WIth the release of the new Friday the 13th remake at the theaters, I thought it might be fun to look back at the previous series. The series has stinkers and also wonderful parts throughout, and I have ranked them in the order that I enjoyed them. Each ranking includes a basic synopsis, and why they were good or bad. No real spoilers here, just basic ideas. How would you rank these Friday the 13th Classics?
1 – Friday the 13th, Part 2
Now this is the pinnacle of Friday the 13th scares. Old enough to have that grainy feel that makes many horror movies of that day creepy, the movie is the first that actually has Jason as the killer. It is also easily the scariest part of all the Friday the 13th movies. The story is good, the acting is good, and the terror is off the charts. In particular, the last forty five minutes of this movie will scare you to no end. There are so many scares in this movie that it would be a crime to tell you how it ends. If you have not seen this movie, rent it tonight. You will be glad you did.
2 – Friday the 13th, Part VII – The New Blood
Friday the 13th – The New Blood is actually one of the funnest thrill rides in the series. Why? Well, for one we finally get an undeterred view of Jason without the hockey mask. Now that is ugly in a whole new way. Two, Jason gets a run for his money by a young girl with kinetik powers. This leads into some very cool chase scenes and the young girl actually manages to hold her own for a portion of the movie against the indestructible Jason Voorhees. Remarkably, Jason does not lose face (no pun intended) in the match up as the girl is shown to have supernatural powers. The movie is fast paced, and has all the things you want in a Friday the 13th movie.
3 – Friday the 13th, Part VI – Jason Lives
Easily the most sylistic movie in the Friday the 13th series, Jason Lives is a quick paced horror flick that will keep you guessing and jumping from start to finish. The movie uses the camera in innovative ways for the first time in the series, and the movie has a very slick feel to it. The pacing is quick, and certain images will stick with you forever once you have seen them. Jason standing atop a crashed motor home breathing heavily and ready to rock and roll stands out to many. The movie centers around a character, Tommy, from an earlier installment and his obsession with killing Jason for good. Top notch entry into the series.
4 – Friday the 13th
This was the movie that started it all, and for the most part it is a pretty good horror movie. Even though the acting is horrible in parts, and the storyline seems to drag sometimes, the movie is largely considered to be one of the horror flicks that started the eighties horror craze. The movie is wildly popular, and for good reason. Not only does it introduce the wildly famous Jason Voorhees, but it does so without him even being the killer! The movie is must see watching for any Friday the 13th fan, and it sets the table for the horror to come.
5 – Friday the 13th, Part 3
This is one of the most entertaining installments in the whole series if for no other reason than the humor. The movie is actually funny in parts and their is just enough spook and gore to keep it true to the horror genre. Jason hacks and sacks the counselors in a number of creative ways and even does it in 3-D. Though the movie is fun to watch, it is still just above average overall. If you take out the hokey 3-D graphics, it surely would have ranked higher. Part 3 is famous primarily because it is where Jason dons the hockey mask for the first time.
6 – Jason X (New Line Platinum Series)
This particular installment of the Friday the 13th series is oddly fun and different in that Jason gets an upgrade straight out of science fiction. The movie centers around Jason being cryogenically frozen and is found and thawed in the year 2455. Aboard a spaceship with all types of characters including a tough as nails female android, Jason hacks his way into the future. While the premise is rather silly, that has never been a problem with Friday the 13th fans. This movie does not disappoint for those that love the series.
7 – Friday the 13th – The Final Chapter
Many lament this particular entry as one of the worst in the series, but I found it to be very fun and enjoyable. It centers around a particular family including a very smart Corey Feldman. (A bit of humor by the producers, there?) The movie does a wonderful job of pulling in all the classic scary moments in the series such as setting, tone, and music. Though it has some very average acting, the movie still does a good job of making the series jump above average. Not every Friday the 13th keeps the tone like this one.
8 – Friday the 13th, Part V – A New Beginning
While this is certainly not the worst of the series, it is also not really one of the best. The movie centers around a group of mentally challenged youngsters and the people that take care of them. Why Jason suddenly decided to attack this group is kind of lost on me, and the movie is not as fast paced as some of the better options. The movie does have some ups however, including a great chase scene that will keep you jumping at the end. The movie is middle of the pack overall when compared to the rest of the series.
9 – Friday the 13th, Part VIII – Jason Takes Manhattan
Not far behind Jason goes to Hell as far as stupidity, this one should never have been made. The difference here is that they do a decent job of keeping the tension level high and spooky. Unfortunately, the movie is based largely on a cruise ship, and then on to New York City. Yes, New York City. That said, Crystal Lake was the missing portion of the movie during the bulk of it. Something about Jason in New York is simply funny, not scary. A very mediocre sample of Friday the 13th lore.
10 – Jason Goes to Hell
Without a doubt, this is the worst Friday the 13th of them all. In this particular installment, Jason is relegated to being only in spirit. That is, he takes over a series of host bodies to do his bidding. That said, the lack of Jason presence in the movie utterly kills any chance that the movie would do well. The idea of Jason is only scary if it is the hockey masked, hulking, never say die Jason. Not some stranger who is possessed by Jason. Definately a stinker.
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