Friday the 13th: My thoughts on the franchise

Spoilers for all ten films! Overall, I had fun watching the ten Friday the 13th/Jason movies, but these films do not lend themselves to binge watching. The basic three act structure of (most of) these films grew to be monotonous. I’m envious of the people who watched these films as they were released, like they were intended.

The First two films, and the 6th, were easily my favorites, 3 & 4 are worthwhile watches with inventive moments. Although, Besides a couple moments in the 7th film, the rest of the series is not that great.

I think the creators had a difficult time with Jason, Unlike Freddy from the Nightmare franchise, there are is only so much you can do with Jason, a Mute, hulking man. In two of the films Jason  isn’t even the killer, in another he’s a body switching slug entity, halfway through the series they zombify him, and in the tenth film they take him to space.

They also rushed these films to the screen, 8 movies in 9 years, that’s almost unheard of today. Actors, Directors, Writers and producers seemed to jump ship after one film. Another factor that took away from most of the sequels were the lack of gore and blood, which was so prevalent in the first film. The practical effects used throughout the series are great, the stories about the creation of these effects and how they achieved them are fun to read.

As I watched the Films, I took notes, below are my unedited notes as I watched the series for the first time.

Not including the reboot or Freddy Vs. Jason (which I will watch once I’m done the Nightmare franchise.)

If your looking for how I’d rank the series you can find that here!

Friday the 13th (1980)

  • Definitely a creepy film, the POV shots from the “killer” are campy, the acting is pretty bad, really my only complaints though.
  • The practical effects are good for 1980
  • The most interesting thing is that the kids are picked off one by one and no one really notices until the last half hour of the film, but the way the script works it makes sense that the characters wouldn’t notice the missing campers.
  • The killer was really smart honestly, and put in a lot of work, the clumsiness portrayed by Mrs. Vorhees in the final act is not reminiscent of her earlier cunningness
  • Love the gore
  • They sadly Killed an actual snake for this film
  • Holds up, a bit outdated, but not bad for almost 40 years old!

Friday the 13th part 2 (1981)

  • Great opening
  • The addition of many characters makes most of them blend into the background, no real standout after forty minutes
  • Definitely a creepy and tense movie
  • Jason may not be as smart as his mother
  • I love how he has a huge selection of weapons, pick axe, machete, spear
  • Ginny is an odd hero, she makes smart moves followed by dumb moves. She’s not entirely smart or dumb, but an interesting & Intriguing final girl

Friday the 13th Part 3 (1982)

  • shelly Is an annoying character
  • The first half hour is boring with no conflict and nothing very scary.
  • Not a compelling character in sight
  • Bad acting
  • Jason’s suddenly left camp Crystal Lake and then comes back?
  • Who is Chris Higgins? Are we supposed to know herfrom a past movie?
  • I do like Chris Higgins as the final girl here, she’s smarter than some, although her story and character isn’t as well developed
  • Watching these movies back to back really tires you out of this basic three act structure Jason is able to kill all these other characters with ease, but that final girl is just too difficult I guess

Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter (1984)

  • I guess I’m a little confused by the cops roles in all of this, thirty odd kids have been murdered by now and they haven’t been scouring the woods for a killer until now? (Edit: Come to find out that the films from 2 to 4 take place over a short time period
  • The problem with these movies is the character development is boring. We don’t need to see horny teens running around for forty minutes of screen time before anything happens.
  • Four is a bit of a bore. It’s sad to think they had originally planned for this to be “the final chapter”
  • Some great deaths
  • Trish isn’t a great final girl at all
  • Where is the Jarvis mother and dog? No death scene for them?
  • Tommy is a great “final girl”, a great character and interesting character and a good ending

Friday the 13th: A New Beginning (1985)

  • Boring, too many characters
  • Bad acting
  • They’ve tried for a different story here, but it’s poorly written and directed
  • Very hokey and silly
  • What a bore jeez
  • Annoying AF final girl
  • Decent ending , twist and tinal ending

Friday the 13th Part 6: Jason Lives (1986)

  • I love the opening of this movie
  • I love Jason’s strength and zombie like abilities,
  • First movie with a sense of humor, laughed when Jason accidentally ripped a guy’s arm off and just looked at it
  • Jason’s smarter and I like it
  • So Jason won’t kill a kid? Interesting
  • I dislike the guy playing Tommy
  • And Megan is annoying
  • I feel like these movies think they need to kill the bad guy, if you want to make a sequel, just leave him alive somehow. Have him kill everyone involved, we don’t need a final survivor!

