I have a running series of list over at Letterboxd called Top to Bottom, where I rank a group of films from best to worst. I call it Top to Bottom because some films may end up on the bottom of a lost but are not necessarily a bad film. It just happens that that particular film is just not as good as the others. So for my first Top to Bottom here on the site, I have decided to take a look at the Friday the 13th series.
Friday the 13th Part 2 is the film that introduced us to Jason and gave him his first, and not as much loved, iconic look. The sack that Jason wears over his head was taken from the 1976 film The Town That Dreaded Sundown and is scarier than the hockey mask that would go on to define Jason.
3.) Friday the 13th Part 3
I know that a lot of fans would put Jason Lives and The New Blood above Part 3 but I am going to have to disagree. I like my Jason scary and he brings his A-game in this film. Sure the 3-D is hokey as hell, but it does make for a few inventive kills. The characters are still relatable and act like actual humans.
4.) Friday the 13th VI: Jason Lives
Jason Lives is a response to the overall negative reception of Part 5. Audiences hated Part 5 and is the film that started the series’ downfall. I will talk about Part 5 in a little bit, but I will say that I think that Part 5 gets a bum rap.
5.) Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood
As much as I rag on Jason Lives as being a “letdown”, The New Blood is a film that, given its history with the MPAA, would have been a lot better if the gore had been untouched. The New Blood is the film that got the worst of the MPAA and it feels like something is missing. Every kill, except for the sleeping bag death; that feels right as is, seems off in the pacing. Jason will choose a weapon and we will see the reaction of the victim’s face and then they are dead. There is very little blood for a film with “blood” in the title.
Ask anyone about any series of films and they will usually say that the original is the best film. Sometimes I will agree (Halloween, Robocop) and sometimes I will disagree. This is one of those times.
Now this is where this list is going to get a lot of controversy. I like A New Beginning. It is not that great of a film, but it does have a few things going for it. First, the film has a wacky charm to it. I know that some of you will think that the film is sleazy and it is, but I find that the sleaze is just a part of the series. If you look at most of the entries in the series there is a fair amount of sleaze. I mean, come on, the films are about people having sex and then being killed for it. You don’t get much sleazier than that. But the film also has an innocence to it. Everyone at the house are wacky caricatures. Not one of them is a believable human being, but that doesn’t matter because the film is a fun romp with lots of nudity and a fair share of violence.
The rest of the films on the list are the lessor than entries to the series. For me, the series became a parody of itself with Jason Goes to Hell, but a lot of people will say that it began with Jason X. While I can agree with this a little bit, people often forget that Jason X is that last proper Friday the 13th film that we have gotten. After Jason X we would see no more Friday the 13th films except for Freddy vs Jason and the remake. Jason X is the last in the original series.