Friday The 13th Franchise Ranked From Worst to Best

Oct 31, 2020

Chi, Chi, Chi….Ha, Ha, Ha

With Sreacm Factories recent release of the gorgeous “Friday the 13th” box set, it seems fitting on Halloween to do a ranking of all 12 “Friday the 13th films.”

Some entries are cuts above the rest, some just want to be entertainingly bad and some are just so bizarre, you’re scratching your head as to how they got made. Whether they are entertainingly awful, or genuinely great, you know you’re always in for a fun time when you pop in a “Friday the 13th” film.

So Happy Halloween and here are the “Friday the 13th” films ranked from worst to best!

12. Friday the 13th Part 5: A New Beginning

The Black Sheep

After “Friday the 13th Part 4” wrapped up, Paramount decided to take a different route with this franchise, a route that leads to one of the worst horror movies ever made.

Misguided, sleazy, filled with terrible characters and containing one of the worst twists in cinematic history; “Part 5” is an abysmal film with almost zero redeeming qualities. If not for one or two great kills, there would be no reason at all to even bother with this one. If you’re going to watch it, do it when you’re watching a marathon.

Otherwise, skip this movie at all costs.

11. Friday the 13th Part 3 (3D)

The Couch Potato

Oh I can hear the horror purists getting their pitchforks out for this one but it’s time to face facts, “Friday the 13th Part 3” is nothing short of a lazy rehash of the first two films. This is literally the definition of “been there, done that.” It has the exact same beats, the exact same plot, the exact same everything. It adds nothing new and is just there to set up Jason getting his hockey mask.

Oh and this film came out during the 1980s 3D boom. However, if you thought the 3D in Jaws 3 was horrible, wait till you get a load of this film. It’s nothing more than people shoving stuff at the screen just for cheap gags. Occasionally it enhances a kill or two, but 90% of the time the 3D is got awful. Then add in some questionable creative decisions, an unnecessary biker gang and terrible comedic relief characters, and you have one of the weakest slasher films of the early 80s.

Outside of seeing how Jason gets his hockey mask, like “Part 5,” the only reason to watch this film is for a few genuinely awesome kills. Outside of that, “Part 3” is simply not worth your time.

10. Friday The 13th Part 8: Jason Takes Manhattan

The Missed Opportunity

It’s well known at this point that this film is more “Jason Takes A Cruise Ship” than “Jason Takes Manhattan” as Jason only appears in New York City in the final 25 mins. Until that point, we are forced to spend time with uninteresting walking corpses on a boring ass ship for 70 excruciatingly long minutes. Even the kills are not that entertaining as the should be. The last 2 films on this list at least had that going for it.

However, despite some awful Jason makeup, once Jason actually gets to Manhattan, that’s when the film becomes extremely entertainingly watchable. That rooftop boxing match where a fighter duels Jason above NYC streets? Classic.

“Part 8” isn’t good at all, but when it becomes the movie it was advertised as, that’s when it’s well worth watching.

9. Jason Goes To Hell

The Least Friday The 13th Of The Friday The 13th Movies

Of all the entries in this franchise, “Jason Goes To Hell” is by far the most bizarre. New Line Studios decided for a different approach after acquiring the rights from Paramount Pictures and the result is a movie where Jason is a black slug monster.

Yes you read that correctly.

In this movie, Jason is a black slug monster that jumps from body to body trying to reincarnate his blown up original body. This movie is all kinds of weird. Weird editing, weird characters, weird creative decisions, it’s just weird.

Most horror fans view this as the worst in the franchise but for being the least Friday the 13th film in the franchise, that doesn’t mean it isn’t watchable. There are some brutally awesome kills here. Some so brutal and gory that it gives the “Saw” franchise a run for its money in that department. Oh and that teaser at the end? Pure horror magic.

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“Jason Goes To Hell” is misguided but deserves to be applauded for the attempting something different.

8. Friday The 13th (1980)

Iconic but Dull

I can hear the angry mob outside my house right now, but like “Part 3,” the original “Friday the 13th” is not the horror masterpiece people make it out to be.

Yes, everybody knows Pamela Voorhees is the killer and not Jason, yes, everybody knows this is the one where Kevin Bacon gets an arrow through his neck and yes, this is the OG film that started it all. We get that, but that doesn’t make this film any less boring or any less of a slog to get though.

There are scenes that are thrown in which do nothing but pad the run time (the bunk bed snake). Then there are scenes that go on for WAY TOO LONG (Alice barricading the door). Finally and this the brutal truth, Betsy Palmer is terrible as Pamela Voorhees.

This is a film that deserves respect for being the original franchise kickstarter but it has not aged well in the slightest.

7. Freddy vs Jason

Should Have Been Epic

For a film titled “Freddy vs Jason,” a clash of two horror titans should have been an event film. But like Batman v Superman, the end result falls well short of expectations.

Not to be fair, when Freddy and Jason eventually fight, it’s a treat for all horror fans to enjoy. Unfortunately, we have to get through two acts of bad CGI, horrible characters and a contrived story to get there. Jason killing kids in the cornfield is fun and Freddy stalking teens in their sleep is always enjoyable. But the characters we are supposed to be rooting for are some of the worst in the franchise and you just don’t care about their issues at all.

“Freddy vs Jason” is great when you’re not dealing with early 2000s teen drama BS, but you can’t help but feel that it should have been more than what the final result ended up being.

