It’s Friday the 13th, which means two things: avoid stuff like black cats, walking under ladders, doppelgangers, and hanging a horseshoe with the ends pointing down; and also it’s the perfect excuse to revisit the fantastic hit horror series focused on the masked menace Jason Voorhees.
If you’re getting ready to marathon the movies on this special spooky day, then you’re in luck as we’ve ranked all 12 films (including the 2009 remake) for your delectation. So strap on your hockey mask, head to your local cabin in the woods and get ready to look back at one of the most strange and successful horror franchises of all time.
12. FRIDAY THE 13TH (2009)
Though this ’00s remake is a serviceable slasher flick with a good level of tension and suspense, the decision to essentially make it a recap of the first four Jason movies combined with its slick oversaturated visuals make it an empty experience for a Friday the 13th fan. Creating a new, slicker and quicker Jason, this is also the only post New Blood movie that doesn’t star Kane Hodder as Jason Voorhees, and his menacing, lumbering form is sorely missed.
11. FRIDAY THE 13TH: A NEW BEGINNING (1985)
Intended to start a new trilogy with a new villain, the fifth entry was the first to move away from Camp Crystal Lake’s creepy cabin, focusing on an adult survivor of Jason. It begins with a classic slasher movie trope–someone dies in a dangerous prank–and continues to rack up the body count until the final disappointing reveal. The first movie since the original to have a killer other than Jason, though fun, A New Beginning never quite hits the heights of the other films in the franchise.
10. FRIDAY THE 13TH PART VIII: JASON TAKES MANHATTAN (1989)
One of the biggest critiques of this film is a fair one: Jason only actually makes it to Manhattan at the very end of the movie, but even so, it’s still a ridiculous romp set on a boat. After being resurrected via some dodgy underwater wiring, Jason returns and stows away on boat filled with graduating students. It’s as fun as it sounds, and includes some pretty great kills including DEATH BY GUITAR!!
9. FREDDY VS. JASON (2003)
Over a decade in the making, this killer coupling was hinted at in the credits of Jason Goes to Hell and finally came to fruition in the early ’00s. This is a peak 2000s movie with corny CGI and a nu metal soundtrack, but it’s undeniably fun to see the two horror icons team up to take down some local teens who’ve forgotten about Freddy, before taking each other down.
8. FRIDAY THE 13TH: THE FINAL CHAPTER (1984)
The first of the franchise’s many “final” films, this entry stars Corey Feldman as the only kid who can truly kill Jason… well, until the next movie. As always, the young victims are heading to Camp Crystal Lake, and after a questionable decision by a local authority figure to take Jason’s body to the morgue, he magically comes back to life ready to kill some badly behaved kids!
7. JASON GOES TO HELL: THE FINAL FRIDAY (1993)
The most supernatural of the series, this was New Line’s first Jason movie, and it’s truly a wild ride. Picking up after the end of Jason Takes Manhattan, this film includes many wonderfully weird moments, including Jason getting blown up by an FBI bomb, Jason’s spirit possessing a lot of people, and one of Jason’s blood relatives finding a magical dagger that only she can wield to kill him.
6. JASON X (2001)
Jason in space! Yup, this high concept sequel really delivers on the wild premise, and it’s one of the most fun franchise entries. Here we join a group of strangely dressed future teens who discover the frozen corpse of Jason floating in space and decide to thaw him even though he’s holding a massive machete! This includes one of my fave deaths, as Jason beats two CGI girls to death in a sleeping bags inside a virtual reality machine!
5. FRIDAY THE 13TH PART III (1982)
Most notable for the fact that it introduced Jason’s now iconic hockey mask, this sequel also replaced E.T. at the top of the box-office! Sticking pretty close to the formula that made the first two films so popular, we see Jason terrorizing some coeds who’ve made the very bad decision to vacation at Camp Crystal Lake. It does feature some classic deaths, including a good ol’ murder by burning hot poker!
4. FRIDAY THE 13TH PART VI: JASON LIVES (1986)
In this entry Jason Voorhees magically gets brought back to life by electricity setting up the more supernatural, superpowered killer that we see in the rest of the films. Though Corey Feldman doesn’t return, it’s his character Tommy Jarvis (now played by the beefy Thom Mathews) who goes to Jason’s grave and inadvertently resurrects him, having to stop him all over again. Its fourth wall breaks and meta-humor make Jason Lives an obvious precursor to later slashers like Scream.
3. FRIDAY THE 13TH PART VII: THE NEW BLOOD (1988)
In the wake of supernatural movies like Carrie, Poltergeist and Firestarter this late entry to the franchise sees a young telepath accidentally wake Jason from the watery depths of Camp Crystal Lake… with her mind! This eerie oddity is a total trip, and it subverts your expectations at every turn, as well as having a great “evil doctor” that you’ll love to hate. A total hidden gem in the Friday the 13th series.
2. FRIDAY THE 13TH PART 2 (1981)
As Drew Barrymore learnt in Scream, Jason isn’t the killer in the original Friday the 13th movie, but he is in this sequel! Yup, after the death of his murderous mother in the original film, Jason returns to wreak havoc on the people he deems responsible for the murder of his mom. A perfect introduction to a horror icon, the opening of this film leaves you in no doubt about whether or not Mrs. Voorhees has returned, and from then on it’s all-out teen killing carnage.
1. FRIDAY THE 13TH (1980)
The iconic film that started it all! It’s hard to overstate the reach and impact of this classic horror flick. Originally made to cash in on the unexpected success of Halloween, this movie’s low-budget brilliance and visceral gory deaths made it a smash hit. It still has one of the best and least expected killer reveals of all time, and the fantastic final scene is arguably one of the most famous in horror history.
What’s your favorite Friday The 13th film? Are you more of a Freddy fan? Shocked at our rankings? Let us know below!
Images: Warner Bros., New Line, Paramount