Ee-Ee-Ee; Aa-Aa-Aa. From the vowel-alternative echo of its iconic campfire-haunting antagonist to the moonlit forests of Camp Crystal Lake, F13 is one of the most influential – and awful – franchises of all-time. Ranked.
Plot Synopsis: Friday the 13th is an American horror franchise that comprises twelve slasher films, a television series, novels, comic books, video games, and tie‑in merchandise. The franchise mainly focuses on the fictional character Jason Voorhees, who drowned as a boy at Camp Crystal Lake due to the negligence of the camp staff.
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Friday The 13th 1980 – Camp Crystal Lake galvanized slasher movies into the world’s most profitable cinematic genre back in 1980 – one of the best & most influential slashfests to-date: archetyping many now-genres norms with a natural-subversive concept, brilliant setting, brutal POV kills, and shocking final reveal. 8.4/10.
Part II – From its opening revenge final girl correction, the patriarch of the series and one of the big titans of the horror genre [thunderously]-announces his presence – despite the obvious plot-hole of no news about Part 1’s events a strong cast and brutal pitchfork-emblazed kills. 7.6/10.
2009 – The proper 21st-century reboot the franchise needed and best F13 film in 10+ entries and 27 years, this colder and animalistically-aggressive reimagine of the lore and Camp Crystal Lake goes back to its roots and – from its mythical summarization opening scene onward – reminds us that this franchise can be great under correct supervision – with some original twists and a star-centric cast. 6.5/10.
Freddy vs. Jason – Elm Street vs. Camp Crystal Lake; Dreams vs. Cabins; Finger-Knives vs. Hockey Masks – FVJ pits the two most iconic horror-franchises against each other in a fandom-service battle that delivers the Nightmare On Friday The 13th its title promises.. but could’ve been 10x better. 6/10.
VI – If you’re going to revive the golden-goose as a franchise instead of permitting [peaceful] death, at least let your star-antagonist return. Part VI listens to fans and brings Jason [and itself] back-to-form and better-than-ever: the best F13 film since II. 6/10.
Part 3 – The film that finally gives Jason his mask and establishes the icon of campfire-terror we recognize today, Part 3’s big accomplishment [in 3D] pales in retrospect of the rushed production, low production-value, and lazier kills as the series shot-guns new pictures every year. 5.6/10.
The Final Chapter (IV) – Obviously poorly-scripted in its hospital-revival and final scene with the ‘unkillable’ Jason being put down by a child, The Final Chapter’s well-marketed theatrical run and decently-scripted kills/new setting aren’t enough to send this collection out on more than a whimper. 4.7/10.
VIII – The Big Apple/NYC is the [un]lucky backdrop to one of the most plain-ridiculous slasher movies of the ’80’s, a self-parodical cheesefest that doesn’t even try to be – whose only redemptive characteristic is its boat-transportation to doom. 2.7/10.
VII – A ludicrous telekinesis arc further eviscerates any shred of realism from Parts IV-onward, but at least tries something new – either way, a massive disappointment by a franchise running out of ideas and reasons to keep even its diehard fans watching. 2.3/10.
X – Not lied to once but twice now about the ‘finality’ of this series, Paramount’s treatment of this franchise should be classified as cinematic [and fandom] abuse – and worst of all: the films actively-try and somehow succeed to get worse and worse [despite camp & a decent new 2400’s look]. 2.1/10.
V – The cinematic definition of false-advertisement, F13 completely ignores Part IV’s self-titled ‘Final Chapter’ to release a new [and completely-pointless] bad sequel.. LESS THAN ONE YEAR LATER! Despite a moderately-interesting concept/psych-angle, one of the biggest blue-balls/greedlights in history. 2/10.
IX – The return of Sean S. Cunningham [somehow] pointless, IX may be the worst of the series: a confusion/contrivation of the mythology he created back in 1980’s fresh original that truly seems eons away now: please let this be the final friday. 1/10.