P.S. Jason being scared of water is the dumbest thing ever put in a horror movie.

6. Friday The 13th (2009)

A Shockingly Great Remake

This is the film that deserves more love than what it gets because what we have here is one of the better slasher remakes of recent year.

Yes, some of the characters are some the most dislikeable and hated in horror history and yes, the sex scenes are borderline porno. But honestly, who cares? Because this film dared to mix it up and take chances. Turning Jason into a survivalist who runs after his victims is a great change of pace. On top of that, the kills are brutal and sometimes satisfying to behold.

This is a remake that cared about the source material and tried to honor the franchises legacy instead of just cashing in on a brand name. The fact that this is the last Friday the 13th film that we’ve gotten is a crime and it’s about damn time we get a new entry. Horror fans deserve it.

Give this film a chance if you haven’t already.

5. Friday The 13th Part 7: The New Blood

Jason vs Carrie

Getting this out of the way, “The New Blood” is the most underrated entry in the franchise. This is the film that introduced Kane Hodder as Jason and he would go on to define what it means to play an iconic slasher. Big, bruting and oozes screen presents, Hodder is by far the best Jason actor and it’s not even close.

The film itself starts out as everything we’ve seen before (Jason coming back and killing campers). However, it’s when this film gets to the third act that it becomes satisfyingly awesome. Jason versus Telepath Tina is the best third act in the franchise and one of the best third acts of any horror movie out there. To see Jason get absolutely pummeled is beyond satisfying after being such an unstoppable force in every film that he’s appeared in.

But this film has one fatal flaw: the MPAA’s BS censorship.

So many amazing, gory kills were cut down and tamed to the point of having no blood at all. Excuse me, but this is a slasher movie and the MPAA was out of control in the late ’80s with their censorship and “The New Blood” was probably their biggest victim.

Hopefully one day someone is able to restore the lost gore footage because outside of that, this is a fantastic entry to this franchise!

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4. Friday The 13th Part 2

Sack Head Jason is Underappreciated

Picking up directly after the original, “Friday the 13th Part 2” brings in the horror icon we all know and love and he aint happy. After seeing his mother beheaded, Jason comes back to wreak havoc on some unsuspecting campers who think he’s only a legend at this point.

Even though “Part 2” is a rehash of the original to a degree, it takes the foundation the original created and builds upon it. Better characters, amazing kills, perfect pacing and tighter editing makes for a sequel that surpasses the original in every facet. It’s not perfect but for the second film in the franchise, it does more than it’s fair share of delivering a great horror film.

Friday the 13th Part 2 is endlessly rewatchable and well executed with care and craftsmanship. Definitely one of the better entries.

3. Friday The 13th Part 4: The Final Chapter

The First Amazing Friday The 13th Film

Of all the early “Friday the 13th” films, “The Final Chapter” is the one that knocks it out of the park.

You knew Corey Feldman and Crispin Glover were going to be stars just by their screen presence in this film. They are memorable, fun and interesting characters that you can relate to. By Corey Feldman being an iconic child actor and Crispin Glover being the best awkward nerd he can be, they end up adding so much humanity to this amazing sequel.

Then there are the kills.

Almost every character who bites the dust gets a memorable kill to go along with it. Whether that be a speargun through the crotch, a corkscrew hatchet combination or someone’s head sliding down a machete, almost every kill is memorable. Though this film does have a few too many characters, that doesn’t hold it back from being one of the best slashers of the ’80s.

Simply put, “The Final Chapter” is everything a straight ’80s slasher can and should be!

2. Jason X

One of The Most Entertaining Horror Movies Ever

And now the people with pitchforks are lighting my house on fire but I stand by this ranking: “Jason X” is genuinely amazing!!

No, don’t confuse this film with “Halloween Resurrection” which is so bad that it’s good, “Jason X” is awesome in every way possible. This movie strikes the perfect medium of not taking itself too seriously but just seriously enough to where it doesn’t become a parody. Kane Hodder delivers one of his best performances as Jason while delivering probably the best kills in the franchise. The liquid nitrogen face freeze? Yeah, that’s THE best kill in the Friday the 13th franchise, bar none.

This movie has machine gun wielding Androids, Jason coming back to life as a cyborg, catchy one-liners and an overall sense of joy and pure entertaining fun. What more could you want???

“Jason X” is the second best “Friday the 13th” film and one of the most entertaining horror films ever made. PERIOD.

1. Friday The 13th Part 6: Jason Lives

The One That Got Everything Right

Could there have been another contender for number one? No because “Jason Lives” is the perfect “Friday the 13th” film.

It has the best consistency with the kills, the best characters, the best tonal balance of humor and horror and every joke hits its mark. “Jason X” and “Jason Lives” are the only entries in the franchise that know exactly what they are and are very self-aware about it. Even going as far to poke fun at their cliches and their existence driven by profit.

But what pushes “Jason Lives” to the top spot are the characters.

You care about each and every single one of them. The film even earns bonus points for making you care about the asshole dad cop character, something that so many horror films fail to do. So when certain characters actually do die horrific deaths, you feel for them and it hits you right in the gut. Why? Because they aren’t just walking corpses for Jason to kill in unique ways, but fully fleshed out 3D characters that you actively root for throughout the movie. That’s what sets “Jason Lives” apart from every other “Friday The 13th” film.

“Jason Lives” isn’t just the best “Friday the 13th” film but a contender for the Best Slasher Film Ever Made.

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