I remember the fist time I saw Jason. It was the teaser trailer for Friday The 13th Part VII: Jason Takes Manhattan. I saw it before a movie a can’t remember. What stuck with me was the image of a monster with a hockey mask at the feet of the Statue of Liberty, I wanted to see this movie bad. So after begging my dad he took me to Blockbuster and I rented Friday VIII. I’ve been a fan of slasher movies ever since. So about a month ago a took in a huge undertaking of watching 44 of the most notorious movies in the history of cinema. I limited my watching to movie monsters that had the biggest impact on me growing up, Texas Chainsaw Massacre, A Nightmare On Elm Street, Friday the 13th, Hellraiser, and Halloween. I have ranked them in the order of my least favorite, to my most favorite slasher movie of all time(it might shock you, it might not). I have excluded Halloween III because Michael Myers is nowhere to be found, but I have included all remakes and reboots. So watch your back and lets start the killing, eh I mean the list!
44. Hellraiser IV: Bloodline-This was the end of the Hellraiser franchise in theaters. And it is easy to see why. The movie tries to trace the origins of the Lament Configuration, and takes place not only in the past but also the future. Pinhead in space does not work. The movie is lame and boring. I swear it seemed that it was 3 hours long. Hellraiser is the one series that struggled after it’s initial success and this movie almost doomed the franchise.
43. Texas Chainsaw 3D-This movie is horrible. I almost put it as the worst slasher movie I’ve ever seen. The story is just bad, it takes place after the first movie, and yes in 1974. It then flashes forward to present day, 39 years later so Leatherface is like 70? There is some cool images but the script is so bad that it sinks the movie. Adam Marcus wrote this illogical crap and his name will pop up again on this list very soon, skip this movie.
42. Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Next Generation-Another horrible Chainsaw movie. I’m pretty sure Texas Chainsaw has been remade more times then any other movie. The problem is that two of the 3 are garbage. This movie features Renee Zellweger and Matthew McConaughey before they were stars and they are not good. It’s not really their fault the story is dumb and they do dumb things throughout, and Zellweger has a really annoying scream and she screams a lot in this movie. The story isn’t anything new. cannibals with a chainsaw terrorize a group of young kids.
41. Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare-Freddy is such a cool villain. He stopped being a villain around the 5th film and became a wisecracking demon. The result is an uneven movie in which a horror icon deserved a better send off. Luckily this isn’t the last time Freddy would stalk dreams. The story of Springwood being abandoned and no kids living there is cool but too bad the result is a horribly campy movie, even Roseanne Barr and Tom Arnold have annoying cameos in this film, skip this and watch New Nightmare instead.
40. Jason Goes To Hell: The Final Friday-Oh Hi Adam Marcus! This is your mess as well! What the hell does that poster mean anyways? This is the worst Friday the 13th movie hands down. It starts cool with Jason stalking a woman and then blown up. It then spirals out of control and tries to explain Jason, all they do is make his back story convoluted and stupid. Mr. Marcus is delusional as well here’s what he said the problem with the movie is “There are a lot of fans who should examine themselves a little bit and wonder why they keep wanting to watch the same damn movie over and over again. I don’t get that.”(excerpt from Crystal Lake Memories, page 219). What I don’t get is you blame the fans for wanting a movie with Jason doing what he does best, and your defense is fans are stupid, nice Mr. Marcus, nice.
39. Hellraiser: Hellworld-The eighth entry in the Pinhead series has some cool ideas but it falls a little flat. Kids are invited to a house party for beating a game based on Hellraiser mythology. Lance Henrickson plays the host and there is a kinda mystery surrounding why everyone is there. Too bad the other actor are terrible. Doug Bradley as Pinhead is superb of course. Too bad this is the last one he has been in, there has been one more Hellraiser that I haven’t seen but without Doug Bradley as Pinhead what’s the point?
38. Halloween: Resurrection-At the end of H2O(worst movie title ever) Micheal Myers is decapitated by his sister Laurie, or so we thought. He crashes a reality show that is filming at his old house but not before he kills Jamie Lee Curtis. This movie is actually not too bad, it’s just a little hokey at points and it has a totally post Scream feel to it. Just look at the poster.
