Even if you’ve never seen a single movie in the franchise, there’s a good chance you’re at least partially aware of some key elements of the Friday the 13th series. There’s the eerie chee-chee-chee-hah-hah-hah sound effect, the gratuitous violence and adult subject matter, the isolated summer camp setting, and of course, the series’ recurring main antagonist, Jason Voorhees.
Decked out in his signature hockey mask and with his trusty machete by his side, Jason has become not only the breakout character of the Friday the 13th films, but a staple of modern horror in general. His name lives side by side with other indelible horror creations, like Freddy Krueger, Ghostface, Leatherface, and Michael Myers, personifying all the foremost traits and characteristics one associates with the slasher subgenre.
With its initial entry coming out in the summer of 1980, the Friday the 13th series has the distinction of being one of the most popular series in the entire summer season. Over the course of 30 years, the franchise has seen a total of 13 entries, including nine sequels, one cross-over, and one reboot. With that many movies comprising its collective universe, it can be a little tricky knowing the correct order to watch the Friday the 13th films.
From its original film up to its eventual reboot, here is every Friday the 13th movie ever made, organized in chronological order.
The Main Continuity: Friday the 13th
In 1957, the 11-year-old Jason Voorhees drowns while attending Camp Crystal Lake after a pair of counselors sneak off to sleep with one another, failing to notice Jason’s cries for help. Devastated over the preventable loss of her son’s life, Jason’s mother, Pamela Voorhees, kills the two counselors in a murderous rage. In the wake of Jason’s death and the murder of the two counselors, Camp Crystal Lake is shut down, cultivating a troubled reputation for the next two decades.
In 1979, the camp reopens, with several teenage counselors heading to Crystal Lake to refurbish the cabins and prepare for the summer season. Furious at the camp reopening its doors, Mrs. Voorhees returns to Crystal Lake, murdering each of the counselors one by one. While trying to dispatch the final counselor, Alice Hardy, Mrs. Voorhees is instead killed by Alice. Drifting down Crystal Lake in a canoe, Alice experiences a vision of Jason’s corpse attacking her. Awaking from this vision to see she’s now in a hospital, Alice ominously reflects that Jason is still somewhere beneath Crystal Lake, his distressed spirit continuing to haunt the camp grounds.
Friday the 13th Part 2
Roughly two months after Pamela Voorhees is killed by Alice Hardy, Alice is killed by a recently reanimated Jason Voorhees, who now appears as a full-grown man. Five years later, a training camp for prospective camp counselors opens close to Crystal Lake, summoning Jason’s vengeful spirit.
Using his inhuman strength and hulking size to his advantage, Jason – who hides his face beneath a burlap sack – hunts the teenage counselors of the newly-opened camp out of revenge for both his and his mother’s deaths. Momentarily distracted by a counselor impersonating his mother, Jason is seemingly killed by Ginny Field. In the closing moments of the film, however, his body has disappeared, hinting that he survived his injuries.
Friday the 13th Part III
Narrowly surviving his encounter with Ginny, a grievously wounded Jason picks up a change of clothes and recuperates in a lake-side barn on the property of the Higgins family. Before long, the Higgins family’s teenage daughter, Chris, arrives at the property for a cathartic vacation with her friends. Upon their arrival, they are slowly picked off by Jason, who dons his infamous hockey mask for the first time.
With all of her friends dead, Chris fends off Jason, recognizing him as the same man who had left her traumatized after a terrifying encounter two years prior. Plunging an ax into his head, Chris escapes her family’s property, only to experience a vivid nightmare involving a resurrected Jason and Pamela Voorhees pursuing her.
Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter
One night after the massacre at Higgins Haven, the police arrive to take Jason’s body away. Arriving at the morgue, Jason spontaneously reawakens and murders the staff. Leaving the facility and returning to Crystal Lake, Jason targets another group of teens visiting the area, hunting them down one by one until only teenager Trish Jarvis and her 12-year-old brother, Tommy, remain.
