All 12 Friday the 13th Movies, Ranked from Doomed to Cult Classic

All 12 Friday the 13th Movies, Ranked from Doomed to Cult Classic
Image credit: Paramount Pictures

His name was Jason... and it's his birthday today.

Friday the 13th may be the worst day of the year, but only for those who choose to watch the wrong installments of the franchise of the same name.

If you're having trouble choosing a Halloween movie, we've ranked all the Friday the 13th movies from worst to best, so you know exactly what to watch and what to skip.

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

In the late 80s, after the release of the eighth installment, Paramount sold the rights to the Friday the 13th franchise to New Line Cinema. The transfer of rights led to the first attempt to rebrand the franchise — but it was unsuccessful.

The creators tried to explain Jason's indestructibility by his connection to some parasite of a mystical origin that jumped from one body to another. Moreover, the famous madman only appeared on screen in the opening and closing scenes, which disappointed fans, to say the least.

11. Jason X (2001)

That was another attempt by New Line Cinema to keep the franchise relevant, this time by launching an immortal madman into space and eventually turning him into a zombie cyborg.

Despite the fact that the movie has impressive kill scenes and a cameo by David Cronenberg, Jason X turned out to be more of a tribute to the horror icon, lacking even a hint of the suspense and atmosphere that the best installments of the franchise are known for.

10. Freddy vs. Jason (2003)

That's the third and last movie of the franchise, produced by New Line Cinema — and the most successful of all. This is largely due to director Ronny Yu, who previously played a key role in rebooting the Child's Play franchise with Bride of Chucky.

The screenplay makes good use of the two legendary maniacs' main traits: Freddy's ability to hunt people only in their dreams and Jason's skill to tear his victims apart only in reality.

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

The fourth installment of the classic Friday the 13th franchise has some nice touches — the character of Tommy Jarvis, who became the central one of several subsequent films, and some impressive deaths.

But overall, this chapter is the least memorable, partly due to the overly stereotypical characters.

8. Friday the 13th: Part 2 (1981)

In this sequel, Jason appears for the first time as a murderer, but with a twist — he now wears a bag on his head instead of his signature hockey mask.

The main problem with the movie is the lackluster ending, in which the chase for the final girl is followed by Jason's rather clumsily executed entrance without his mask. Otherwise, it's a worthy sequel, in many ways better than the first movie.

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

The fourth part was supposed to be the last one, but the charm of the madman in the hockey mask proved to be so strong that the fifth installment was released the following year.

It can be seen as an attempt of a soft reboot — Jason himself is not in it, but he is constantly seen in hallucinations. Many fans don't like this installment, but it has one good thing – more violence than in any other movie.

6. Friday the 13th (1980)

The first installment of the franchise, as surprising as it may be, is not the best. The absence of Jason, the plot itself, and the characters that are not very memorable all proved to be not the best way to start a franchise.

But here you can see how a very young and then-unknown Kevin Bacon is killed.

5. Friday the 13th Part 8: Jason Takes Manhattan (1989)

At the end of the golden era of slashers, the creators of Friday the 13th decided to experiment and put Jason on a cruise ship headed straight for New York.

Despite the change of location, the movie turned out to be quite atmospheric, and the last third of the film, in which Jason opened the hunting season in Manhattan, was especially impressive.

4. Friday the 13th Part 3 (1982)

The first movie where we see Jason's classic look — the one with the hockey mask. Besides the historical value, there is a lot of action.

In addition, the threequel has a lot of memorable characters, from failed actor Shelly, from whom Jason borrows the famous mask, to the bikers, with whom the madman has his own scores to settle.

3. Friday the 13th (2009)

In the late 2000s, the rights to the Friday the 13th franchise were transferred back to Paramount, and the studio launched a remake.

The new movie returned the character to his roots: the action takes place in the familiar setting of Crystal Lake, and the plot builds on the first three films while remaining an independent story.

2. Friday the 13th Part 7: The New Blood (1988)

That's one of the darkest and most atmospheric chapters in the franchise. Despite the fun the teenagers are having, the movie makes you feel the inexorable approach of death.

This is largely due to Kane Hodder, the most famous actor in the role of Jason — he looks great as a slowly decaying, but very impressive living dead in the cracked hockey mask.

1. Friday the 13th Part 6: Jason Lives (1986)

Jason Lives is the quintessential 1980s slasher movie. It has everything we love them for: suspense, mountains of dead bodies, and, of course, a merciless maniac.

On top of that, the sixth installment is full of black humor — the opening credits are a parody of the Bond movies.