Every Friday, the 13th movie, ranked by fear

Friday 13 (1980) wasn’t supposed to spawn a franchise, but it did, and after 12 movies, it’s obvious the fear factor has gone down. The series has never had the reputation of being as scary as The Exorcist or Tobe Hooper The Texas Chainsaw Massacrebut there are still a few installments that not only try to instill fear, but also succeed.

Most of the franchise’s actual entries came early on, from Mrs. Voorhees’ reign of terror to the death of her son in Friday the 13th: The Final Chapterbut some later installments also tried to scare.


12 Jason X (2001)

Uber Jason in the virtual reality version of Camp Crystal Lake in Jason X

by Jim Isaac Jason X was marketed as a horror movie, but it barely qualifies as such. Like other later installments, it’s more focused on increasing the creativity of the victims than creating any kind of tension, but at least the destruction of liquid nitrogen is a stopwatch.

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Regardless, Jason X goes too far for the cheeky, lame humor that it can’t be considered an effective horror movie and while the action scene of Space Marines looking for Jason is fun, it also distracts of X to be part of a long-running horror franchise meant to scare audiences.

11 Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan (1989)

Jason Voorhees admiring Times Square in Friday The 13th Part VIII Jason Takes Manhattan

All fear the Friday 13 franchise has instilled in the public is due to a construction. A killer hides behind some trees and watches the councilors gossip, blissfully unaware that their day can, and will, very quickly get much worse.

Something is lost when Jason walks through impoverished-looking Manhattan and removes his mask to show his grotesque face. It’s like Jason stops looking creepy once that happens, because it makes him look more like a Halloween cartoon villain than a dangerous supernatural entity.

ten Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives (1986)

Jason Voorhees resurrected as a zombie in a rainy graveyard in Friday The 13th Part VI Jason Lives

by Tom Holland Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives is a smart movie. Ahead of its time and at times funny in a genuine way, the movie still doesn’t try to scare, even if it’s objectively good.

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Some would say it’s the best installment in the franchise, and it remains somewhat consistent with what’s been established. However, too much emphasis is placed on self-awareness to jason lives to really function as a horror piece.

9 Freddy vs. Jason (2003)

Freddy Krueger and Jason Voorhees fight in Freddy vs. Jason

Yes Freddy versus Jason has it all, it’s the titular final fight as promised. But it ends up being a great scene in an otherwise weak movie, and shows that the slasher mash-up was meant more for the action genre than pure horror.

Freddy Krueger had started handing out one-liners five episodes prior, and that was to be expected, but the film also brought its own brand of humor (namely sex jokes and a “stoner” character straight from Jay and Silent Bob).

8 Friday the 13th Part VII: New Blood (1988)

Behind the scenes photo of Jason Voorhees wielding an ax - Friday the 13th Part VII The New Blood

It may contain one of the most shocking twists in the Friday 13 movies, but Part VII: New Blood is the most compromised of Paramount’s eight installments in the franchise.

The MPAA slaughtered the film, effectively removing every ounce of impact from each murder to appease groups who thought Friday 13 was the bane of ethics and the worst thing cinema could impose on the public. Even still, the heavily zombified Jason from the film is a treat.

7 Friday the 13th Part V: A New Beginning (1985)

friday the 13th part 5 hallucination jason

Friday the 13th Part V: A new start tried to get back to basics by throwing a twist ending at the audience. However, instead of Jason’s mother, it’s an ambulance driver named Roy who once looks menacingly into the camera and is then more or less eliminated by the narrative.

The twisted look of A new start makes the villain less threatening, even though his body count ranks among Jason’s most lucrative adventures.

6 Jason Goes to Hell: The Last Friday (1993)

Jessica stabs Jason in Jason Goes To Hell: The Final Friday

Jump scares are the lowest common denominator tactic in horror, but Jason Goes to Hell: The Last Friday has a pretty formidable in the first 10 minutes.

A woman walks into a dark cubicle, looks around, and takes a shower. It’s a basis Friday 13 opening scene setup… but it ends up being a setup in a completely different way. He’s an FBI agent, and Jason got caught. Before he is caught, however, he surprises both the officer and the audience by popping up to her left as she stands at the top of a flight of stairs. Nothing about the scare is more or less original than any other jump scare, but it showed an appreciation for timing that the rest couldn’t match once it came to swapping bodies.

5 Friday the 13th (2009)

Jason grabs a young man from behind

Like other horror films of the Platinum Dunes era, Marcus Nispel’s Friday 13 is overly reliant on jump scares, but the most recent installment added something new to a formula it otherwise rigidly adhered to. Namely, Jason has the ability and the will to kidnap.

An extension of Ginny Field donning Mrs. Voorhees’ sweater in Friday the 13th Part II, Jason held Whitney hostage because she happens to look like his mother. Fear for his safety hangs over the film, which always starts high with an opening so brutal and visceral that the rest of the film never quite matches its impact.

4 Friday the 13th Part II (1981)

Friday The 13th Part 2 Jason Burlap Sack With Ax

Regarding the fear factor, Friday the 13th Part II follows the law of diminishing returns. Its style, tone, and even the characters all mostly adhere to the original film.

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The first of two by Steve Miner Friday 13 movies in the director’s chair, Part II is less gory than the original because the MPAA cut it almost to the height of The new blood. However, the Scream Factory Franchise Collection included some of the bonus Thought-lost footage, including one of Part IIthe scariest scenes.

3 Friday the 13th: The Last Chapter (1984)

Like the original movie, Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter is one of the best movies with Tom Savini’s FX.

It’s also the last installment in the franchise to really To feel to like Friday 13, and many argue that it’s the best of the series. It’s certainly the most well-constructed and best-written, but it also brings the scare. An example is The Death of Sam by Judi Aronson. She is lounging on a raft in the middle of a moonlit Crystal Lake. The viewer knows his time has come (the first of the film’s main teenagers to die), but The last chapter understands the rhythm of scares, and Jason’s leap out of the water is always a shock.

2 Friday the 13th (1980)

The best movie in the franchise isn’t always the scariest, and while that applies to the Friday 13 franchise, the critically acclaimed impact of the film cannot be overstated.

From the screams echoing on the soundtrack and the underrated acting talent of the cast to the memorable cinematography and beautiful closing melody as Alice is attacked on the iconic Crystal Lake, all on Friday 13 clicks from start to finish. Some fans would say it spends too much time showing mundane activities (Alice making tea being an example), but all F13The little moments make the characters in the film all look like real people, which goes a long way towards making the film a classic.

1 Friday the 13th Part III (1982)

Jason stalks his next victim

Friday the 13th Part III suffers from a whimsical style capitalizing on the 1980s revival of public interest in 3D. However, it was the pioneer of horror films of the decade presented in this format, and its quality is undoubtedly superior to that of the following year. Jaws 3 and Amityville 3-D.

Of the first four classics Friday 13 movies, Part III is generally considered the lowest. However, it’s also the spookiest, boasting a darker tone, especially nasty kills, and a cheap good looks that comes with aging 3D technology and modest budgets. Besides, Part III was the closest Jason has ever come to showing his personality, such as when he gets visibly agitated throwing boxes and tools into the barn. Part III also makes Jason a sadist, such as when he lifts his mask and smiles at Chris Higgins.

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