Top 10 Friday The 13th Films

Just in time for Halloween 2010, Top10Films delves into the murky waters of the Friday The 13th franchise. As slasher killers go they don’t come more famous than renowned murderer Jason Voorhees and his many helpless victims. But how many times can we stomach the same film played over and over again (and I’m not just talking about the remake!). We’ve trawled through the entire series to rank them in order – which ones to watch and which ones to avoid. Hopefully, therefore, Jason (and his mother) won’t spoil your Halloween movie marathon!

The following was originally posted as a Guide to Friday the 13th on our Jason X review.


Tied – 10th. Friday The 13th – A New Beginning (Part V) (Danny Steinmann, 1985, USA)

friday the 13th, a new beginning,

The best sequel is followed by the worst. A plotless mess and the worst Jason Voorhees film in the franchise. The fifth film tries to reignite the series after Jason is seemingly killed for good, but it fails to do a good job, simply stringing together bloody deaths for the sake of showing off the latest prosthetic and make-up effects. Waste of time.

Tied – 10th. Jason Goes To Hell: The Final Friday (Adam Marcus, 1993, USA)

jason goes to hell, friday the 13th

Jason gets killed at the beginning which is about the only decent bit of the movie. The film is also victim of false advertising – this isn’t the ‘Final Friday’ movie…sadly.

Tied – 10th. Friday The 13th (Marcus Nispel, 2009, USA)

friday the 13th, remake,

The inevitable remake of the original film. Glossy, over-produced rubbish.

9. Friday The 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan (Rob Heddon, 1989, USA)

jason takes manhattan

A terrible mess that lacks any sort of plot but at least Jason gets to leave Camp Crystal Lake for a nightly excursion to the big city. There’s some nice special-effects towards the end but you’d have fallen asleep by the time they arrive.

8. Freddy Versus Jason (Ronny Yu, 2003, USA)

freddy versus jason, film,

A gimmicky piece of rubbish seeing Freddy Krueger battling Jason Voorhees. On paper it seems like a crowd-pleaser but it’s bad filmmaking 101, and isn’t as fun as Jason X.

7. Friday The 13th – Part III (Steve Miner, 1982, USA)

It’s exactly the same film as Parts 1 and 2 but with added 3D. But, back in 1982 3D wasn’t big or clever!

6. Jason X (James Isaac, 2001, USA)

Futuristic science-fiction addition to the series. Yes, you read that right. Jason goes up in a spaceship and starts hacking off more limbs. Silly idea but a lot of fun! Read my full review here

5. Friday The 13th Part VII: The New Blood (John Buechler, 1988, USA)

A nice premise that sees a sort of Carrie V Jason battle is sadly under-developed. However, it makes for some fun sequences and a little inventiveness to what had, by this time, become a rather dull retread of the same plot line.

4. Friday The 13th – Part II (Steve Miner, 1981, USA)

The second film is the first where Jason actually is the killer. It’s more enjoyable than the original film but far too similar.

3. Jason Lives: Friday The 13th Part VI (Tom McLoughlin, 1986, USA)

A coherent plot helps Part VI be one of the better sequels.

2. Friday The 13th – The Final Chapter (Part IV) (Joseph Zito, 1984, USA)  

Part 4 or The Final Chapter stars a young Corey Feldman who has to come to his older sister’s aid when Jason takes a fancy to her. This is silly fun and follows a very similar path to the films that preceded it. However, it’s a better film than Part III and the most enjoyable of the sequels.

1. Friday The 13th (Sean S. Cunningham, 1980, USA)

top 10 friday the 13th,

The raw and bloody original was a lot less influential than people think. It was massively inspired by John Carpenter’s Halloween and not nearly as good. But Friday the 13th remains one of the best slasher films because it utilised the conventions of the genre to great effect. It’s all there – final girl, sex and promiscuity, violence, gore, inventive deaths, running around in the dark alone screaming “I’ll be right back”. It also has a great ending.

About the Author
Editor of Top 10 Films, Dan Stephens is usually found pondering his next list. An unhealthy love of 1980s Hollywood sees most of his top 10s involving a time-travelling DeLorean and an adventurous archaeologist going by the name Indiana.

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  1. Avatar
    Ross McG Reply

    man, you deserve an award for having sat through all those films

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    Aiden R. Reply

    I’m with McG on this one. Hat’s off to ya’.

    Although Jason does punch a guy’s head off in Manhattan. That was awesome.

  3. Avatar
    Will Reply

    Nice list once again. I gotta say I remember liking Jason Goes to Hell a lot more than bottom of the list. I haven’t seen it since I was a teen though.

    I just met John Buechler at a horror convention and he was saying that if they had let him do what he had intended for Friday Part VII it would have been a much more satisfying film. The MPAA cut out most of his gore and the producer axed the entire end fight sequence between Jason and this animatronic skeleton he had made. He had the head from it on display and it looked awesome. Oh well. I’ll have to revisit all of these in the future.

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    James Blake Ewing Reply

    I actually go The Final Chapter, Jason Lives and then Friday the 13th (1980). Jason goes to Hell is probably the worst film in my opinion and I prefer Freddy vs. Jason over Jason X.

    Yea, some of these films are fun to watch, but most of them are not that good. Except for the top 3, I think the rest are trash, but I guess that’s part of the appeal.

    I did a similar marathon people can check out here:

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    Vesus Reply

    The worst part about Jason Goes to Hell is the simple fact that they give absolutely no explanation as to how Jason returned to Crystal Lake following part 8.

    I mean, he’s in Manhattan, reduced to a little kid due to some toxic waste (a WTF moment if there ever was one)… and then suddenly he’s back in Crystal Lake. How the hell did he get back there, rent a car?? I know we’re talking about a series of crappy slasher movies, but still…how about a little continuity?

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    Koroxxxx Reply

    The remake and the part V are so better than the part III, VIII and Jason Goes to Hell oO

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    amelie Reply

    I’m actually very surprised by the list- you might be the first person to put Jason X so high and I respect the bravery to do so. I agree with the list- it is really marvelous and the amazing suggestion for the movie night. I shall make one based on it

  8. Avatar
    Dan Grant Reply

    Personally, I’d rank em like this (but I respect anyone and everyone’s opinion on the Friday 13th rankings):

    1) Final Chapter
    2) Part 3
    3) Friday the 13th 1980
    4) Part V ( can’t really explain my love for this one)
    5) Freddy vs Jason
    6) Part 2
    7) Friday the 13th 2009
    8) Part VI
    9) Part VII
    10) Jason X

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