A long time coming, but today I finally finished the Friday the 13th series. I wasn’t a massive fan of the first one or Jason Voorhees in general, so I put off most of the later sequels, although I randomly watched Jason X at some point years ago.
I always said I preferred Freddy over Jason purely because Freddy was more charismatic, funnier and he had more opportunities to be creative with his kills. I like the concept of a hulking, silent killer who lurks in the shadows, but it can get boring if not done right. Now that I’ve finished off both series, I think Friday the 13th is stronger overall. The problem with the Nightmare on Elm Street’s is that they focus on the comedy and campy aspect too much and that’s more likely to fall flat than a straightforward slasher.
But anyway, enough about Elm Street. Here’s a short breakdown of each of the films, followed by my personal ranking of the films.
Friday the 13th (1980)
A little too slow and it feels much longer than it is. Some good effects and kills, but lacking in atmosphere. One thing I like more about this one than the others is how much of a straightforward slasher it really is. Others feel a little contrived, particularly with bringing in supernatural elements, but this is just pure slasher goodness.
Friday the 13th Part 2 (1981)
Even more tedious than the first one and relies too heavily on cheap jump scares. Jason finally turns up, sans his famous hockey mask, and provides some nice slashing, but ultimately it’s a bit of a bore.
Friday the 13th Part III (1982)
It keeps the pace up and is entertaining throughout. The acting is bad, but laughably bad, so it doesn’t hurt it too much. The kills were pretty fun, but I wish they hadn’t cut as much out as they did. There was some nice gore, but they could’ve done much more with it. Also the first movie in which Jason gets his hockey mask so worth a watch just for that. The 3D gimmicks got very tiresome and distracting though.
Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter (1984)
This one isn’t bad, but I found it dull – granted parts 2-4 could do with a rewatch, as it’s been a while. The cast of this film is probably the strongest and most interesting of all the films and has a few cool kills.
Friday the 13th: A New Beginning (1985)
Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives (1986)
Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood (1988)
Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan (1989)
Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday (1993)
Jason X (2001)
I haven’t seen this in at least 10 years, so don’t judge me for this – but I liked it. I remember nothing about it, except for the beginning and the fact it was in space. I’m not really sure why this film even exists really, but I should probably rewatch it at some point.
Freddy vs. Jason (2003)
Brings our two favourite serial killers together and doesn’t totally ruin it. The leads are a bit crappy, but it is a fun film and has some cool deaths; and we get the best of both worlds here – creative Freddy kills and Jason stalking people. I also have a soft spot for the Freddypillar.
Friday the 13th (2009)
Final ranking of all the films:
1. Jason Lives: Friday the 13th Part VI (1986)
2. Friday the 13th Part III (1982)
3. Freddy vs. Jason (2003)
4. Friday the 13th (1980)
5. Jason X (2001)
6. Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday (1993)
7. Friday the 13th Part 2 (1981)
8. Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter (1984)
9. Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan (1989)
10. Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood (1988)
11. Friday the 13th: A New Beginning (1985)