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Worst to First: Ranking the ‘Friday the 13th’ Franchise

I’m prepared to be flamed to Hell and back for the order in which I rank the Friday the 13th films, but I’m ready. I know this is a completely subjective piece, so hopefully you’ll remember that my word isn’t gospel, and it’s a-okay to disagree with my selections!

Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan

This was a rotten film. Jason took an extended boat ride and showed up in “Manhattan” for all of a few minutes. With the exception of Julius’ glorious decapitation sequence, the film is entirely forgettable. In fact, forget we even mentioned in this article.

Friday the 13th Part III

You can burn me at the stake for this one. I know people adore this flick, I just don’t know why that is the case. This installment features some of the worst acting in the entire franchise, half of the characters are completely unlikable, and it seems there was a little confusion as to who the heroine should be. The CGI has never blown anyone away, even with some restoration. I guess the one thing we can all love is the facial accessory Jason snags up midway through the film.

Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday

This pic had the potential to be absolutely riveting and easily the most inventive film in the entire series. Sadly, the execution was a bit too rocky on too many occasions. At least we do get a particularly heavy dose of gore. That’s worth something.

Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives

The sixth film in the franchise just looks cheap. Flat out cheap. There are no particularly appealing set pieces, the characters feel too cardboard for my liking and, well, outside of the happy face death, the carnage is often times quite tame. More mediocre acting also fills up the run time in this clunker.

Friday the 13th: A New Beginning

More credit goes out to the crew behind this one, as there was at least an attempt at doing something different. And, while we all know the twist these days, a first watch of the flick did indeed produce a legitimate surprise. Did I mention little Reggie is absolutely rad?

Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood

While not my favorite of the bunch, I enjoyed the attempt at merging a more direct supernatural presence into the film. There are moments when it works, but those moments are fleeting. What we’re left with is an incredibly awkward focal group of soon-to-be-victims. They all lack any semblance of decency, and the chemistry between the lot borders on embarrassing.

Jason X

Way back before this one was released, I made up my mind that I was going to hate it. Then I went and checked it out and couldn’t keep my laughter tucked away. The movie is a riot, and often more of a satirical piece than a horror effort. And, to be completely honest, Jason’s space age upgrade looks seriously bad ass. Oh yeah, big points for the war with a cyborg, too!

Friday the 13th (2009)

People can’t understand why I enjoy this film so much, so I’ll break it down very briefly. The acting is stronger than every other film in the franchise, the production values look abundant and lavish when compared to the others in the franchise, and Jason is more terrifying than he’s ever been. This is a brutal film that deserves a chance to impress.

Freddy vs. Jason

Freddy vs. Jason is just a fun flick. It’s a little far-out from time to time, and I’m not a huge fan of the core idea that brings Freddy and Jason together, but when they are together, and when they do finally engage in battle, it’s extremely bad ass! The special effects look very impressive in the final act, and we do get a war for the ages between these two iconic villains. This is about as close as we’ve come to recreating the magic of vintage Universal monster crossovers.

Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter

The first, second and fourth film in this franchise are all pretty much interchangeable. This fourth entry is great as it introduces us to some very memorable characters, and the twists the film gives us are mighty fine by Friday standards. Corey Feldman absolutely kills, and those masks he makes… well, they just push the overall film deeper into great territory.

Friday the 13th Part 2

The true introduction of Jason, who is no longer just a haunting memory, he’s now a grown man in coveralls, a burlap sack and a desire to slaughter the hell out of careless campers. The film does indeed look a bit dated, but it’s an important part of genre history, and I can’t help but adore the flick.

Friday the 13th Part 1

The first Friday flick was a blast because it isn’t treated as a slasher film exclusively, instead it blends some wonderful mystery elements that keep viewers on their toes. The script is pretty solid, and the buildup from the midway point of the film, all the way up to the final exchanges, is just extremely well-played. There will always be room for this treasure, no matter how much time passes.

About The Overseer (2283 Articles)
Author of Say No to Drugs, writer for Blumhouse, Dread Central, Horror Novel Reviews and Addicted to Horror Movies.

2 Comments on Worst to First: Ranking the ‘Friday the 13th’ Franchise

  1. Final Destination // July 9, 2017 at 5:51 am // Reply

    Why would you like the remake? And Parts 3 and 6 should have been ranked higher.


    • Because the remake is a very well-made film with a Jason that is actually frightening. IMO 3 is absolutely horrible and 6 is also one of the major duds of the franchise. Nothing redeemable about 6 whatsoever, and 3 is only good for the fact that they’ve got a giant ripped beast to play Jason and he gets the hockey mask. Beyond that, it’s pretty much Z-movie trash.

      And that comes from someone who, overall, likes pretty much the entire franchise. Even though I like those movies, I have no problem being honest about them.

      Why would you not like the remake?


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