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Horror: Ranking the entire Friday the 13th Franchise

9 – Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday

Then & Now Movie Locations: Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday

Only one more stinker than we will get into some of the more revered entries of the Friday franchise.

With Part VIII doing the worst box office sales of the Jason series Paramount decided to let the rights go to New Line Cinema and therefore New Line needed to add their movie to the Jason story. But what we were given was a poorly put together story that failed to hit on any notes or tones set by its predecessors. The movie also tried to introduce new Jason Voorhees mythology to the series and establish Jason as a parasite that moves from body to body. It just did not work.

Jason’s look was still a selling point for this movie. His face exceeding the edges of his mask was a cool look and added a nice supernatural element.  When we were given the physical Jason in the movie it was great but this was not a common occurrence.

The movie itself was a very hard watch for me. Outside of the new canon introduced, which wasn’t needed, to begin with, the movie was very clunky. The characters weren’t the most likable bunch of people and that doesn’t help to add sympathy when Jason finally drops the hammer on them. 

A saving grace for this movie will no doubt be the opening kill. The FBI agent faking the damsel in distress while Jason unwittingly walks his way into a trap was quite good. The sound effects of Jason grunting while being shot are a bit over the top but it is still a great opening kill for the movie.

The kills for the remainder of the movie are just about on par with the Jason kill of the opening scene.  A young director for the movie decided to use as much gore as possible and it shows. The kills are very over the top and bloody but that is what you expect out of a Friday movie. The creativity of the kills leaves something to be desired but we can’t always get everything we want.

The final girl in this movie is almost non-existent. You start off thinking that it could be one girl because of her familial connection to Jason but it switches gears halfway through when his niece, who had never been mentioned until now, is done in by the hockey-masked stalker. The final girl after the nieces’ murder is pretty much useless and depends on others around to help her out of tight situations, not exactly final girl material.

8 – Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood

Friday the 13th Part VII - The New Blood (1988) - Rotten Tomatoes

Affectionately known as Jason v Carrie by some this is the first Friday movie where Jason comes up against someone who can go toe to toe with him.

This is also the first time that stunt performer Kane Hodder donned the mask and became Jason. Hodder is one of the people whose name is synonymous with the Friday franchise and he brought everything he had to the Jason character and he will forever be tied to the killer from Crystal Lake.

The Jason look in part VII was fantastic. Granted that the look cannot change much from movie to movie there still are tweaks that can be made to give it uniqueness. The spine being exposed on Jason’s back was a great addition to the man’s look. It was something we haven’t seen before and added a badass aura to Jason.

Also, when Jason’s mask was ripped off his face was a gnarly mess. It is easily the best Jason face in the franchise and credit should be given to the effects team for their work.

The story was your generic Jason killing teens at a lakeside cabin. It is a formula that the preceding 6 movies stuck to and it is one that works so why stray from it. The kills were spread out enough throughout the movie so one didn’t get bogged down in a slow plot. All the actors played their stereotypical characters to perfection so they at least kept us entertained when Jason wasn’t killing them.

The opening kill wasn’t anything special. A little girl Tina uses her telekinetic powers to send her wife abusing father to the depths of Crystal Lake. It was disappointing not to see Jason taking his place in the opening scene but Tina’s powers needed to take center stage.

As far as the other kills go for the movie there isn’t much to say. A large portion of them cutaway right as Jason was about to move in for the kill. It was said that the ratings system would not allow the movie to show anything graphic so they toned down on what could have been some great kills.

Tina as the final girl will probably be number 1 or 2 all-time. Like we said earlier this was the first time that Jason had met his match. She uses her powers to just lay a beating on Jason for the remaining 20 minutes of the movie.  It is a great final sequence and one that should be viewed by any horror fan.

7 – Friday the 13 Part: II

Friday the 13th Part II | SCREAMFEST

Some will probably throw their arms up in the air at this being ranked so low. It is after all the first appearance of Jason in the Friday series, but it cannot be ranked any higher than this. This is not a knock on the movie itself, it is a great installment in the Jason series. It just so happens that all of the other Friday movies are just that much better.

Jason’s look is just about the worse that it has gotten during the series in this film. He had not yet donned his iconic hockey-mask so he spends the movie wearing a sack over his head with one eyehole cut out. It is not a good look and detracts away from the fear we are supposed to have at the sight of Jason.

From a storyline standpoint, this movie takes a very long time to get going.  It lingers on the characters for way too long introducing plot points that go nowhere and do not add anything to the overall story. We watch these movies to see Jason tear into teenagers not watch the teens bond and form relationships and overcome their differences.

The opening kill was halfway decent and it was great to see them tie the original’s final girl, Alice, back into the story. It was also interesting to see them bring Alice back just to kill her off. It gave you the impression that no one is safe in these movies.

The kills for the remainder of the movie do not give us anything of note except for one obvious exception. If you have seen part II in the past you know that there has to be mention of the wheelchair-bound hunk and his hilarious demise. After receiving a stiff machete chop to the face Mark goes flying backward and down a very long flight of stairs. It is a hilarious series of events that you feel bad at for laughing but still chuckle as he goes down the stairs.

Final girl Ginny is tops in my books in all-time final girls. She is a very capable woman that doesn’t need anyone to assist her with anything. She outsmarts her boyfriend Paul on a few occasions throughout the movie. She also uses her superior intelligence to outsmart Jason and take him down. This is not something that many final girls can lay a claim to.

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