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I Watched All The "Friday The 13th" Movies And Ranked Them From Worst To Best

At some point, you gotta ask yourself, "Okay, but how is Jason still coming back to life?"

For the uninitiated, you should know that there are 12, yes 12, Friday the 13th movies to date.

Jason Voorhees in his famous hockey mask and holding a machete
Ken Kirzinger / New Line / Courtesy Everett Collection

And, I'll be honest, most of these movies are not great. However, the Friday the 13th series remains one of the highest grossing horror film franchises of all time! There's no arguing that Jason Voorhees is a truly iconic horror movie villain, but A LOT of other wild things happen throughout the entire franchise that are, well, questionable. So strap on your hockey mask, grab a bowl of popcorn, and let's break down all 12 of the Friday the 13th movies, in ascending order, from worst to best.

🚨 Note: Spoilers ahead. 🚨

12. Friday the 13th: A New Beginning (1985)

Jason Voorhees in a hockey mask standing in a barn
Ronald Grant Archive / Mary Evans / Courtesy Everett Collection

This is Movie #5 in the series and the worst thing about it is it features a FAKE Jason. Fake Jason runs around killing people at a halfway house (where Tommy Jarvis, a survivor from the previous movie is now). He does this all while wearing a hockey mask with blue (instead of the traditional red) markings, which should've been my tip-off that we were watching an imposter. When the true identity of the killer is revealed to be a paramedic who appeared earlier in the movie (whose son Joey was killed at the halfway house), I was sincerely like, "Wait. WHAT?" And THENNN I was equally confused by the additional twist ending where Tommy puts on the Jason mask implying that he'll now become Jason... Talk about a nonsensical mess.

RATING: 1/10

Choice scene: The chocolate bar

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Paramount / youtube.com

11. Jason X (2002)

Jason in a spaceship about to be kicked by a female robot
New Line / Courtesy Everett Collection

This is Movie #10 in the series and it's mostly set several hundred years in the future...in space. Jason even gets turned into a cyborg near the end of the movie! You'd think these dumb situations would make the movie camp fun, but it's just SO boring. They tried really hard to poke fun at themselves with this one, but the whole thing just comes off awkward and dated. I will give them a little credit for trying something totally wild, though.

RATING: 1.5/10

Choice scene: Jason vs. Future Android

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New Line Cinema / youtube.com

10. Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday (1993)

M. Fellman / New Line Cinema / Courtesy Everett Collection

This is Movie #9 in the series and another example of Jason BARELY being in the movie. The opening alone is SO over-the-top (he's ambushed by a bunch of FBI agents) that I legitimately thought it was a dream sequence. It's not. The rest of the movie follows Jason's soul (?!) jumping from one body to another — basically, possessing regular people. There's also a bounty hunter with a magical dagger who claims to know the only way to kill Jason, which apparently involves a blood relative...and yeah, it's a lot. Jason does eventually get "taken to hell," so I guess they delivered on the promise of the title. And I did like the fun cameo from Freddy Krueger's gloved hand at the end (apparently this was supposed to set up the Freddy vs. Jason movie, but that got sidelined until 2003), but overall this movie is messy AF.

Rating: 2/10

Choice scene: Blown up by the FBI

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New Line Cinema / youtube.com

9. Friday the 13th (2009)

A woman swimming in a lake with Jason watching her from in the woods
New Line Cinema / Courtesy Everett Collection

This is Movie #12 in the series and also an attempted reboot. Honestly, the first 15 minutes of this movie had me. I was like, wow, this has everything you'd expect out of a Friday the 13th movie. There's Mama Voorhees, there's Jason, there's campers making poor choices, and of course CRAZY kills. But from here on out, the movie really drags its feet. It's a long time before anything interesting happens again, and I found myself just not caring about what was happening to the "main" characters. Jason is also inexplicably fast (he runs), agile (he apparently knows how to use a bow and arrow), and clever (he literally sets booby traps), which is fun to watch when he makes his kills, but feels weirdly off for the character. This film does a decent job of incorporating elements of the first four originals (we see Jason get his burlap sack mask, and then his hockey mask for example), although none of it really makes sense. For a reboot, this movie really didn't bring much to the table other than some bad 2000s haircuts.

Rating: 3/10

Choice scene: The bear trap and the sleeping bag

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New Line Cinema / youtube.com

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

Jason on fire
Paramount Pictures / Courtesy Everett Collection

This is Movie #7 in the series and features a girl with telekinetic powers who inadvertently brings Jason back to life. It's basically Jason vs. Carrie. There are some creative kills in this movie (shoutout to slamming a person inside of a sleeping bag against a tree), but for the most part the storyline around this one is very run-of-the-mill: good-looking people party, have sex, skinny dip, and get killed. I think the thing that really throws this one off for me is the telekinetic girl's storyline. It's just so out of place and made me ask, "Why?"

Rating: 4/10

Choice scene: Jason's yucky face

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Paramount Pictures / youtube.com

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

Jason standing in front of a giant billboard with a hockey goalie mask like his on it
Paramount Pictures / Courtesy Everett Collection

This is Movie #8 in the series and, sorry to disappoint you, but it mostly takes place on a boat, despite what the title says. Jason really only spends like the last 20 minutes of the movie in Manhattan. I fully expected to see Jason run around famous NYC landmarks, killing people in ridiculous ways, but NOPE! Jason is also able to inexplicably teleport in this movie, and the main character weirdly has sporadic visions of Jason as a child. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ By the time Jason finally gets to Manhattan, he ends up killing a handful of drug dealers, a few other innocent bystanders, and then drowns/melts away in toxic sewage waste. I guess you could say Manhattan took Jason.

