Jason Voorhees is a scary dude
I remember watching the original Friday the 13th back in 1980. The local movie theater had a midnight showing. Walking out of that theater 95 minutes later across a dimly lit parking lot was the scariest thing I have ever done. I think I pee’d myself a couple of times before we made it to the car. That movie will forever be the measuring stick I use to gauge if horror movies are good. It had the appropriate amount of heart stopping surprises along with a really good twist and reveal.
There have been twelve sequels to that first movie. Some have come close to recapturing that “lightning in a bottle”, but most fell short. They were good movies in their own right, but when held up to the original they just didn’t quite reach the same level with me. Let me recap those twelve movies in the Friday the 13th franchise.
- Friday the 13th (1980) Mrs. Pamela Voorhees son, Jason, drowns at Camp Crystal Lake due to the negligence of two staff members. Years later the camp is scheduled to be re-opened. Mrs. Voorhees stalks and murders the teenagers preparing to re-open Camp Crystal Lake. The last counselor, Alice Hardy, fends off Mrs. Voorhees long enough to grab a machete and decapitate her.
- Friday the 13th Part 2 (1981) Jason is alive and fully grown. After killing Alice Hardy he returns to Crystal Lake to guard it from all intruders. Five years later, a group of teenagers arrive at Crystal Lake to set up a new camp. Of course Jason sets out to murder them. The last counselor discovers a cabin in the woods while fleeing Jason. Inside the cabin is a shrine built around the severed head of Jason’s mother, Mrs. Voorhees. She fights back and is able to slam a machete through Jason’s shoulder. Jason is left for dead as she is taken away in an ambulance.
- Friday the 13th Part 3 (1982) Jason removes the machete from his shoulder and goes to hide in a local barn. The owner and her friends return to the property and Jason kills anyone who wanders into the barn. This is the movie where the iconic hockey mask is introduced. Jason uses the hockey mask to cover his face. He leaves the barn to kill the rest of the group. The property owner, Chris Higgins, wedges an axe in Jason’s head. The night’s events drive her into hysteria as the police take her away.
- Friday the 13th the Final Chapter (1984) Jason is found by the police and taken to the local morgue. At the morgue Jason kills the coroner and a nurse. He then returns to Crystal Lake. Jason discovers a group of friends have rented a house on Crystal Lake. After killing the teens, Jason goes next door to murder Trish and Tommy Jarvis. While distracted by Trish, Jason is attacked and killed by Tommy.
- Friday the 13th: A New Beginning (1985) Tommy is committed to a mental health institution after the events of The Final Chapter. He grew up constantly afraid that Jason would return. Roy Burns becomes a Jason copycat killer at Tommy’s halfway home. Tommy along with two people from his institution manage to defeat Roy. They learn the reason for the copycat killings is Roy’s son was murdered by one of the patients at the institution.
- Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives (1986) Tommy is released from his mental institution. He decides to visit Jason’s grave. Tommy inadvertently resurrects Jason with a piece of the fence surrounding the cemetery acting as a lightning rod. Jason immediately heads back to Crystal Lake and kills the people working at the new summer camp. Tommy is able to chain Jason to a boulder. He tosses the boulder into the lake where he leaves Jason to die.
- Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood (1988) Jason is resurrected again, this time by a telekinetic. She is trying to resurrect her father who drowned in the lake when she was a child. Jason once again begins killing those who occupy Crystal Lake. He is returned to the bottom of the lake after a battle with the telekenetic.
- Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan (1989) Jason is resurrected again by an underwater electrical cable. He follows a group of students on their senior class cruise to Manhattan. Jason manages to kill the ship’s crew and the majority of the students. Upon reaching Manhattan, he chases the two remaining students into the sewers. Jason eventually melts away because the sewer is flooded with toxic waste.
- Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday (1993) Jason is resurrected through some unexplained occurrence. He is hunted by the FBI at Crystal Lake. The FBI sets up a sting that successfully kills Jason. Jason manages to survive through possession. He passes his black heart from one being to the next. It is revealed that he has a sister and a niece. He needs them to get his body back. Jason is able to resurrect himself, but his niece stabs him with a mystical dagger and he is dragged into Hell.
- Jason X (2001) Jason is once again inexplicably resurrected. A scientist, Rowan Lafontaine, decides that cryonic suspension is the only method of stopping him. Jason breaks free and kills the army personnel guarding him. Rowan manages to lure Jason into the cryo‑chamber. Jason ruptures the tank and freezes both himself and Rowan. Over 400 years later a team of students studying Earth discover Jason’s body and take it into space. They thaw Jason and he proceeds to murder everyone aboard the spacecraft. In the process Jason is killed, but alas, he is resurrected via nanotechnology as a cyborg version of himself. Jason is ejected into space and lands on the planet Earth 2.
- Freddy vs. Jason (2003) is a crossover with A Nightmare on Elm Street. Freddy Krueger resurrects Jason and sends him to Springwood. Freddy hopes he will create enough fear among the residents that Freddy will be strong enough to invade their dreams. Jason accomplishes this but refuses to stop killing. A battle ensues both in the dream world and at Crystal Lake. Jason surfaces from the lake holding Freddy’s severed head, which winks and laughs.
- Friday the 13th (2009) is meant to be a restart of the film series continuity. Jason witnesses his mother being beheaded at a young age. As an adult he follows in her footsteps and kills anyone who comes to Crystal Lake. Jason kidnaps a young woman who reminds him of a younger version of his mother. Her brother comes looking for her. The pair reunite and work together to kill Jason.
Jason is back again
The first 12 Friday the 13th movies have followed the pattern of having Jason slash his way through a fresh group of sex-starved teens, getting killed, and inexplicably resurrected for another round. The 13th movie of the franchise is promised to have a more in-depth explanation regarding WHAT Jason is and WHY he seems to defy every physical and metaphysical rule of science. We will finally learn how it is he keeps resurrecting. The working title is Friday The 13th, Part 13.
Brad Fuller, a partner of Michael Bay and Andrew Form in the Platinum Dunes production company, had the following to say in an interview with Collider. “Aaron Guzikowski’s job, as challenging as it is, is to come up with a movie where if you haven’t seen any go the other ones you can still come and see this one and love it and not feel like you’ve missed out on anything. And if you have seen the other ones, we want this to feel fresh. That’s what took the longest amount of time: coming up with a story and then executing a script that fulfills both of those mandates.”
In an interview with Esquire Brad Fuller described the “Jason’s origin” plot. “There’s always been this supernatural aspect to these movies. It defies logic that, you see Jason get killed in every movie, including ours, the 2009 one. And then he comes back and no one’s ever really investigated what that is. So that’s something that I think about a little bit. Like it is supernatural, but what is he? Those are the things that we’re toying with. Nothing has been decided. But those type of things: How does he always come back?”