Have you ever found yourself on a dark and stormy night, debating the merits of Jason Voorhees’ machete mastery over a campfire? Every horror fan has their Friday the 13th favorites, and well, so do we. So we’ve ranked ’em!
Born from the golden age of slashers, the Friday the 13th franchise has given us over three decades of summer camp scares, vengeful Voorhees vendettas, and, let’s face it, some questionable fashion choices (looking at you, 80s counselors). It’s a franchise that’s seen Jason go from a mere campfire legend to an unstoppable force of nature, taking on everyone from telekinetic teens to, well, space marines. And while some entries might have you saying, “They camped it up too much,” others will have you locking your doors and avoiding lakes for the foreseeable future.
But before we dive into the murky waters of Crystal Lake, let’s get one thing straight: this ranking might ruffle some feathers. It’s as controversial as Roy in Part V. Or Telekinetic Tina in Part VII. Or.. all of space in Jason X. So, if you’re a purist, you might want to hold onto your hockey mask. And remember, this list is just one journalist’s take—don’t @ me if your favorite isn’t on top! (or do, I love the drama)
Here’s every Friday the 13th ranked!
12. Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday (1993)
Starting off our list is the ninth installment, which took a… let’s say, unique approach. Instead of the traditional stalking and slashing, we see Jason’s spirit hopping from body to body. While it’s an interesting twist, it strays a bit too far from the franchise’s roots for most fans. If you’re into body possession films, give it a go. Otherwise, it might be best to let this one stay in hell.
11. Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan (1989)
Jason in the Big Apple? It sounds like a fun romp, but unfortunately, most of the movie takes place on a boat. When we finally get to Manhattan, it feels rushed and underutilized. While the idea of Jason terrorizing New York City is enticing, the execution left fans wanting more. It’s worth a watch for the iconic boxing scene alone, but it’s not the franchise’s strongest outing.
A Jason sequel without Jason? Bold move. This installment tried to introduce a new killer, but fans weren’t having it. While it has its moments and pays homage to the psychological horror of the original, it’s missing that classic Voorhees touch. It’s a unique entry, but perhaps a bit too ambitious for its own good.
3D movies in the 80s were all the rage, and Jason wasn’t about to be left out. While the 3D effects might seem dated now, they added a fun layer to the film at the time. This is also the film where Jason gets his iconic hockey mask (RIP Shelly!), so it holds a special place in the franchise’s history. It’s a campy good time, but there are stronger entries in the series.
Jason vs. a telekinetic teenager? It’s as wild as it sounds. This installment tried to mix things up by introducing a supernatural element. While it’s not everyone’s cup of tea, it offers some of the most memorable kills in the series. If you’re in the mood for a psychic showdown at Crystal Lake, this one’s for you.
Reboots are always tricky, especially with beloved franchises. This modern take on the classic tried to blend elements from the first few films. While it’s slicker and more polished than its predecessors, some fans felt it lacked the raw charm of the originals. Still, it’s a solid entry for newcomers and offers a fresh take on the legend of Jason Voorhees.
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