Saturday, May 14, 2011

A countdown of the best and the worst of the Friday the 13th films

By: Brandon Sites (  

With it being Friday the 13th and all, I thought what better way to celebrate what should be considered a major holiday for horror fans everywhere then with a countdown of the best and the worst of the Friday the 13th series. The series has certainly experienced its highs with plenty of low lows throughout the years, but one thing is for certain and that is the fans undying love for this iconic horror film franchise.

The bottom 3:

Pretty uninspired stuff even by the low standards that this series has set forth. Rips off horror films left and right, in particular Twitch of the Death Nerve and The Town That Dreaded Sundown. And what is up with the edited death sequences? Almost no gore, no nudity, no nothing.

A half hearted attempt at trying to accomplish something different. The film introduces elements of mystery as it tries to spin a web in which the viewer has to figure out if Jason is alive, if the protagonist is killing everyone or if someone new has token Jason's place. The answers to this are all too obvious so this sense of mystery adds up to nothing. This entry also introduces teen characters that are in a halfway house, but fails to bring any depth or explore this idea of troubled teen characters. This entry is all the more disappointing, because the plot had the potential to have really done something unique and interesting at the time, but it gets stuck trying to be another uninspired slasher.

And the worst of the worst goes too.....

Changing up the story this late into the game was a bad move on the part of the producer's as this entry lacked logic even more so then previous entries if that is even possible. Another mistake - keeping Jason off screen for so much of the film's running time. He's what made the series so this entry should have, more so, then others delivered on the Jason action.

TOP 3:

Carrie vs. Jason! At least this entry tried to do something different by giving him a worthy opponent in Lar Park Lincoln as the two of them battle it out to the death in a battle royale to see who will star in the sequel.

Did this entry do anything that was original or different? No, not at all. However, out of all the entries in the series, this one featured the most appealing and likable cast of the bunch. Since, you actually cared about these characters it helped to make the film all the more suspenseful and scary. This entry also marked the return of Tom Savini's show stopping effects to the series.

And the best entry in the series is....

The film's play on teenagers engaging in amoral behavior and then being dispatched of by an unseen killer helped to establish the rules of the genre. Combine that with Tom Savini's hideously gory special effects and thus was born a franchise in which the audience cheered and rooted for the killer. ....BUT wait, who are we kidding? The thing that stands out the most about Friday the 13th is that legendary finale in which Betsy Palmer turns in one of the most memorable performances that the genre has ever seen.


Rabid Fox said...

I won't put up any argument beyond saying Jason X remains the worst, most insufferable of the franchise. Though, the whole Pigs in Space motif probably excludes it from the canon of films. :)

Keef said...

I like most of the "F13" series to some degree or another, but "Jason Goes To Hell" was an abomination. As far as I'm concerned that film does not exist.

My personal fave is "Part VI: Jason Lives," but nostalgia probably plays a big part in that since it was the first one I saw in a theatre back in the day.

I actually don't mind "Jason X," though I know I'm in the minority. It actually works better if you treat it as a parody of the "F13" series rather than a serious entry.

MrJeffery said...

I actually enjoy Part 2. Your Top 3 are some of my favorites in the series as well. Never made it through Jason Goes to Hell.

thewritersjourney said...

Part 2 one of the worst? No way! Now, part 3...that was pretty awful.

Big Daddy aka Brandon Sites said...

I don't care for part three as well, but part three had two well done death sequences that stops it from sinking to the bottom with part two.

The series has never been known for original storylines, but they never really had to copy other films either except part two. Part two ripped off from other films left and right. And when I say ripped off, I mean as in though they lifted entire scenes from other films and filmed it for Friday the 13th. The one scene that stands out as the biggest rip is when Jason puts the spear through the couple having sex. It's almost frame for frame exactly the same as Twitch of the Death Nerve which came out in 1971.

iZombie said...

they were all bad, that is what makes them all good... i don't all were bad, they all have something that makes them good...