37. Friday the 13th Part V: A New Beginning: Jason is dead.Killed by Tommy Jarvis at the end of part 4. Tommy is now a troubled teen and put in a foster home for teens. Killings start again and Tommy believes Jason has returned. What could be cool is a disappointment. This movie is gratuitous even for a Friday film. The only character that is redeemable is Reggie. The kills are ho-hum and so too is the conclusion. The one saving grace is the producers realized they need Jason to come back…
36. A Nightmare On Elm Street 5: The Dream Child-Freddy has been vanquished by Alice. He finds a way to come back by inhabiting the dreams of her unborn child. A cool premise is squandered by lame nightmare sequences and some really hammy performances. The worst is by the non believer of the group Yvonne. Freddy is good in this film, and there are some cool moments but not enough to save this film from being average.
35. Leatherface: Texas Chainsaw Massacre 3-Leatherface is back to his killing his way setting his sights on a couple driving across Texas. Viggo Mortenson is creppy in this film and there are some pretty sweet make up effects, but the whole film isn’t too exciting. Nothing happens for long stretches in this film and it really hampers your enjoyment while watching it.
34. Hellraiser: Hellseeker-The sixth entry in the Hellraiser has an interesting premise and it has some cool moments. The return of Kristy is a cool touch so too is the story of a man trying to piece together the car crash that killed his wife. There is some genuine tension in the film and it’s one of the better later sequels in the series.
33. Halloween:The Curse of Michael Myers-The sixth chapter in the Halloween series tries to explain the crazy origins from the last film. There are some truly terrifying moments in this film and it is really bloody. Too bad the cool moments are really spaced out or this could be a surprise late entry in this franchise.
32. Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2-The return of the Sawyer family has a little more black comedy then the first film. A radio DJ is harassed by the demented family and it has the great Tom Savini doing make up. It’s a fun movie but not quite to the heights of the original.
31. Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan-The movie that start my horror movie love. It suffers from Jason not really being in New York. Jason returns and wrecks havoc on a graduating class cruise to the Big Apple. Some cool kills like a single punch that knocks a head clean off. It also has some cool supernatural touches, especially creepy are the little Jason flash backs.
30. Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers-Picking up where part 4 left off, kind of. Michael is shot and left for dead by the police. He returns sometime later to finish what he started and that’s killing his little niece Jaime. For some reason they share a telepathic link and Jaime knows when he is about to strike. The movie is a little bit of a let down after 4, but it has some highlights for sure.
29. Hellraiser III: Hell on Earth-The 3rd installment in the Hellraiser series is ok. Pinhead is confined to a statue and he starts to come to life when he is given a blood offering. The movie takes a long time to gain some traction but when it does it’s pretty sweet. When Pinhead unleashes his power on a nightclub it’s bloody fantastic.
28. Friday the 13th Part 3-Jason finally gets his identity. In this 3rd chapter he gains his famous hockey mask. The movie is shot in 3D and there are some pretty sweet kills. I also think the final girl Dana Kimmell is really cute and she is easy to love. Too bad the rest of the movie is unspectacular. If Jason got out of the damn barn faster it would be better.
27. Hellraiser:Deader-This movie actually surprised me on how much I kinda enjoyed it. The beautiful Kari Wuhrer plays a reporter who is investigating a clan that can cheat death. If it wasn’t so silly at the end it would be higher on my list. Also the name is horrible, but the movie rises above it’s clunky title.
26. Halloween II(2009)-Rob Zombie did a pretty good job rebooting the Halloween franchise 2 years prior and continues his vision here. Laurie is now living with her friend Annie and she is disturbed from the trauma caused by Michael Myers. Myers returns and starts killing. Zombie takes his film to unusual places and not all work, especially Sheri Moon Zombie with a white horse, but most of the film works.
25. A Nightmare On Elm Street 2: Freddy’s Revenge-Freddy has found a way into the real world and that’s through the body of teen Jesse and has him commit some horrible acts of violence. I didn’t like this movie when I first watched it but I’ve grown to like it more as time has gone by. There are some awesome make up effects in this one, I love “you’ve got the body and I got the brains”
24. Halloween: H20-After 20 years Jaime Lee Curtis returns to the franchise that made her a star. She is now the principal of a private school and she has changed her name so her brother Michael can’t find her, but he does and the killings start all over again. It’s fun to see Jaime Lee Curtis in horror again and the movie has some great moments the ending is shocking too bad the next movie in the franchise ruined the impact but still good.
