Friday the 13th Films: Worst to Best

To try and think about making a top 10 list of the Friday the 13th movies is kinda silly, right?  Wrong, sure the movies are all similar but the different at the same time.  In this countdown I am going to include the 2009 remake and Freddy vs Jason.  So that is how we get the top 12 or simply Worst to Best, from the first movie all the way to Jason Goes to Hell and beyond, I mean space beyond.

I also noticed and I am sure it has been said before, but the first six movies are like two separate trilogies.  The first of course all about Jason’s rise and the second his fall and the rise of Tommy Jarvis, then ultimately Jason’s return.  I actually put some deep thought into my list.  I actually surprised myself with the place of a few of the movies.  But I will let you see what I mean.  If you haven’t seen it yet, check out His Name was Jason.  It is a great documentry about the series and fun to watch for any fan.

Please sit back relax and pause your Friday the 13th marathon to read Rayzor’s latest top 10 list or Worst to Best Friday the 13th Movies.  Enjoy!  Oh yeah be warned, spoilers ahead, and if these are spoilers to you, just leave this page and start watching these movies.  Then you can come back.

12. Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday (1993)

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This is the ninth Friday the 13th, just to be clear. Paramount lost the rights to Jason and New Line Cinema picked them up.  But Paramount kept the title Friday the 13th.  This move by New Line was to bring the Freddy vs Jason movie to life.  It worked, ten years later.  This was the third time they tried something different, but this was so far out of the box.  I loved this movie and I was fortunate to see this in the theater when I was 13 years old, when I was 13 years old.  This was a different time and I became more aware of things and realized what is the deal.  It is terrible and I think the worst of the series.  Watching the Crystal Lake Memories, it really hurts this film and it becomes less enjoyable.

To explain a little more, the whole body jumping thing in the movie seemed to far removed from the story.  I am just glad this was not Kane Hodder’s final appearence as Jason.  We see Jason at the beginning of the film and at the end, the final conflict.  Overall it was bad and too different.  I love the character Creighton Duke, the bounty hunter, but where was he in the rest of the series?  I love a bounty hunter is out to get Jason, that would have been really cool, if done differently.  But why the bloodline story, taken right out of Freddy’s Dead: The Final Friday.  Of course the ending with Jason going to hell and the masked being ripped underground by Freddy’s hand, actually Kane Hodder’s hand.  I want to also mention this is my least favorite look for Jason, his swollen head is, just plain ugly.

Last thoughts on Jason Goes to Hell: the Final Friday:

So, where does this movie fit in the timeline?  I ask you, how did Jason get back to Crystal Lake?  This movie is a sequel to Jason Takes Manhattan, right?  I have heard this in some ways skips over Friday the 13th part 2 through Jason Takes Manhattan.  The purpose was to kill Jason and to quote Sean Cunningham, “Get rid of the damn hockey mask”.  Well, whatever, this is the worst of the films

11. Jason X (2002)

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This final movie and the final time they wanted to do something different, again.  Jason in space, sounds extremely dumb.  But it was your typical Friday the 13th movie, only a different setting.  The story was pretty weak, but the kills, the kills were top notch.  I loved the Uber Jason costume and make up, just interesting choices in this movie.  I honestly don’t have much to say about this one.  I mean, it is Jason in space.  There are some fun moments, like the beginning with another horror great, David Cronenberg.  I really think for a Jason in space movie this worked well.  But I do have so many questions.

Final thought on Jason X:

My biggest thing about this and Jason Goes to Hell and even Freddy vs Jason.  What happened to get to this point?  In the 1980s Friday the 13th movies were pooped out almost every single year.  There is a big fan following for the series, so why?  Why has it taken so long to get a sequel for the 2009 remake?  Why is there going to be a remake and where do I submit my idea.  I have two ideas, a sequel to Jason Takes Manhattan and a remake with a slightly different take.  I am a huge fan of the series and I do not just claim.

My son loved this movie, he is 7.

10. Freddy vs Jason (2003)

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I have gotten two different questions about this movie.

1.Who wins?

Well, neither really wins.  Jason is Freddy’s bitch boy, but he has more kills.

2.Is this a Freddy movie or a Jason movie?

I think it is more of a Freddy movie, they both fight on each other’s turf.  But it feels more like a Freddy movie.

Freddy vs Jason was a fun movie to see.  Watching it over the years, it really is not a great addition to either series.  There are took many problems and it begins with the director, Ronny Yu.  There were bad decisions after he was brought on board.  Jason, no matter the size, should have been Kane Hodder.  That was a problem.  Jason was never a giant.  The mask was an issue, which brings me to this question.  Where does this fit in the timeline?  Is it its own sequel of part III or part 2?

