Happy Friday the 13th! Today is the perfect time to take a journey back to Camp Crystal Lake and celebrate one of the greatest slasher franchises of all time, which helped to define an entire generation of horror (for better or for worse).
Friday the 13th premiered in theaters in the summer of 1980. It was a pretty cheap little horror movie, costing just over $500,000. Critics basically hated it, trashing the movie as a cheap, exploitative gore-fest with little to offer. Little would they know, this simple, low budget movie would go on to become one of the most successful horror franchises of all time, with Jason Voorhees immediately becoming an icon of the genre.
Two years prior, Halloween helped kick start the slasher genre, and Friday the 13th helped build upon that and popularize it even further. No matter what you think of the series, it’s hard to deny that the franchise completely changed the shape of horror for decades to come.
Like a lot of these franchises that go on for a long time, the history of the series is pretty strange to say the least. What started as kind of a simple horror thriller about a woman who goes insane after the death of her son would eventually descend into a movie featuring that son being sent to space to kill people.
In total, the Friday the 13th movies have grossed nearly $400 million at the box office, and the franchise is about to make a comeback. After a six year absence, a new Friday the 13th reboot is in the works, scheduled to be released next year according to Deadline. It was a huge missed opportunity not to release the 13th movie of the franchise on Friday the 13th 2013, but hey, at least the movie is finally happening. Not only that, a Friday the 13th TV series is also in the works. Yes, another one. Though the franchise may have attempted to kill off Jason in the fourth movie in 1984, it doesn’t seem like Jason will ever die.
In celebration of the holiday, and in preparation for a new generation of Jason, let’s take a look back at this crazy franchise, going through each movie from worst to best and taking a look at all the highs and lows. And believe me, there are some lows.