23. Jason X-Jason is frozen and left in a cryogenic chamber. He awakens 400 years in the future and wrecks havoc on a spaceship. It sounds lame but it works. There are some great moments and kills and I promise it’s better then the story would have you thinking. The only criticism I have is the music is not good, but look past that and see Jason take out a bunch of space marines.
22. A Nightmare On Elm Street 4: The Dream Master-Freddy returns to kill the remaining Dream Warriors but he soon realizes that they might have an upper hand on him. After this one the Nightmare series hit a low point with part 5 and 6, part 4 however is pretty good. I think part of it is the continuation of kids kicking Freddy’s ass and he is such a bastard that it is always a welcome sight.
21. Hellbound: Hellraiser II-The return of Pinhead almost reaches the heights of the original. Kristy is put in a institution and finds that there is someone who wants to bring not only Julia back but also the terrifying cenobites. Images is where Hellraiser succeeds where other horror movies fell. Some of the images are things of nightmares and Doug Bradley starts hitting his stride as Pinhead, totally fun to watch.
20. A Nightmare On Elm Street (2010)-It was only a matter of time before Freddy got a reboot and it is pretty successful. The reboot explains Freddy’s origin more and has some really cool nightmare effects. Jackie Earle Haley does a great job stepping into Robert Englund’s huge shoes. Hopefully it won’t be the last time we see him as Krueger.
19. Halloween II-Picking up where Halloween ended Michael Myers has escaped and Laurie is placed in a hospital. Soon Myers is on her trail and starts killing the staff and patients on his way to his sister. Halloween II is a pretty good follow up to the original hit. It has some great cat and mouse moments. This was supposed to be the end of Michael Myers but he proved to be too popular to stay dead.
18. Hellraiser:Inferno-A crooked cop finds a puzzle box while searching for a serial killer. What happens next is a slow descent into madness. I really liked this movie. It takes a fresh take on the whole Pinhead mythology and is creepy. Some fans dislike this entry because Pinhead is not in very much, I however think it makes his appearance have that much more impact. Call me a non purist but I really liked this movie.
17. Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood-Jason meets his match with a Carrie style girl who can use her telekinesis to attack Jason. Jason is up to the challenge and starts killing her friends and sets his sights on her. I love how Jason looks in this movie. He has all the damage from the previous films and he looks bad ass. Big drawback of this film is the horrible direction by John Buechler, oh well Jason looks awesome.
16. Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning-The second part to the Platinum Dunes remake is actually a prequel that traces Leatherface from birth to movie monster. The movie is gross and grimy.It’s also violent and awesome. It has a shocking ending that leaves you gasping for air.
15. Halloween(2007)-Rob Zombie took a lot of heat for remaking Halloween, but his vision is pretty good. He fleshes out the character of Michael Myers who grew up in an abusive home and he kills his sister and his moms boyfriend. The rest of the movie follows the original pretty closely with a few minor tweaks. Only problem I believe is that sometimes Zombie as a writer uses some too harsh of dialogue especially coming out of the mouths of teenage girls.
14. A Nightmare On Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors-Wes Craven was not a fan of the second film so he returned to write part 3. He choose to have Freddy have to fight teens who know how to control their dreams. The movie has some great kills and does a great job making Freddy scary. Fun movie.
13. Friday The 13th Part 2-The body count continues with the second bloody chapter in the Friday the 13th saga. This film introduces Jason as the villain. He made a scare at the end of the first film but here he is a fully realized monster. Part 2 follows the formula of the first film but adds to the body count. Lots of standout moments including a man in a wheelchair taking a machete to the face, yikes.
12. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre(2003)-A remake that is close to the original, the 03 Massacre is scary and gritty. It was great to see Leatherface be scary because a lot of times he was played for laughs. Here he is all business dispatching of teens in gruesome ways. This was a wonderful surprise when it was released and I still enjoy watching it today.
11. Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers-After the misstep that was Halloween 3, the horror fans craved the return of Michael Myers and he came back in a stylish and successful movie. Returning to Haddonfield Michael is on the prowl for his little niece Jaime. Of course he takes out more people along the way. This film is surprisingly good and moody. The ending is still great and I wish they continued that story instead of the one they ended up using but oh well it’s still a great ending.
10. Friday the 13th(2009)-Another remake that is really good. This film is basically a retelling of the original 3 films in the franchise. Jason is back and he is angry. He is played with such anger he once again is scary. The movie also has some great kills and some great naked ladies, which is much appreciated in a Friday the 13th film.
9. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre(1974)-A family of cannibals that terrorize a group of teenagers is as shocking today as it was in 1974. Tobe Hooper made a film that hammers the senses. What is an unusual about this film is there is not too much blood on screen even though you swore you saw some. That’s a tribute to Hooper the film maker emphasizing that less is more in some cases. The scene where Leatherface clobbers a dude with a sledgehammer still gives me the willies.
8. Hellraiser-From the mind of Clive Barker could only come Hellraiser. It is a violent, shockingly gothic fest. When a family moves into a home that was once occupied by their sleazy Uncle, it becomes apparent that there are some other wordly forces trying to make it to our world. The are some tremendous make up effects and some truly terrifying creatures in this film. The rebirth of Uncle Frank is gory good.
7. Friday the 13th(1980)-The movie that started the slasher movie craze. It has a mystery killer and elaborate deaths that would become a staple of the genre. When a boy drowns at Camp Crystal Lake, two counselors are then murdered. The camp stays closed for years until an attempt to reopen it is derailed by more grisly murders. What can be said about this film that already hasn’t. It’s a classic and defined horror films in the early 80′s. A must for horror fans.
6. Wes Craven’s New Nightmare-A movie that was way ahead of it’s time, this movie is a movie inside a movie. Heather Langenkamp plays herself who is under stress because of earthquakes and a prank caller pretending to be Freddy, or is it really Freddy trying to cross over into our world. A film with such a cool premise where all the actors are real people. It blurs the lines of fiction and reality and it’s great to see Freddy scary again. Another meta joke, in the credits it says Freddy Krueger as Himself.
5. Freddy vs. Jason-The movie that horror movies fans have been waiting for has arrived. Freddy uses Jason to scare kids in Springwood into thinking it’s him, thus giving him all his power back. But Jason won’t let Freddy kill the kids before him so it turns into a big old slobber knocker. This movie is fun and gives fans of both series something to root for, who wins? The fans.
4. Friday the 13th:The Final Chapter-Jason finally gets his. After years of killing people Jason finally meets his maker, a intelligent boy. After Jason kills a house full of partying teenagers he chases young Tommy Jarvis, but Tommy has a plan, and maybe a way to stop Jason forever. This is the ultimate Friday film. Lots of blood, lots of boobs. Jason’s death is spaltter-rific as well.
3. Halloween(1978)-All slasher films after Halloween owe a debt to it. From stalking teens to an unstoppable killer it all started here. When young Michael Myers is put in an insane asylum after murdering his sister, he escapes years later to finish what he started. Great music and wonderful direction make this one tense thriller. It still holds up today and if it wasn’t for this film we wouldn’t have Friday the 13th.
2. A Nightmare On Elm Street (1984)-Wes Craven had already made a name for himself with films “The Last House On The Left” and “The Hills Have Eyes”, but he solidified his master of horror status with the amazing A Nightmare on Elm Street. Child killer Fred Kreuger returns from the grave to haunt kids of Springwood in their dreams. If you die in your dreams you die in real life, so don’t fall asleep! Another 80′s horror film that had a huge impact not only horror but pop culture. New Line Cinema was a struggling film company until Freddy came around and now is loving called The House That Freddy built. So no Freddy, maybe no Lord of The Rings.
1. Friday The 13th Part VI: Jason Lives-My favorite slasher film ever! Jason comes back to life and starts a new reign of terror. This time as an unkillable zombie. The movie also has a nice sense of humor. Surprisingly no nudity, but it is not needed because the movie is so well done. This pick might surprise some people but give this one a chance it’s really good, promise.