With his hockey mask and his machete, Friday the 13th‘s Jason Voorhees is one of the most recognizable villains in horror, even if his onscreen track record is uneven at best. Here’s how to stream every Friday the 13th movie.
One of the foundational movies of the slasher subgenre, the original Friday the 13th doesn’t look like something that would spawn a decades-long franchise. It’s a grubby exploitation movie about teenage counselors getting picked off one by one at a remote summer camp, with some startling violence. Although masked killer Jason Voorhees is the franchise’s iconic figure, here it’s actually Jason’s mother who’s responsible for the murders.
After the surprise massive success of the first Friday the 13th, producers churned out a sequel less than a year later, returning to Camp Crystal Lake for another set of disposable counselors to get killed. Jason makes his debut as the killer, rising from the dead to avenge his mother. Although Jason still doesn’t have his signature look, this movie sets the template for the rest of the series to follow, with the mute, hulking Jason on the rampage.
The third Friday the 13th establishes all of the series’ key elements, including Jason’s hockey mask and machete. It’s also presented in clumsy 1980s 3D, which is unavailable to stream, so that modern viewers just witness a lot of objects being thrust awkwardly at the camera. Part III takes place immediately following the second movie, as a new group of disposable victims heads to their death at Camp Crystal Lake.
Of course this isn’t actually the final chapter, although at one point it was meant to conclude the franchise. Instead, it introduces the character of Tommy Jarvis (here played by Corey Feldman), who would become the closest Jason has to a nemesis. Tommy’s family foolishly vacations near Camp Crystal Lake, where Jason once again slaughters his way through a series of hapless victims, including the requisite oblivious teens.
Released less than a year after The Final Chapter, A New Beginning delivers on its title’s promise by attempting to take the franchise in a slightly new direction. Tommy Jarvis returns, now played by John Shepherd, living in a mental health facility after his traumatic encounter with Jason. The movie is a murder mystery of sorts set in this group home for teens, rather than at Camp Crystal Lake, with a killer who mimics Jason’s style but is someone else entirely.
As the title implies, Jason himself returns for the sixth movie, after audiences were disappointed with the departures in the previous installment. Tommy Jarvis returns, too, played here by a third actor (Thom Matthews). Jason Lives is a franchise highlight thanks to the overtly comedic tone adopted by writer-director Tom McLoughlin. He gives the movie a throwback monster-movie feel, with corny jokes and an emphasis on spooky vibes over graphic violence and nudity.
Producers created a new adversary for Jason in The New Blood, introducing Lar Park Lincoln as telekinetic teenager Tina Shepard. Tina’s family home is conveniently located on Crystal Lake, and after inadvertently using her abilities to revive Jason, she then dedicates herself to stopping him. Tina is meant to balance out Jason’s increasingly powerful presence, although she mostly just makes futile efforts to prevent him from killing the latest batch of expendable teen victims.
Jason doesn’t so much take Manhattan as he takes a boat trip that arrives in Manhattan near the end of the movie. Budget constraints necessitated shooting most of this movie outside New York City, so the focus instead is on Jason killing various teens as they take a high school graduation cruise from Crystal Lake to NYC. Eventually, he gets to slash his way through some Big Apple landmarks, but it’s not nearly the triumphant invasion the title implies.
Like The Final Chapter, The Final Friday isn’t actually the last Friday the 13th movie, although its effort to conclude the series stayed in place for longer. Here, Jason becomes fully supernatural, existing only as a spirit as he possesses various people, searching for one of his own relatives so he can be fully resurrected. Meanwhile, he’s still killing teens at Camp Crystal Lake, and the only way to stop him is with a mystical dagger that will finally end his existence.
Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday is streaming on HBO Max ($9.99+ per month).
Like horror icons Pinhead and the Leprechaun before him, Jason journeys into space for this unlikely franchise revival, nine years after he supposedly went to hell. A cryogenically frozen Jason is revived hundreds of years in the future aboard a research vessel traveling through space. Of course, he proceeds to murder nearly everyone on board, after being enhanced with nanites to become a cybernetic killing machine.
After decades of speculation, legendary horror villains Freddy Krueger and Jason Voorhees finally face off in this crossover. Robert Englund makes his final onscreen appearance as Freddy from the Nightmare on Elm Street films, and it’s more of a Freddy movie with a bit of Jason thrown in. Freddy manipulates Jason from the afterlife, as a way for Freddy to return and once again slaughter people in their dreams, which eventually leads to a showdown between the two killers.
The most recent Friday the 13th movie is a series reboot, although it’s not quite a remake of the 1980 original. It tells a shortened version of Jason’s origin story, before setting him loose on the requisite group of attractive young people lined up to get killed. Part of a trend of classic slasher-movie remakes in the ’00s, this film brings Jason back to basics while setting up a potential new series that has yet to come about.