Friday the 13th has long been one of the most memorable horror franchises of all time, next to other older greats such as Halloween, Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Nightmare on Elm Street, and even more modern cult favorites like Scream. Still, Friday the 13th‘s Jason Voorhees and other simple factors have helped the franchise become so memorable, even with all of its not-so-favored sequels. Jason could mostly be compared to Texas Chainsaw Massacre‘s Leatherface or Halloween’s Michael Meyers due to the characters’ overall stature and brute strength, as well as mostly a lack of supernatural elements, until the later Friday the 13th sequels. Overall, the franchise has had some iconic moments later than the original film, such as Jason’s later arrival as the villain, his mask tied to the character for decades, and supernatural elements. Below, we’ve detailed the Friday the 13th film series and other information about the franchise.
Earliest Friday the 13th Films
The first Friday the 13th film may have included Jason as a plot device, but otherwise, the character was absent outside of motivation for the killer’s madness displayed in the film. Still, Jason’s mother blamed the death of her young Jason drowning on the negligence of the counselors, which was used for the character’s older appearance from the second film onward. While Jason’s mother was the killer in the first film, Jason Voorhees appeared in his giant, adult-like form in Friday the 13th Part 2, where he continued the onslaught started by his mother after his supposed death. The writer of the original Friday the 13th screenplay wasn’t present for the sequels after the first film. However, the next two Friday the 13th releases, Part 2 and Part 3 were still somewhat grounded to the killer created and made into Jason, as the third film was where Jason acquired his trademark hockey mask.
Excessive Friday the 13th Sequels
Twelve movies are associated with the Friday the 13th franchise, from the first film, Friday the 13th, to the franchise’s reboot, released in 2009. While each slasher film in the Friday the 13th film series has focused on Jason Voorhees, the settings of the later films after the first trilogy is undoubtedly fascinating, in the places where Jason gets taken and the forces behind it. From the original Friday the 13th film series trilogy, the next few films, until the final three, which we’ve detailed below, are as follows: Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter, A New Beginning, Jason Lives, The New Blood, Jason Takes Manhattan, and Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday. The original trilogy to Jason X and Freddy vs. Jason featured Camp Crystal Lake to some extent, even briefly. Jason Voorhees was in all but one film after Friday the 13th, with a copycat copying Jason, his killing spree, and his mask in Friday the 13th: A New Beginning. As the Friday the 13th film series advanced, the reasons and ways of Jason’s resurrection became increasingly unclear. Still, the latest Friday the 13th films didn’t carry the franchise name directly, outside of the reboot that restarted the severe continuity. The most recent continuation of Friday the 13th will be the upcoming Crystal Lake series, the second series from the Friday the 13th franchise, although the first had no relation to the lake or Jason.
Out of every Friday the 13th film in the series, the final three before the reboot took on the Jason name over the Friday the 13th name, which alone showcased how iconic the man behind the mask really was. The final three films before the reboot were Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday, Jason X, and Freddy vs. Jason. These films were among the most interesting of the Friday the 13th film series as they showcased Jason Voorhees in unique settings, such as Jason in Hell and capable of transferring his soul, Jason 400 years in the future, as well as reborn as a cyborg, and back at Camp Crystal Lake fighting Nightmare on Elm Street villain, Freddy Krueger. The reboot, however, was also interesting as it wasn’t a proper remake of the original as stated above, Jason wasn’t the murderer in Friday the 13th until Friday the 13th Part 2. The reboot featured Jason in his adult form, compared to the character making his first appearance as an adult in Friday the 13th Part 2. While it was the second highest-grossing Friday the 13th film after Freddy vs. Jason, a reboot sequel wasn’t possible until late 2022 when a lawsuit settled the rights to the character. A more sought sequel than the reboot sequel would be Freddy vs. Jason vs. Ash, the comic sequel of Freddy Vs. Jason, released by DC Comics’ defunct imprint WildStorm. The sequel was the star character of Evil Dead, Ash Williams, facing off against the two as they initially were disputing with each other.
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