I don’t know, this movie is fun and I do like it better than Jason Goes to Hell and Jason X.  I do have a lot of issues, but we may never get another Freddy vs Jason movie, so I am going to take what we can get.

Final thought on Freddy vs Jason:

Well, I would like to see another Freddy vs Jason, but not a sequel.  It would be amazing to get the fans involved in the writing process and possibly crowd fund the movie.  This would be Robert Englund’s farewell to Freddy and Kane Hodder’s dream would come true as he would play Jason for the final time.  This to me would be the end all, be all for Freddy vs Jason.

9. Friday the 13th part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan (1989)

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I have to be honest, I was always very hard on this movie.  But it really was one that I watched a lot.  Let’s think about this movie for a minute.  Jason is taken out of his element, Crystal Lake for the first time.  The movie is more about Jason on a boat to New York.  I get the way they wrote the movie this way and there were problems with filming in New York, but why in the hell did they take Jason out of New York?  We see three of the bottom four movies Jason leaves Crystal Lake.  So filmmakers, this should tell you, do not take Jason away from Crystal Lake.  Crystal Lake is a large lake, it has to be, to lead to an ocean, right?

Other than that, the same formula is there, but on a boat and then “New York”.  So it is not terrible.  I can still watch this one with no problems at all.  I just am not a fan of pulling Jason from Crystal Lake.

Final thought on Friday the 13th part VIII – Jason Takes Manhattan:

This is the most viewed Friday the 13th for me, well growing up.  It was the only one know had on home video until 1996.  But, talking to others, I do think this one gets a bad reputation and truly it is better than three other movies.

8. Friday the 13th part 3 3D (1982)

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Ok, this is may be one of my least favorite of the series.  Lets start with Chris, the main character of the story, she is returning to her lake house with her pot head friends for the first time since she was attacked by Jason.  Ok why go back?  What in the hell is wrong with this girl, she is whiny and near hysterical throughout the entire movie.  Not a fan, plus this movie was all over the place, with the bum in the middle of the road with an eye ball and the biker gang.  Then there is Shelly, what a shit burger.  This guy knows how to mess up a wet dream.  But he does give Jason his mask.

The positives that come from this movie are a very few, we find out Camp Crystal Lake is located in New Jersey and well Crystal Lake.  A sign in the general store says where it is, and the name escapes me.  One of the prettiest girls of the series Vera played by Catherine Parks, but she is not the best looking of all.  But the biggest thing to come from this one, is the mask.  Yeah sure the dumb ass Shelly brought it in his bag of gags.  He used it to scare Vera and then Jason killed him and took the mask.  The best part Shelly tried to get help after he was cut, but he cried wolf too many times.  Also, not only does Jason get the mask, it gets its first battle damage with the ax wound.

Final thought on Friday the 13th Part 3-D:

Oh the 3D really makes it hard.  The silly gags of things pointing at the camera to get the 3D effect, some of them get in the way of the story.  The filmmakers changed the look of Jason, which became very iconic.  Was there 2 crazy mongoloids running around Crystal Lake?  I think his look in part 2 without his mask was great and I bet, if you throw the hockey mask on that make-up, he would look pretty awesome.  By far the weakest of the first 4 movies.

7. Friday the 13th part V: A New Beginning (1985)

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Ok, this was the first attempt at something different.  It was different because Jason was supposed to be dead, so it made the movie kind of a “who dun it”.  I hated this one for years, SPOILER Jason is actually dead and not the killer, as I said and that was enough.  I couldn’t get past that for a long time.  But I got over it after many talks with my brother, who is a huge horror fan and critic.

There are some interesting things in this movie and it turns out to be kind of a fun movie.  It follows the same formula as the rest of the movies, with a twist.  This is actually a pretty decent way to go, I figure after the Final Chapter it could have gone a bunch of ways.  Most thought it would be Tommy Jarvis and at times, I could see people possibly thinking Tommy could have been the killer.  I actually thought it was Vic.  But again, this movie did get a little smart and a little easy.

This was the second part of the “Tommy Jarvis Trilogy” and the weakest, but has it’s moments.  While Jason is usually the attraction, the mother/son relationship Ethel and Junior steals the show.  To quote Ethel, “Junior will you shut…the…fuck…up”.  My brother usually laughs pretty good during that scene.  Another interesting thing about about this movie, it has connections to other movies.  Violet is the daughter of A Nightmare on Elm Street’s Brooke Bundy.  Dr. Matt Letter, is the guy who gives Indiana Jones his hat in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.

