The bonanza ends with the series’ dregs. Sure, there’s a memorable scene here and there, but these installments are rather poor overall. If you’re curious about Jason’s exploits, this is definitely not the place to begin.
Today, the three pretty bad ones …
Jason X (2002) – Jason is freed from cryogenic stasis and sent into space, where he terrorizes vapid teenagers on a spaceship. The technologically enhanced über-Jason is a nice touch, and horror buffs will surely appreciate the cameo from David Cronenberg, but Jason X mostly just feels rushed and uninspired. This is the one where Jason freezes a scientist’s face with liquid nitrogen and smashes it to bits against a countertop.
Friday the 13th: A New Beginning (1985) – The most imaginative/cynical title of them all! A noticeably older Corey Feldman returns for the exciting pre-credits sequence, but it’s all downhill from there. The acting is el-stinko terrible, and the real Jason is nowhere to be seen. This is the one where a girl sings to her boyfriend while he’s taking a crap. Lovely.
Friday the 13th (1980) – The first … and probably the worst. When the killer is revealed at the end, it feels like a cheat. And the climactic beheading isn’t as cool as you remember. The famous canoe scene still packs a punch, though. This is the one where Kevin Bacon gets an arrow through the neck in a memorably gory Tom Savini set piece. This is also the one where a live snake gets chopped to pieces—was it really that difficult to buy a rubber snake for $2?