Shaving his head and deliberately making himself appear like Jason, Tommy distracts the killer long enough for Trish to slash at Jason with his machete, knocking off his mask. As he moves in to finish Trish off, Tommy picks up the machete and repeatedly strikes Jason in the head with it, apparently killing him.
Friday the 13th: A New Beginning
Several years after killing Jason, a now teenage Tommy Jarvis suffers from severe PTSD as a result of his encounter with the notorious Crystal Lake murderer. Arriving at the Pinehurst Halfway House to treat his worsening mental health, Tommy interacts with the other members of the facility, who are predominantly teenagers themselves.
Not long after Tommy’s arrival, a series of murders sweeps through the halfway house, beginning with the murder of Joey Burns by hot-tempered fellow patient, Vic Faden. Owing to the brutal nature of these killings, the police begin to suspect that Jason Voorhees has returned from the dead, or that Tommy himself is the person responsible for the slayings.
After most of the halfway house’s residents are killed, Tommy confronts the murderer, who is now sporting a hockey mask and bears an uncanny physical resemblance to Jason. Knocking him off the roof of a barn and onto a tractor harrow, the police unmask the deceased murderer, discovering that he is actually Roy Burns, the paramedic father to Joey Burns who went mad after his son’s death. Inspired by the grisly stories of Jason’s murders, Roy took up Jason’s mask and sought revenge against the house’s residents.
Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives
Years after the killing spree at Pinehurst, a now adult Tommy Jarvis is released from a psychiatric hospital, having been plagued by recurring nightmares involving Jason. Hoping to finally put the past behind him, Tommy returns to Crystal Lake – now known as Forest Green – to incinerate Jason’s remains. As he prepares to do so, a bolt of lightning strikes Jason’s rotting corpse, giving him new life as an unstoppable zombie with superhuman strength.
With his warnings to the police going ignored, Tommy watches in horror as Jason picks up where he left off, indiscriminately killing any Forest Green residents he comes across. After being falsely accused of committing the murders himself, Tommy is able to escape police custody and lure Jason to the middle of Crystal Lake. Remembering that Tommy is the one responsible for his previous death, Jason chases after Tommy, only for Tommy to strap a boulder around Jason’s neck. Pinned to the bottom of the lake by the immense weight, the still living Jason silently waits to be freed from his temporary imprisonment beneath the surface.
Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood
Some time after Jason is weighed to the bottom of Crystal Lake by Tommy, Tina Shepard – a young girl struggling with psychic powers – accidentally kills her abusive father in a fit of rage, drowning him in the lake. Years later, a guilt-ridden Tina tries to come to terms with the role she played in her father’s death, returning to Crystal Lake on the advice of her conniving, self-interested psychiatrist. Standing along the docks of the lake, Tina begins to wish that her father was still alive, accidentally releasing Jason from his watery sleep below the lake.
Returning to the surface for the first time in years, a significantly-decomposed Jason continues murdering anyone he encounters, including a group of teenagers vacationing next door to the Shepards. Using her psychic powers, Tina manages to slow Jason down as he relentlessly pursues her to the docks. There, she uses her abilities to summon the ghost of her father, who drags Jason to the bottom of the lake, chaining him to the floor of Camp Crystal Lake once again.
Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan
A short time after he’s pulled to the bottom of Crystal Lake, Jason is resurrected by a houseboat passing overhead, the boat’s anchor causing some underwater electrical cables to send a bolt of electricity into Jason’s corpse. Rising to the surface, Jason kills the boat’s inhabitants and stows away aboard the S.S. Lazarus, a ship transporting a group of high school students and their chaperones to New York City.
Murdering several passengers on board the ship, Jason continues his rampage once the Lazarus arrives in New York. Chasing after the few surviving students from the Lazarus, Jason pursues them through the city’s sewer system. After teenage survivor Rennie throws a vat of toxic waste into his face, a sudden flood of water sweeps through the sewers. Remembering his death as a child, a traumatized Jason is consumed by the flood, leaving behind an unconscious Jason who’s physically reverted back to his previous childlike appearance.
Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday
Inexplicably transformed into his adult form once again, Jason returns to Crystal Lake. Pursuing a lone woman through the forest, Jason is lured into the middle of an ambush manned by FBI and SWAT agents, who proceed to obliterate his body with gunfire and a simultaneous ordinance strike. With Jason’s body now in pieces, the only thing that remains is his still-beating heart, which is taken away to the morgue.
After coercing a coroner into consuming his heart, Jason seizes control of the mortician’s body, using it as his vessel to continue his murderous reign of terror. Having grown obsessed with killing Jason, bounty hunter Creighton Duke theorizes that the only person capable of permanently killing Jason is a member of his family. Hopping from body to body, Jason nearly manages to resurrect himself into his superhuman state, but is stopped by his niece, Jessica, who stabs him with a magical dagger, sending him to Hell. After a dog uncovers Jason’s mask, the gloved hand of Freddy Krueger bursts through the earth, pulling the mask back down to Hell while giggling maniacally.
Freddy vs. Jason
Having been forgotten by the next generation of children in Springwood, Freddy Krueger plots ways to return to the human realm after his death in Freddy's Dead: The Final Nightmare. Resurrecting Jason, Freddy manipulates his fellow killer by impersonating his mother, Pamela, tricking him into killing Springwood’s teens to spread awareness about Freddy’s legend, strengthening his ability to cross over into people’s dreams.
Realizing that Jason’s murderous spree has gotten out of control, Freddy tries to betray his ally-turned-rival. Meanwhile, a group of Springwood teenagers devise a plan to bring Freddy into the human world, coercing him into fighting Jason on an even playing ground. With their plan successful and Freddy once again free from his nightmare realm, the two murderers engage in a fierce battle, seemingly killing one another. The next day, Jason emerges from Crystal Lake holding Freddy’s severed head, which in turn looks into the camera, winking at the audience as Freddy chuckles.
The Spin-Off Films: Jason X
Given its futuristic setting, it may seem that Jason X exists in the same overall continuity of the Friday the 13th series, but that isn’t strictly the case. However, you can hypothesize that the events of this film do indeed pick up on Jason’s story from the original films (likely sometime after his battle with Freddy in Freddy vs. Jason).
Initially set in 2008, Jason is captured by the U.S. military and imprisoned at the Crystal Lake Research Facility. After trying (and failing) to find a way to kill him over the next two years, the facility’s research team suggest cryogenically freezing Jason, holding him in stasis for the next 455 years.
In 2455, Jason is awakened from cryo-sleep by a group of teenagers exploring the now-abandoned research station. Initially believing Jason to be dead, they transport his body into space on their way back to Earth II, only for Jason to reawaken and attack the ship’s passengers. After massacring a majority of the people he finds onboard, Jason is jettisoned from the ship, his body plummeting through the orbit of Earth II, burning up in the planet’s atmosphere.
Friday the 13th (2009)
A remake of the original 1980 Friday the 13th, 2009’s Friday the 13th differs from its predecessor in a number of ways. With a prologue that begins in 1980, a young Jason witnesses the death of his mother Pamela at the hands of a camp counselor, putting an end to Pamela’s killing spree. Thirty years later, a now fully-grown Jason murders a group of teenagers exploring Crystal Lake, sparing only one – Whitney Miller – who bears a strong resemblance to his mother, Pamela.
Six weeks later, Whitney’s brother, Clay, sets out in search of his missing sister, tracking her last known whereabouts to Crystal Lake. Around the same time, a separate group of friends arrive at Crystal Lake, triggering another murderous rage from Jason. Teaming with the group’s few survivors, Clay rescues an imprisoned Whitney, using her resemblance to Pamela to trick Jason, allowing them to stab him and dump his body into the lake. As they walk away, Jason’s body bursts through the wooden planks of the dock, grabbing Whitney and pulling her back into the lake.