Final thought on Friday the 13th part V – A New Beginning:

Reggie the reckless gets to see his brother, Demon for the night.  After Reggie leaves Demon has to take a dump, he goes to the port-a-potty.  His girlfriend gives him a scare and he utters the brilliant line, “you’re gonna get it bitch”.  Then they begin to sing together.  Holy shit what a great scene.  Fun movie and it kind of mocks the rest of the series, but it has a place.

6. Friday the 13th part VII: The New Blood (1988)the-new-blood-1

Yeah Yeah, Jason has met his match.  This is one of the crowning moments in make-up design.  Jason’s full body make-up is great and the face is fantastic, best part it was put on Kane Hodder.  This make-up showed all of the abuse Jason’s body had taken over the years and the best part, his spine.  He really looked like he was under water for some time.  The mask itself has the ax cut in the top and the bottom left has a big chunk from the boat propeller in Jason Lives.  I love this look, not to mention Kane Hodder, wait I did mention that.  This was also Kane Hodder’s first appearance has Jason.

The movie is about Tina Sheppard, she has a gift, she can moves things with her mind and well she killed her father.  So her doctor, Dr. “Bad News” Crews or Bernie from Weekend at Bernie’s, decided to take Tina back to the scene where her father died.  She meets some people who make fun of her, expect one boy.  The only guy to survive up to this point, Melissa is a bitch.

The fight scenes with Jason and Tina were great.  When she uses the lamp and busts it over his head and then hangs him with the wire.  My favorite is when she tears down electrical wire into a puddle and electrocutes Jason.  In my younger days, i didn’t care for it but as I have got older it is great. I am not sure why, but I like it more now.

Final thought on Friday the 13th part VII – the New Blood:

So, in the documentary, Crystal Lake Memories they talk about this movie being called “Frigay the 13th”.  I still don’t see it, I guess most of the guys are like “pretty boys” and i guess the main male character is gay?  I don’t know, this one was always a cool one to watch, the kills and the make-up and Kane Hodder.

5. Friday the 13th (2009)

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I have always been a little nervous about remakes.  But from the beginning of the movie, the credits in fact.  I had a good feeling about this one.  I wondered how they would handle everything with Jason’s mom.  It was brilliant, so this leads people to call this a mix between the original and its sequel.  Nope, it is its own thing, totally.  It is handled very well and could possibly work as a sequel to the first film in a few ways or maybe even a sequel to the second movie.  Sure it is updated, but if we go with story alone and skip how he got his make, it could be a tweener.

The cast is stronger than ever, a lot of familiar faces, to me anyway.  Supernatural’s Jared Padelecki, Danielle Panibaker and others, make this cast the most known.  The story itself works, but where is the sequel.  The original Friday the 13th was released in 1980 and its sequel 1981.  There were 8 movies in the 1980s, 1 in the 1990s and 3 in the 2000s,  I still wonder what happened.  Currently there is a new remake due to come out in 2017, maybe?  I have said it once and I will again, sign me up, I can fix it all.  I have been thinking about these movies since I was a little kid.

Final thought on the Friday the 13th remake:

Derek Mears is the actor who played Jason.  This is great because other than Kane Hodder, there has not been many excited about playing the role.  I have heard in the next movie, remake or sequel, he is in as Jason.  Kane Hodder is the only one to play Jason more than once.  Derek Mears also grew up with a strange condition and can somewhat relate to the character of Jason.

4. Friday the 13th Part 2 (1981)

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31 year old spoiler alert, Jason is the killer for the first time.  There was a long time that I hated this one, but the more I see it and the more I think, it really works.  The approach was a little different with the characters.  I love the when Paul tells the legend of Camp Blood and there are many of the counselors in training who are not at camp when Jason rampages.  Also, this is the only time we get to see Jason without his signature hockey mask.  They could not figure out what to do, so they pretty much stole the look from another horror film, the Town that Dreaded Sundown.  But based on the legend and the way his face should be disfigured, it makes sense.  I am sure he had no way to go out and find that new designer mask.  Hell he stole the hockey mask multiple times.

The ending was pretty decent, seems like Jason gets the girl, if you follow me.  But wait, nope.  Best part of the entire movie was in Jason’s little shanty in the woods.  Ginny is being chased by Jason and she ends up in his place and sees Jason’s mothers head on an altar with a sweater.  She puts the sweater on and begins to yell at Jason acting like his mother.  But the dumb ass moves a little and he sees his mommys head and freaks.

Final thought on Friday the 13th part 2:

There are a  couple of things stolen for this movie from other, older horror films.  The death scene with the couple impaled in the best, directly from Mario Bava’s Twitch of the Death Nerve.  Both work well and I am glad they either ripped it off or paid homage.  I already mentioned the mask, but I feel like that is not on purpose.