Rating: 4.5/10

Choice scene: Jason vs. some punks in Times Square

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Paramount Pictures / youtube.com

6. Friday the 13th Part 2 (1981)

A young man fighting Jason who's wearing a burlap sack over his head
Paramount / Courtesy Everett Collection

This is Movie #2 in the series and also the first time adult Jason actually appears and is introduced as the killer. Before his famous hockey mask (which he gets in the third movie), Jason runs around wearing a sack over his head in this film — which is equally creepy IMO. The final girl from the first movie appears at the beginning of this one, but sadly for her she becomes the first kill of this movie. Why? Why not, I guess. Jason runs around and kills the usual troublemaking young people, which is fine, but the pièce de résistance has to be the shrine Jason has made for his mother with her decapitated head and cable knit sweater. A TRULY horrific image that I'll never get out of my head.

Rating: 5/10

Choice scene: Shrine to mama

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Paramount / youtube.com

5. Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter (1984)

A camper talks to a young boy, Corey Feldman, who's standing in front of a broken down car
Paramount Pictures / Courtesy Everett Collection

This is Movie #4 in the series and definitely NOT "the final chapter." The character Tommy Jarvis is introduced in this movie (Tommy Jarvis is the main protagonist in the fifth and sixth films) and is played by famous child actor Corey Feldman (into it!). Tommy is a kid who's into monster masks and special effects makeup, and in the climax of the film, does himself up to ~look~ like Jason. It sounds completely ludicrous (it is), but I weirdly accept it. A particular highlight of this installment for me is seeing a pre-Back to the Future Crispin Glover dancing terribly.

Rating: 5.5/10

Choice scene: Tricking Jason

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Paramount Pictures / youtube.com

4. Friday the 13th Part III (1982)

A woman runs into the body of her friend hanging upside down
Paramount / Courtesy Everett Collection

This is Movie #3 in the series and the one where Jason gets his iconic hockey mask. This movie was released in 3D so there are some RI-DIC-U-LOUS shots of things flying at the screen. There are lots of great deaths with barn tools, death by harpoon gun (through the eye no less! 3D, you guys!), and someone literally gets split down the middle with Jason's famous machete...and then stuffed into the ceiling?! Jason also gets the famous "gash" on his mask when he's hit in the head with an ax. So that's cool. It's not an entirely original story — there are a lot of rehashes from the previous two films — but I gotta give this one a lot of credit for introducing THE mask and effectively establishing Jason's look for the rest of the series.

Rating: 6/10

Choice scene: The harpoon gun

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Paramount / youtube.com

3. Freddy vs. Jason (2003)

Freddy Krueger holds his bladed glove to Jason
New Line Cinema / Courtesy Everett Collection

This is Movie #11 in the series and for many horror fans a dream come true to see a clash of these horror titans. The gist of this movie is that Freddy Kreuger raises Jason from the dead in order to create fear among the people in his town, so he can regain power and start killing again, too. The premise, though ludicrous, is kind of great and the logic throughout the movie is more sound than almost all the other ones in this franchise. Yes, the movie is silly, but it was weirdly satisfying to see Jason and Freddy fight both in Freddy's nightmare/fantasy world (where he can do things like make Jason fly across a room) and also in the "real" world of Camp Crystal Lake where Jason has the upper hand. They certainly delivered on the premise with this one. Bonus: This one features Destiny's Child legend Kelly Rowland in her big-screen debut!

Rating: 6.5/10

Choice scene: Jason carrying Freddy's severed head

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New Line Cinema / youtube.com

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

Jason holding a piece of a metal fence that looks like a spear
Ronald Grant Archive / Mary Evans / Courtesy Everett Collection

This is Movie #6 in the series and is, by far, the most fun. I laughed A LOT. There's absolutely nothing scary about this entire movie and that's because it's acutely aware of what it is, and does a great job making fun of itself and the genre. First of all, Jason is brought back to life by a bolt of lightning (ignoring the fact that in the previous film they said his body was cremated), and then he has a James Bond-like opening sequence that's kind of AMAZING. The tone of the movie is borderline comedic (one of the characters even breaks the fourth wall, addressing the audience) and that tone actually works with the cartoonish deaths. Now, it's still not a "great" movie in the grand scope of movies — even horror movies — but it's definitely one of the best of the entire series. Who knew?!

Rating: 7/10

Choice scene: The name's Bond, JASON Bond

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Paramount Pictures / youtube.com

1. Friday the 13th (1980)

A woman sleeps in a boat with her hand dipped into the lake
Paramount Pictures / Courtesy Everett Collection

This is Movie #1 in the series and it's really hard to deny that it's iconic. From the creepy killer POV shots to the *Italian chef kiss* twist ending, this movie has everything a slasher film should have. Plus, Kevin Bacon! If I have two complaints they're this: 1) The movie is really poorly lit (I'm sure on account of it being made on a budget), but some scenes are so dark you literally can't see what's happening. And 2) the music is a total rip-off of the Psycho score. (There are actually a lot of similarities Friday the 13th has to Psycho, but I guess imitation is the highest form of flattery?!) Still, I have to admit, that jump-scare ending gets me every time. A true classic.

Rating: 8/10

Choice scene: Kevin Bacon

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Paramount Pictures / youtube.com

What do you think? Am I completely off-base here? Which Friday the 13th movie is your favorite? Feel free to drop your thoughts in the comments below!

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