Ranking the "Friday the 13th" series
Happy 13th! Here's my opinion of the best to worst of Jason Voorhees. I personally don't count either "Freddy vs Jason" or the 2009 remake as part of the franchise, so they aren't here.
- •"Part 6: Jason Lives"You'd think a list like this would start with #1. It was the first, so it has to be the best, right? Nope. This is the entry that turns Jason into the supernatural, unkillable killer that we know and love. It also has a great tongue in cheek sense of humor and sly references to classic horror films before being self-referential was cool (such as having Jason resurrected by lightning, a la Frankenstein's monster).
- •"Jason X"The last entry in the franchise is one of the best. Since it's usually dubbed the "Jason in Space" movie, it's totally made for the fans. As evidenced by scenes like the virtual reality Camp Crystal Lake moment, or the line, "Guys, it's OK. He just wanted his machete back." Plus, there's no denying that after his "upgrade," Jason just looks so cool!
- •"Friday the 13th"NOW we get to #1. One of the seminal slasher films, a creative take on the classic "And Then There Were None" plot, with (what was at the time) a great twist to the killer's identity. Also not only cemented Tom Savini's reputation as a king of practical effects, but also how well he could work under obviously tight conditions. Oh, and Kevin Bacon.
- •"Part 3"This one is actually the 2nd most important entry, after #6. This is the film where Jason acquired the iconic hockey mask. He takes it from Shelly, the joker character (the character archetypes firmly cemented by this film), after killing him. I also have a soft spot for this one because my parents didn't take me to any of the movies made during this period of 3D resurgence, so I had to wait to see them in non-3D later on HBO. So I love watching 3D without 3D. It's cheesy fun to me.
- •"Part 4: The Final Chapter"Obviously not "final," since 6 more followed. This one is important because without dying here, there's no resurrection in #6 (I'll cover #5 later. Much later.). Plus you get Corey Feldman before he got famous and way before he got weird, and more proof that Crispin Glover was always weird.
- •"Part VII: The New Blood"When the 1st times they had plans for a crossover with Freddy fell through, they went with their 2nd choice: Carrie. They weren't able to get the rights to the name, but "telekinetic teen girl" isn't copyrighted. Also, it's the first film where iconic Jason portrayer Kane Hodder donned the mask.
- •"Part 2"We're on the downward slide, now. This one is where they established the character archetypes that a lot of slasher films that followed would mimic. I do like Amy Smart as the Final Girl, despite her tendency for tripping when she ran. But burlap bag headed Jason isn't as scary. The shrine to his mom is total creepsville, though, but that raises questions about why she didn't know he was still alive, or why he didn't go home to her if he cared enough to make a shrine. Plus, all that tripping!
- •"Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday"Once again, not final. This is a poor entry because Jason is BARELY IN IT AT ALL! There's a fantastic opening to set things up, but then Jason's spirit jumps from body to body. New Line had acquired the rights from Paramount, so we got the Freddy tease at the very end, though it would still be a while before they faced off. I do give them credit for trying to create a mythology for Jason. It just should've been tried in a better movie.
- •"Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan"The title should be "...Takes Manhattan for About 15 Minutes," because that's about all the time he spends there! And it's not until the end! The majority of the film takes place on a cruise ship to NYC, because apparently Crystal Lake is somehow connected to the Atlantic? So, is it now the 6th Great Lake? Whatever. Too much thinking for a lousy film.
- •"Part V: A New Beginning"The absolute worst in the series. I won't go into detail because it doesn't deserve it. Just that it's not Jason, just someone dressed up like him. Lame. Even lamer is the reason the guy's doing it. Watch it once if you're doing a marathon of them all, then try to forget you ever saw it. The only thing this entry contributed to the franchise was it was the first one to use a Roman numeral.