The Best Movie In The Friday The 13th Franchise According To 50% Of Fans We Polled

(Welcome to Survey Says, a feature where we conduct a movie-related survey for a random group of people and explain why they're completely right, completely wrong, or somewhere in-between.)

Successful horror movies have a tendency to be turned into franchises because they are generally cheap to make, and even seemingly modest success can be enough to justify an endless string of sequels. Just look at "The Howling," which somehow has seven sequels and a reboot on the way. But one of the biggest, most enduring franchises in the history of horror is without a doubt "Friday the 13th" and it is, in many ways, the quintessential horror franchise. It's got an absolute slasher icon in Jason Voorhees, who has been to all manner of places, including space and hell. Who cares if the continuity is kind of all over the place? But with so many movies in the franchise, what movie do fans like best? We set out to answer that very question by using the best method available, a random survey of a small pool of people on the internet! Here are our very scientific and not at all debatable findings.

Survey says...

Coming in with an overwhelming 50% of the total vote (consisting of 609 respondents in the U.S.), the original 1980 slasher classic "Friday the 13th" absolutely dominated the competition. Indeed, the slasher film that started it all, and the one that paved the way for a tidal wave of other slashers to arrive throughout the 80s (after "Halloween," of course), remains the king of the hill in the eyes of the internet more than 40 years later. None of the others even come close. Meanwhile, on the other end of the spectrum, "Jason X," the one where Jason goes to space, didn't get a single vote. (A tragedy if you ask me.)

Coming in second place was "Freddy vs Jason" from 2003, the much-hyped battle between our hockey-masked slasher and Freddy Krueger of "A Nightmare on Elm Street" fame, which notched just over 16% of the total vote. It is a distant second, admittedly, but an interesting one, especially since it is not necessarily considered to be one of the better entries in the series. Though it does have the somewhat unfair advantage of having Robert Englund's Freddy along for the ride. That undoubtedly gives it an edge in some way, and that final battle between the two horror icons is absolutely worth the price of admission.

The rest of the entries were basically fighting for scraps compared to the top two choices, with 2009's "Friday the 13th" remake/reboot taking in a little less than 10% of the vote and rounding out the top three. Amazingly, that is the most recent film in the franchise given that the ongoing, messy lawsuit has tied up any chance of a new bloody ride with Jason for years now. 

Then we have "Friday the 13th Part 2" taking in just over 7% of the vote, and "Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood" coming in just behind that with a little over 6% of the vote, which is quite honestly a healthy amount for a sequel that involves a teenage girl that essentially has superpowers. Following that, there's "Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday" with a little less than 6% of the vote, and last but not least, "Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives," earning little more than 5% of the vote. That's a bummer, given that this is one of the more inventive and downright fun sequels in the whole series.

What's really striking about these results is that "Part 3" didn't get any votes either, and it really is in many ways the defining movie in the series. It wasn't until "Part 3" where Jason gets his signature hockey mask that the iconic image of Jason truly comes together.

A kind of surprising winner

The trajectory of the "Friday the 13th" movies is an interesting one, mostly because they evolved so far beyond the franchise's roots. The original movie, directed by Sean S. Cunningham, was a pretty simple slasher flick about a bunch of young people getting killed at a summer camp on a lake. The twist, of course, is that Pamala Voorhees is revealed to be the killer, with Jason only popping up in the movie's final moments, emerging from Camp Crystal Lake for one final scare. It's "Part 2" that puts the focus on Jason, with the boy all grown up and ready for blood. 

Despite the lack of Jason, the machete killings, and the over-the-top deaths that would come to define the series in the years that would follow, it is still the relatively simplistic original film that manages to garner this much love all these years later. It makes us wonder if there might be something to that, and maybe the filmmakers of an eventual reboot might want to take that into consideration. Obviously, Jason is needed, but the fondness for that first film lingers, and perhaps that should permeate the inevitable return of "Friday the 13th" on the big screen (or maybe even a streaming service) when the time comes.