Friday the 13th Part 7: The New Blood (1988)

  • Interesting at first but then goes the Same predictable route
  • Lack of gore for an r rating
  • It has a very tiny bit of originality
  • Sadly the lack of believable blood and gore makes this a sad entry
  • It’s basically Carrie vs Jason
  • Good end, Jason’s zombie makeup is good
  • Kane Hodder is an undeniable on screen presence, finally an actor takes on Jason who seems to actually care about the role and his stunt work and back story seem to confirm this

Friday the 13th Part 8: Jason Takes Manhattan (1989)

  • It’s a welcome change, seeing as the producers can’t conjure a completely compelling story surrounding Crystal Lake
  • The character of Charles is unlike any person living. A cliché for sure.
  • It just doesn’t feel like a fully realized story, with glaring plot holes.
  • The fight between Julius and Jason is fun actually
  • How did the ship take off from Crystal Lake and end up in New York.
  • How does Jason get from the boat to New York?
  • How does Jason find the characters in New York so easily?
  • The teacher just couldn’t get out of the burning police car? Wtf.
  • So Jason inexplicably reverts back to a 10 year old kid and they just leave him?

Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday (1993)

  • … How did we get here and why is Jason making noise? He never makes noises
  • The opening of this movie makes me dislike 8 even more, because there’s no connection between 8 to 9
  • Always a dog in these movies….
  • This is a little too out there and a wild departure for this series
  • Again, we’re an hour into this and Jason had like no screen time
  • Some definite entertaining moments, the body melting scene was great
  • So weird
  • I’m honestly rooting for “Jason” to get out of this body
  • This is what happens when you force creative people to rush

Jason X (2001)

  • I don’t understand why they’d ever take the movies down this road? Why….
  • Jason looks are different
  • Cool death with the girls frozen face
  • The android girl is cool
  • All these shots and no one shoots Jason in the head
  • Definitely kinda cool, but sadly almost boring, characters are boring too
  • Uber Jason lol
  • Lame ending
  • It’s really any scifi movie but with Jason in it



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The Best Movies of 2017

2017 was a good year for film, if you’d asked me a few months ago, I would have disagreed.

I would say I love my top ten, I’m in love with every single movie from one to ten, and even some after that. There also isn’t really a “bad” movie in my top 60, which is difficult feat to achieve.

My top five has remain unchanged for quite sometime, my number one remaining unchanged since July, there was no greater cinematic experience than my number 1.

At the bottom I will provide a link where you can see all 102 films I saw in 2017 ranked from best to worst, but for now, here are my top FORTY films of 2017! Forty films that I felt needed to be on a top of the year list, and that I stand by as good movies:

  1. Dunkirk
  2. Lady Bird
  3. Star Wars: The Last Jedi
  4. Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
  5. Wind River
  6. War for the Planet of the Apes
  7. Blade Runner 2049
  8. It
  9. I Don’t Feel at Home in This World Anymore
  10. The Florida Project
  11. Molly’s Game
  12. Logan
  13. Brawl in Cell Block 99
  14. The Disaster Artist
  15. Brigsby Bear
  16. Mudbound
  17. Wonder
  18. Darkest Hour
  19. Guardians of the Galaxy vol. 2
  20. The Killing of a Sacred Deer
  21. Logan Lucky
  22. The Big Sick
  23. Coco
  24. Thor: Ragnarok
  25. Alien: Covenant
  26. A Ghost Story
  27. Get Out
  28. Gerald’s Game
  29. Baby Driver
  30. Beach Rats
  31. Last Flag Flying
  32. The Shape of Water
  33. Patti Cake$
  34. The Ritual
  35. Life
  36. The Lost City of Z
  37. The Wall
  38. Good Time
  39. Raw
  40. The Greatest Showman

See all 102 movies ranked here on Letterboxd

Best films of 2017

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The Best Movies from 2017 you haven’t seen

Here’s some smaller movies that kind of flew under the radar, you might look at them and think they’re not worth watching, but please give them a shot!

