We’ve all seen Jason Voorhees and his relatives stalking through the woods slaughtering teens for the unforgivable sin of having sex – and we’ve all loved it! Jason is the preeminent horror villain and for good reason.
Fitfully working its way through 12 movies, with three different “final” episodes as well as a franchise reboot, Friday the 13th has nonetheless managed to capture two generations of horror fans and Hollywood actors. Appearing in a Jason movie is often considered a badge of honor by lesser-known actors. As Melanie Kinnaman, who played Pam Roberts in Part V, once said, “I really feel the Friday the 13th films are among the better examples of the horror genre. I felt that even doing Part V made me part of a classic film series.”
Yes, Friday the 13th is a cultural phenomenon. No movie franchise epitomizes the slasher flick more than Friday the 13th (which makes sense since it was the original Friday the 13th and Halloween films that breathed life into the low-budget slasher flick genre). Nobody can look at a hockey mask without thinking of Jason. And of course, everyone can immediately identify the unforgettable “ki-ki-ki…ma-ma-ma” soundtrack. But with such movie success comes the inevitable bad sequels and eventually the moment where the franchise jumps the shark.
So here are my rankings of the original 11 Friday the 13th films. Please note that the 2011 short film Freddy vs. Jason vs. Ash is not included here (after all, it’s not a full-length movie). I am also not including the 2009 reboot included in this article. I hope I can write a similar article 10 years from now listing the worst-to-best films in the reboot line of movies.
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