) off this list because I’ll try and tackle that movie by itself. I’m also not including the 2009 reboot on this list as I wanted to just try and keep it to the classic franchise. If I would add it, I’d probably put it after Jason X on my list because while the gore is good, the humanizing of Jason in parts didn’t click with me.
Just like the old saying goes, opinions are like assholes – everyone has one. This list is my personal preference of how I’d rank the films. If you don’t like my rankings, leave your own comments or make your own site. Oh yeah, it goes without saying there are spoilers included.
10. Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday (1993)
I think I’ve watched this movie MAYBE three times. The first time I watched it, I hated it and I went back for two more sessions just to see if I could find something redeeming about it. I couldn’t find any. I hated how Jason’s “spirit” moves from person to person after the coroner, for some reason never explained, ate Jason’s heart. A heart that survived after he was blown to bits. Ugh…
The only thing that was worth getting through this pile of shit was to see that iconic scene where you saw Freddy Krueger’s glove pulling Jason’s mask down to Hell at the end of the film.
9. Jason X (2001)
I have no idea why, but Jason is captured (after the Jason Goes to Hell Movie, I guess – or maybe that movie didn’t happen in this cannon), and he is put into frozen state so he couldn’t kill anymore. Fast forward over 400 years and he’s discovered and brought onto a ship. I think you’ll assume what happens when Jason comes back to life.
While this movie’s plot isn’t that bad or even that far off from others in the series, the new look of Jason and the whole setting being in space really didn’t do it for me.
8. Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan (1989)
The movie poster really teased that Jason was heading to the city and we all assumed that he would be filling his murderous lust by taking out New Yorkers. Unfortunately, that wasn’t the case. Instead, we got “Jason rides a boat.” Some of the characters in this film are also so dis-likable that you couldn’t help but cheer Jason on for getting rid of them and that’s why I rate this one a tad higher than Jason X.
7. Friday the 13th Part V : A New Beginning (1985)
Part V was an enjoyable romp, but while I don’t hate this was as many others, the whole notion of Jason not being in this movie was/is a major letdown. There are some decent murder scenes but when you look back at the movie after knowing that the killer was just a Jason copy-cat, it’s hard to look back at this film as a worthy entry in the series, although it’s still better than the other ones listed above.
6. Friday the 13th Part IV: The Final Chapter (1984)
It may be sacrilege for some that I’m not rating this higher, but this is my list, right? Anyway, I like the murder scenes quite a bit in this film but the whole ending with Tommy Jarvis being the one sneaky enough to actually get one over on Jason and hacking him to pieces (or so we think) at the end just doesn’t make sense to me. I do appreciate they tried something a bit different, though. Plus, we got to see former Doublemint gum twins in the film!
5. Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood (1988)
I still like this movie a lot because Jason is more of a supernatural beast in this film and I really like the plot and main character, Tina. It was interesting to have someone like Tina having telekinetic powers to challenge Jason with. I found the build of the plot to be satisfying and the scenes where Jason offs his victims to be well done. If we didn’t have many installments of the series already, this film could probably just stand alone as a good horror movie.
4. Friday the 13th Part 2 (1980)
I like the atmosphere and the “bagged head” Jason in this film. His layer where he keeps his mother’s decapitated head was also a nice touch. There’s enough reason for this sequel to happen as Jason is out to get revenge for what happened to his mother in the first film, who is ironically was trying to get revenge for the initial death of her son. This film also builds the whole Camp Crystal Lake mythology that would tie most of the franchise films together after this point.
3. Friday the 13th Part 3 (1982)
This is the movie where Jason gets his iconic look with the hockey mask. I really liked the murder scenes in this one, but because the movie was made during the early 80s 3-D craze, when you watch the movie on a regular TV, there’s something left to be desired with how they translate. Still, Jason is like a maniac in this film and the last 20-25 minutes of the movie is some of the best in the series.
2. Friday the 13th (1980)
I place the original this high although this has nothing to do with Jason. For a 1980 slasher, I still think it holds up well with many of the classics I looked at in my Halloween movie features. The plot makes sense and the gore/murder scenes for an early 80s film are actually quite impressive. I can see how many were disgusted by it (and the sequels) or instantly fell in love with it. I’m sure Paramount knew they could easily make money on another film after the success of this one, but I don’t think they knew what this movie would spawn.
1. Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives (1986)
It may seem like I’m hopping on some bandwagon by placing this film at the top of my list but this was the movie that came out just as I was at that magical age where I became really obsessed with horror movies, monsters, and seeing what would scare me.
This movie was on our satellite dish (free PPV!) all the time and this was the first Friday the 13th movie I ever saw. With that being said, sometimes it’s the first film in a series that stays with you the longest due to nostalgia. I think with this film, it’s more than that because it hits on all the right levels: the acting is decent, there’s some humour, the deaths are great, the plot flows, and Jason is only out to do what Jason does best: kill.
Agree? Disagree? Hate olive loaf, too? Let me know in the comments section! Tomorrow I’ll have up my ranking of the films in the A Nightmare on Elm Street series!