‘Friday The 13th’ – A Look Back At The Best And Worst Movies

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Anytime Friday the 13th rolls around is a good excuse to re-explore the classic slasher movie franchise. Here’s a quick review of some of the highs and lows of the series.

SlashFilm writer Jacob Hall recently ranked all the movies in the franchise. The top two, in his opinion are Part IV and Part VI.

He describes Part IV, known as The Final Chapter, as the “best-executed version” of the “Friday the 13th formula”.

“While the practical effects are a key component to making this one work, the film surrounding those gruesome set pieces works, too. The victims are a varied bunch, more capably acted than most, and the rainy, nighttime setting does wonders for atmosphere.”

[Image by Brendon Thorne/Getty Images]

Part VI, known as Jason Lives, was given the top ranking by Hall because he feels it holds up the best for repeat viewings.

“Do I pick the movie that is best at being a Friday the 13th movie or do I pick the movie that I’d sooner watch again, right now? I went with the latter. Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives is less of a film and more of a party, a celebration of the series that indulges the audience in just about every way… going for the laugh just as often as it goes for the scare. Jason Lives is more of a reaction to the previous movies than a continuation, but there’s no denying the love it has in its heart for Jason and the slasher genre in general.”

[Image by Lawrence Lucier/Getty Images]

Horror film fan and movie critic Brian Collins writes in Birth Movies Death how amused he is by the series’ struggles to keep up with its own continuity and the ridiculous body count. He cites an example from Part IV.

“… it delights me to no end that they go out of their way to pick up where Part 3 left off, but it seems that they forgot that Part 3 was picking up directly from Part 2. The idea that [Part IV] could be taking place on a Friday is insane; one of the series’ fansites has most of it occurring on a Monday, as this and the previous two films each take place over 2-3 days and have no gaps in between… This oversight is funny enough when watching the movies on their own; it’s downright hilarious when seeing them play out back to back. But it also reinforces what a go-getter Jason was during his first real killing spree… if you want an epic trilogy watch Fridays 2-4 and witness a guy wipe out nearly 30 people over the course of six days.”

[Image by Dinosaur Dracula Magazine / Paramount]

The worst in the series is often considered by fans to be Part VIII, subtitled Jason Takes Manhattan. Despite that title, most of the film takes place on a ship heading for New York City, rather than in the city itself. Film critic and writer Jacob Knight (also writing for Birth Movies Death) defends the movie and provides some history on why the film turned out that way.

“The main reason we never really get to see Jason pound the New York pavement is because Paramount Pictures slashed writer/director Rob Hedden’s budget just before production was set to begin. Hedden had envisioned entire set pieces revolving around Madison Square Garden, the Brooklyn Bridge, and the Empire State Building. But instead of re-jiggering his idea to fit the smaller sum, Hedden instead mashed his high concept up with another involving a boat, and voila – Jason Takes Manhattan was born…

It’s a weird tonal mixture of familiar sincerity and cheap ineptitude that never truly finds a coherent balance, as Hedden struggles to both deliver an obvious studio cash-in while simultaneously trying out something vaguely interesting with a franchise that was on its last lucrative legs.”

After many sequels and rumors, the Friday The 13th franchise now resides in the hands of Platinum Dunes, a horror-oriented movie company owned in part by Michael Bay (of Transformers and Bad Boys fame).

Michael Bay [Image by Kevin Winter/Getty Images]

They produced a 2009 reboot of the series that received mixed reviews from fans, a negative reaction from professional critics, but a mostly warm reception from general audiences.

Despite being a relative success, no follow-up films were made, until now. There is a new Friday The 13th film being produced again by Platinum Dunes, set to come out this October. The planned release date? Friday the 13th, of course.

[Image by Kevin Winter/Getty Images]

Do you have a favorite entry in the series? How about which one is truly the worst? Leave a comment below.

[Featured Image by Paramount]

This article was sourced from http://newsxlive.com