Friday The 13th

4. Friday the 13th (2009)

The 2009 remake of Friday the 13th is the slick, stylish, and funny shot in the arm this series had been demanding for 20 years. Retelling the basic events of the original three films, this is a movie that is well-aware of the public perception of Jason Voorhees, ready and willing to give the people what they want and subvert expectations in equal measure. Jason himself is no longer a lumbering titan, but a lean and crafty backwoods survivalist who moves like a panther and thinks like a guerrilla. His victims, while still broadly sketched, are a likable bunch who stand out as the overall best pack of fresh meat this series has ever seen. The kills, while outrageous enough to get a midnight crowd hooting and hollering, are vicious enough to leave you dizzy. This movie is a total blast.

friday the 13th movies ranked friday the 13th part 2

3. Friday the 13th Part 2 (1981)

Pre-hockey mask Jason is one hell of a thing. He’s weirdly human (you can kick him in the groin and he tumbles right over), he wears a bag over his head to disguise his hideous features, and so on. But like his later incarnations, he’s capable of shattering the laws of physics. While later movies utilize a “teleporting” Jason as a crutch to get around actually staging proper chase sequences, Friday the 13th Part 2 upends reality in ways that are often troubling and effective. Jason kills from impossible angles, appearing from off-camera in ways that his victim (and us) should have seen coming. While this could be frustrating, the result is something compelling and queasy, feeling more like a nightmare than anything else. There’s an artfulness to the violence in Part 2 that is missing in almost every subsequent film, making this the rare Friday the 13th film to actually feel uncomfortable.

friday the 13th movies ranked the final chapter

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

After sitting out parts two and three, make-up genius Tom Savini returns to kill off Jason and that makes all the difference in the world. Every death in Friday the 13th Part IV: The Final Chapter is gruesome, with each one seemingly trying to top the one that came before it. It’s a smorgasbord of violent delights, a mic drop that reverberates through the eight subsequent movies. While the practical effects are a key component to making this one work, the film surrounding those gruesome set pieces works, too. The victims are a varied bunch, more capably acted than most, and the rainy, nighttime setting does wonders for atmosphere. Perhaps most important is the introduction of Tommy Jarvis, the young horror buff who manages to do what so many teenagers have failed to do: kill Jason Voorhees. If Part III is the purest distillation of the Friday the 13th formula, Part IV is the best-executed version of it.

friday the 13th movies ranked jason lives

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

When it came time to rank these films, I struggled with the number one spot. Do I pick the movie that is best at being a Friday the 13th movie or do I pick the movie that I’d sooner watch again, right now? I went with the latter. Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives is less of a film and more of a party, a celebration of the series that indulges the audience in just about every way. There isn’t much of a story here. For the most part, it’s just Jason Voorhees (now a zombie re-animated by lightning) wandering through a series of vignettes, where he encounters various groups of quickly sketched characters and ruthlessly dispatches them. It helps that the victims in these vignettes tend to be very entertaining and it helps that the film never gets lazy with their demises, consistently finding clever ways to kill them off. And most of all, it helps that the film is very much a horror comedy in the same vein as Evil Dead 2 and Braindead, going for the laugh just as often as it goes for the scare. Jason Lives is more of a reaction to the previous movies than a continuation, but there’s no denying the love it has in its heart for Jason and the slasher genre in general.

Pages: Previous page 1 2 3

Cool Posts From Around the Web: