There’s no better way to celebrate the holiday than to schedule a movie marathon with Crystal Lake’s favorite serial killer, Jason Voorhies. You don’t need to see every film in the series because, frankly, a lot of them suck. Here are the five you should go with.
1. Friday the 13th (1980)
The classic film that started it all. This set up Jason’s origin story and the path the other movies would take: dumb horny teen camp counselors getting chopped up one by one. The formula works. I especially like that it’s creepy, spooky, and light on the gore compared to what would come after. Yes, final girl Alice (Adrienne King) is an idiot that you want to slap around, like Mrs. Voorhies (Betsy Palmer) having a fit. Yet, you still root for her to live. Plus, it has one of the best shock endings in horror. Get out of that boat, girl.
2. Friday the 13th Part 2 (1981)
Adult Jason makes his first appearance. No, he’s not wearing the iconic mask, but that sack with the eyehole cut out is just as terrifying. His adversary, Ginny (Amy Steel), is much smarter than the one who came before her. And, there’s a wild chase sequence that really amps up the tension. Word of warning: don’t stand in front of big windows. Nothing good can come of it.
3. Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter (1984)
One of the best in the series and where it should have ended. It says so in the title. There’s a great cast here, especially a young Corey Feldman (Tommy). He’s a smart kid who can actually take Jason down. How he does it is batshit crazy and that makes it all the better. Big points for Samantha (Judie Aronson) voluntarily jumping out of a second story window and actually surviving. She’s tough, man.
4. Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan (1989)
It’s utterly absurd, stupid, and cheesy. But that’s not a bad thing. This falls under the it’s so bad it’s good category. You have to love it for the title alone.
5. Friday the 13th (2009)
Few remakes or reboots live up to the original. This one is better than expected. The premise with final girl Jenna (Danielle Panabaker) and Jason makes zero sense, but just go with it. There are some genuine scares here and a scary as hell opening sequence. A nice way to round out your marathon.