Ranking every Friday the 13th film from worst to best

LOS ANGELES, CA - FEBRUARY 09: Actor Derek Mears arrives at the premiere of Warner Bros.' "Friday the 13th" at the Chinese Theater on February 9, 2009 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - FEBRUARY 09: Actor Derek Mears arrives at the premiere of Warner Bros.' "Friday the 13th" at the Chinese Theater on February 9, 2009 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images) /
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2. Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives (1986)

Directed by Tom McLoughlin

Before there was Cabin in the Woods, You’re Next, or even Scream, there was Jason Lives. Released in 1986 after the dismal reception to A New BeginningJason Lives marked a turning point in the franchise. Not only was Jason Voorhees brought back from the dead after the blunder of the previous film, but there was a change to the series’ overall personality.

Long gone was the self-seriousness of a killer terrorizing a bunch of teenagers and in came a fresh dose of self-awareness and an ironic commentary on Jason’s own real-life reputation. This was the first film to delve into a more comedic tone and its introduction was unique, to say the least.

As franchise fatigue was starting to set in, Jason Lives proved that the films can poke fun at themselves while still providing insanely entertaining horror sequences, letting the audience in on the joke in an inclusive manner.

The teenagers weren’t bland pieces of wood; they were feisty and fully embraced the 80s rock aesthetic that Tom McLoughlin lovingly portrayed in the film. Indeed, this film feels like a strange rock concert of sorts, complete with music by Alice Cooper of all people to accompany the creative and at times, hilarious kills. The triple decapitation scene is one that always makes me smile, even on the worst days.

Jason Lives is not perfect by any means. It still contains the age-old formula of Jason killing teenagers and anybody that gets in his way and this version of Tommy Jarvis pales in comparison to the previous two versions. That said, the sixth installment is arguably the most important film in the franchise, proving that Jason had a long shelf life and was far from stale if adjusted correctly.

Sometimes, it’s best to just laugh along with the audience and Jason Lives sees the Friday the 13th series finally embracing its campy nature and giving us a fun and memorable entry that is basically timeless at this point in time.

But is it the best? Well…