Horror fans will tell you that Jason Voorhees is one of the grandfathers of the horror genre. A hockey-masked killer that stalks teenagers at a summer camp and dispatches of them through creative means can make for a really fun movie experience.
Over the years, the franchise has descended into self-parody. Jason’s kills become more outrageous, the supernatural gets involved and he even goes to space! This results in some Friday the 13th films being better than others. For those interested in experiencing Jason’s antics, here is a list of all his movies’ climaxes, ranked from worst to best.
12 Friday The 13th: A New Beginning
The fifth movie in the franchise follows a grown Tommy Jarvis as he spends time in a half-way house, years after he (supposedly) killed Jason for good. After a masked killer terrorizes the house, Tommy tosses him from a loft window, killing him.
It is revealed that “Jason” is the father of a late outpatient avenging his son’s death. As much as the film deserves props for going in a different direction, it’s just not the same without Jason!
11 Jason Goes To Hell: The Final Friday
The ninth film in the franchise completely embraces the supernatural. After being killed by the FBI, Jason’s spirit possesses unsuspecting people on a quest to be reborn in human form. The climax of the film involves Jason’s half-sister, Jessica Kimble, stabbing him, releasing all of the souls he has accumulated. This results in him being dragged to hell.
While the idea is original, Jason has strayed so far from his original form that the idea of being dragged to hell is absurd. The shoe-horned family aspect also doesn’t help.
10 Friday The 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan
Jason is still human in the eighth segment of the franchise and he’s now strolling through the Big Apple. After being revived via underwater cable, Jason terrorizes a group of high school students on their senior class trip. The movie reaches its climax when Jason is engulfed in toxic waste in a New York sewer.
This film ranks higher on the list because Jason is still human and his actions are believable. However, being killed by toxic waste is just anti-climactic for a villain of his status.
9 Friday The 13th Part 2
The original sequel in the franchise, to its credit, still takes place at summer camp, and also has one of the best final girls in horror, Ginny Field. In this film, the revived Jason Voorhees terrorizes another group of campers and counselors. After Ginny subdues him using psychology, she strikes him with an ax.
A shoulder injury is another example of an anti-climactic death for Jason. His fate is also left ambiguous as Ginny is being rescued by paramedics. As a climax, it’s … ok.
8 Friday The 13th Part III
The third film follows directly after the second and Jason is still very much alive. He spends the film terrorizing Chris Higgins and her friends at her Crystal Lake home. It is also revealed that he attacked Chris two years previously. She gets her revenge on him by impaling him through his mask with an ax.
The climax of this film, like Part 2, is just ok. There is nothing very exciting about being killed by an ax. As anti-climactic as it was, death by toxic waste is a definite step above this.
7 Jason X
Not only does the 10th film in the franchise take place in the future, it takes place in space! Taking place on a new planet (Earth 2), everyone’s favorite serial killer is brought back from cryogenic freezing as “Uber Jason.” After claiming numerous lives, he is flown into Earth 2’s atmosphere and incinerated.
Jason X has probably the coolest kill in the entire franchise, and it involves liquid nitrogen! As far as the film’s climax is concerned, being incinerated by a planet is pretty cool! Ludicrous, but pretty cool.
6 Friday The 13th Part VI: Jason Lives
The sixth film in the franchise involves Tommy Jarvis accidentally reviving Jason using lightning. When it seems like he’ll finally kill Tommy (and/or his girlfriend, Megan), Jason is tied to a boulder underwater and has his throat slashed by a boat motor!
This is the fan-favorite of the franchise due to its use of meta-humor and self-awareness. While being incinerated by a planet is memorable, this climax is much gorier and fits more with the film’s wacky tone.
5 Friday The 13th Part VII: The New Blood
The supernatural is back in the seventh installment of the franchise. Jason is accidentally resurrected by a telekinetic girl named Tina Shepard. After Jason terrorizes teenagers enjoying a birthday party, Tina invokes the spirit of her late father (whom she accidentally killed) and he drags Jason to the bottom of the lake.
This film is much higher on the list than its supernatural counterparts because it strikes the perfect balance between ludicrous and believable. Also, this film’s climax is very memorable as it involves spirits AND a fiery lake!
4 Freddy Vs Jason
Two of the grandfathers of horror face off in this much-anticipated cross over film. Both Freddy Krueger and Jason Vorhees are languishing in hell until Freddy revives Jason and manipulates him into going on a killing spree. After a fierce battle, Jason emerges victorious with Freddy’s head.
For hardcore horror fans, this film is as good as it gets. There is a ton of gore to go around, as well as fighting in both fire and water. It’s an unforgettable frenzy.
3 Friday The 13th (2009)
The most recent installment in the franchise is a reboot of the original Friday the 13th film. It’s highlighted by brutal kills, a much more calculated and intelligent Jason, and even his backstory. After slaughtering two groups of friends six weeks apart, Jason is dispatched when a brother-sister duo, Whitney and Clay, immobilize and stab him.
The climax takes place in a barn, making it very raw and gritty, and it works to great effect. Also, substituting the “final girl” with a brother and sister is a great change.
2 Friday The 13th (1980)
In the original Friday the 13th film, an unknown killer picks off a group of camp counselors one by one, until only Alice is left. It is revealed that the killer is Pamela Voorhees, Jason’s mother, avenging her son’s tragic drowning. The climax involves Alice beheading Pamela.
The climax of the film is amazing because of how simple and believable it is. Humans will do anything to survive and, ultimately, there is nothing more terrifying than a mother’s love for her child.
1 Friday The 13th: The Final Chapter
The fourth film in the franchise somewhat returns to basics by following Jason, back from the dead, embarking on a killing spree of a group of teenagers at Crystal Lake, as well as terrorizing the Jarvis family. During the climax, young Tommy Jarvis distracts Jason long enough to attack him repeatedly with a machete.
While it’s a toss-up between this film and the original for best climax, this film takes the cake because of how shocking it is. Watching a child commit murder (albeit in self-defense) is as disturbing as it gets!
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