Whether you believe that Friday the 13th is unlucky or not, it won’t change the mythical woe around the day or the number. From bad biblical events that have supposedly happened on this day to horrendous moments in history, it’s no wonder author Dan Brown perpetuates this stigma in his novel The Da Vinci Code.
So entrenched is the belief in this ‘bad luck’ day that psychologists have even termed the phobia of it paraskavedekatriaphobia, according to the Telegraph. No sooner, it seems, do we recover from recoiling under the sheets on this day, only for all things fascinatingly evil to grip us.
Here’s a selection of films to make Friday the 13th extra scary..!
Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter
Arguably, nothing tops the Friday 13th movie sub-genre like the entire 1980s’ Friday the 13th franchise. These horror films feature the protagonist Jason Voorhees, a character who drowns as a young boy in Crystal Lake, due to the negligence of Crystal Lake staff. As time goes on, and due to a series of mass murders that all happen around the fateful Friday the 13th, the lake is said to be cursed. All the killings are attributed directly or indirectly to vengeful Jason and his murderous appetite.
The Friday the 13th franchise, in general, is considered to be one of the most successful ever, having grossed almost $500 million worldwide. This is thanks to novels, comic books, TV series, games, iGaming and more.
Its iconic Jason character has certainly indelibly imprinted both the day and the number as gravely unlucky in the minds of popular culture adherents. The superstition may have some factually true reverberations though, with Lottoland reporting the number 13 as being by far one of the unluckiest lottery numbers ever.
In this instalment, The Final Chapter, Jason escapes from a morgue to systematically slay all at the lake. And all but two, a boy and a girl, survive in the final deadly match-up, in which only good or evil – not both – can triumph.
This 1973 classic is considered a staple of Friday the 13th (the date – not the film) viewing, with The Wrap even calling it the greatest horror movie of all time. Comprising five films, it has also gone on to be a massively profitable franchise. It all starts when a young priest at Georgetown University is called upon by a girl’s mother to intervene in her daughter’s dark, twisted behaviour and appearance. Ultimately, the priest must confront a demonic nemesis and the rest is classic Friday the 13th cult viewing history.
A Nightmare on Elm Street
Our round-up of iconic viewing for a Friday falling on the 13th would be incomplete without the last in a trio of mega-successful franchises, A Nightmare on Elm Street. The premise of the film, that dreams and indeed nightmares can come true, is what sets it apart from its rivals, allowing for a greater creative licence.
What do you do when deranged killer Freddy Krueger is trying to kill you off in your dreams? The franchise transcends the genre, with most non-horror movie watchers being acutely aware of the film and ‘Freddy’. From songs to sitcoms and other horror films, Freddy has been referenced in more than twenty other popular culture incidences, according to Horror Enthusiast.
Regardless of personal belief, it is clear that the number thirteen is socially ingrained.