3. Friday the 13th (1980)

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Cool Rayzor fun fact, my mother went to see this while prego with me in 1980.  In 2009 my wife and I went to see the remake of this, while she was prego with my son.  Pretty cool if you ask me.

This is one of the most important films in the slasher and horror genres.  It gets lost in the shuffle because the star is not Jason, the killer is not Jason.  If this were a stand alone movie, I think it would be ranked a lot higher on all time countdowns.  It is great, horror, suspense and you do not find out who the killer is until the end.  Sean Cunningham really came up with a great idea.  I just want everyone to take note, this is a great movie.  I mean any movie where Betsy Palmer can be the killer, who speaks for her dead son saying, “kill her mommy, kill her”.  She channels Norman Bates a little.  I love that the killer is a woman, it seems like people who are not familiar with the series or the film who think it is a man.  Friday the 13th was ahead of its time.

Final thought on Friday the 13th:

The pacing is slow and takes a little time but if you have seen this and know it has no Jason, don’t let it keep you from watching it, it’s great.  There some great and creative kills that really make for a great horror film.

2. Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter (1984)

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The fourth and final installment in the…nope not even close.  I guess they thought it would be possible to end the popular series, but when something makes money, make more movies.  But it’s cool, before I knew any better they were making the eighth movie.

So yeah this movie has a lot of great things, Corey Feldman plays Tommy Jarvis, the first of three different actors to play Tommy in three different movies.  Crispin Glover does the dance to end all dances and it is wonderful.  The kills are on the weak side, but the story and some of the damage Jason takes makes up for it.  Jason falls on his own machete, with his head and slides down the blade, that is awesome.

This movie also has the second prettiest girl in the series, Samantha, played by Judie Aronson.  Actually the best looking girls are in this one.  I do hate a couple of characters, like Ted.  I would have like to see more of Rob, who is the brother of a character from the second movie and his hunt for Jason.

Final thought on Friday the 13th the Final Chapter:

Kills, well my favorite is to be determind.  But lets not forget about the fat Hitchhiker and her banana.  Crispin Glover gets a cork screw in his head and a knife in the face.  It was Sam in the lake skinny dipping waiting for Paulie.  But Paulie was DTF for one of the twins and not Sam.  So same goes out in a boat and she is stabbed from under the water.  I did say the kills were on the weak side, but again, seeing Jason’s head slide down the machete was amazing

1. Friday the 13th part VI: Jason Lives (1986)

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This is the first of the series I had ever seen.  I told my mom one night I liked scary movies, this was after I saw A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy’s Revenge and Halloween 2.  So she brings this and Texas Chainsaw Massacre home the next day and look at me now.  I live for horror!

I love this movie for so many reasons, but the song, “the Man Behind the Mask“, by Alice Cooper takes the cake.  No, not for real, I love the story.  This one completes the Tommy Jarvis trilogy.  I also think it has the most complete story.  Sure it follows the same ole formula, but there is more to it. Tommy Jarvis breaks out to make sure Jason’s body gets destroyed, but he Frankenstein’s him instead.  The make up was great, with Jason’s face, the worms and all juicy.  I love when it rains and all the worms and stuff fall to his feet.  I love the Sheriff’s daughter thinking Tommy is cute and helps him along the way.  The paintball scene is great, just a fun movie for the entire family.

Final thought on Friday the 13th part VI – Jason Lives

Wow, this is getting tough.  I have always loved the movie and it seems people don’t care for it as much as I do.  It is the end and and good end of the Tommy Jarvis Trilogy.  Jason also goes from just a crazed mongoloid to supernatural zombie being.  I also forgot to mention the the opening credits.  After Jason puts his mask on, the series pays homage to the James Bond franchise, I love it!

So that’s the list, I hope you enjoyed it.  Feel free to post your order, everyone’s is different.  Everyone likes different movies for different reasons.  Regardless the Friday the 13th movies are improtant to the slasher/horror genre.  So happy Friday the 13th, I hope it has been as strange as mine has.

HAPPY FRIDAY THE 13TH!

About Ray Marek III 243 Articles
I am a lifelong horror fan. I have written for a few web sites, Kung-Fu Comrades, Nightfall Unlimited and Rage of Rayzor. Freddy's Revenge was the first Horror Film I watched, I was 5. When my mom found out I liked horror films, she began challenging me. Soon to follow were the likes of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and Dawn of the Dead. Horror is in my blood, I want to share that with you...my blood...horror. I write unpublished comics. Lifelong dream is to write comics for a major comic book publisher or build my own comic book company.