Friday, November 13, 2020

Ranking the Franchise: Friday the 13th

Last month, I shared my biggest cinematic purchase of the year, a gigantic boxset containing the entire Friday the 13th franchise. Since then, I've already rewatched them. I started ranking the kills movie by movie. I still haven't finished that little venture. However, it is that day, the day that gave these movies its title. To celebrate, I'm taking a break from ranking the kills to rank the films themselves. Since this is a sizable undertaking, I'll stop my yammering now before Jason pops out from somewhere and takes his machete to me.


Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan

As many franchise devotees have noted, this one should really be called "Jason on a Boat." The majority of kills are meh, the story is the lamest of an admittedly weak bunch, and we get a precious few seconds of Manhattan. Toronto actually stands in for it in most of the few scenes he's supposed to be there. At least, it's always got one of the franchise's best kills. 


Friday the 13th Part V: A New Beginning

It's actually a fun watch thanks to having some of the stupidest characters and silliest moments of the franchise. And that's saying a lot. The problem is that the movie has been neutered by the MPAA. There are just way too many cutaways from the kills we come to see. 


Friday the 13th Part III

For a short stretch in the 80s, franchises lucky enough to get a third movie often released them in 3D. 3D, 3rd, get it? Sigh. Unfortunately, in this case, the gimmick is often used in the silliest ways imaginable. Wooooo...juggling. That said, it does have some iconic moments the movies behind it on this list can't manage. 


Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives

After the disaster of its predecessor, this installment brought Jason back into the fold, and none too soon. He and the film get better as it goes along. Early on, we get some of the goofiest, yet most iconic moments of the franchise.


Jason X

It's insane, goofy, makes very little sense, yet I can't take my eyes off it. I mean, it's Jason in Space. In SPACE! This one gives off all the so bad it's awesome vibes.


Friday the 13th Part 2

My appreciation for this one is growing. It introduces Jason as the franchise's new killer and thus, an icon is born.


Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood

In a move that somehow works, Jason takes on Tina, a very Carrie-like character. It gives Jason an adversary who is a constant threat to him. It pays off with a highly fun finale.


Freddy vs. Jason

This movie really is too goofy for words. The fact that it's two of horrors biggest icons just makes it that much better. 


Friday the 13th (2009)

Initially given a bad rap, people are starting to come around on the remake. Jason is smarter than he's ever been. More importantly, he at least as brutal as he's ever been. Make fun of some of the weaker aspects, if you must, but this is upper F13 flick.  


Jason Goes to Hell

This is easily the most unique movie in the series, serving us Jason as a body-hopping menace. This and all the weird happenings that were a turn-off for the younger me are now commended by me as ambitious.


Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter

This is chock full of memorable moments, including a finale taken over by a pubescent Cory Feldman. More important than that, it's the first time in the series that Jason injects a personal touch into his killings. As the old-timers might say, he put some mustard on 'em.


Friday the 13th

I wouldn't argue with anyone who didn't have this in their top spot, but for me, it holds up as the franchise's best. It's the one that started it all and the one that works best for what it's trying to do. On top of that, it's the one I return to more than any other in the series.


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  1. Freddy vs. Jason was alright. It didn't reach standards I expected for the film but that fight in the end was fun.

    1. Agreed, it didn't reach the heights we hoped it would, but I always have fun with it.