A Ghost Story is on Netflix, and I’m not sure if I should be recommending it, it’s very different, but don’t shut it off, get through the first half hour and you’re in for a treat!

  1. Pattie Cake$
  2. Beach Rats
  3. Brawl in Cell Block 99
  4. Brigsby Bear
  5. Logan Lucky
  6. Life
  7. A Ghost Story
  8. Last Flag Flying
  9. Good Time
  10. The Lego Batman Movie

Other good movies you may have missed: Annabelle: Creation, The Ritual, I don’t Feel at Home in this World Anymore

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Best Blockbusters of 2017:

This is a year where the blockbusters have gotten a lot of notoriety on my list Star Wars, War for the Planet of the Apes, Blade Runner 2049 & It appear on my lists several times. It was a year where the blockbusters were surprisingly all pretty good, and the bad ones actually seemed to mimic their terribleness with lower than expected box office numbers (Justice League, Transformers 5).

  1. Star Wars: The Last Jedi
  2. War for the Planet of the Apes
  3. Blade Runner 2049
  4. It
  5. Guardians of the Galaxy vol. 2
  6. Logan
  7. Thor: Ragnarok
  8. Wonder Woman
  9. Baby Driver
  10. Alien: Covenant

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Underrated Movies of 2017

Hey! Here’s ten movies that I felt were slightly underrated, didn’t get the respect they deserved, were slightly underappreciated, didn’t make the money they should have, or were thought of too negatively.

  1. Life

Rotten Tomatoes: 67%

Box Office: only 100 Million on a 50 million budget

Fun, exciting, scary, and well acted, this is one great time at the movies.

2. War for the Planet of the Apes
Box office: 490.7 million (compared to its predecessor Dawn 710.6 million)

Incredibly beautiful to look at, moving, poignant and surprisingly one of the more relevant movies to our current times.

3. The Lost City of Z
Box Office: 17 million

A terrific adaptation, great production design, acting from Pattinson and even from the usually not so great Hunnam, and an engrossing emotional story.

4. The Lego Batman Movie
Oscar nominations: 0

Boss Baby Oscar Nominations:

5. The Wall
Rotten Tomatoes: 66%

Box Office: 4.5 million

A simple story, but an Incredibly tense cat and mouse thriller that feels authentic and scary.

6. Alien: Covenant
Box Office: 240 million (compared to Prometheus’ 403 million)

Rotten Tomatoes: 68%

I loved Prometheus, but Alien Covenant is a return to form for the franchise, a smart, horrifying sequel.

7. Annabelle: Creation
Rotten Tomatoes: 69%

How could a sequel to an almost poor horror film be so incredibly terrifying and surprisingly good? Do not skip this film.

8. I Don’t Feel at Home in this World Anymore
Funny and entertaining while being smart, feels like a good 90’s crime/action thriller. Should be on many more top of the year lists, it’s hard to gauge its popularity when it’s a Netflix release but the buzz feels low, and this is a film I want more of, so I’ll champion it.

9. Bright
Rotten Tomatoes: 27%

Bright isn’t that great, but it’s fun and entertaining and deserves a higher rating than 27%

10. Free Fire
Rotten Tomatoes: 68%

Box Office: 7 million

Wickedly entertaining with a smart script, deserves better on all accounts.

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Best Lead Female Actor of 2017

Either Oscar performance is deserving, I just happen to feel I liked the performance from Saoirse Ronan more. Her character, Lady Bird, falls on the side of reality, and her performance is authentic, and genuine. McDormand’s performance was strong, and wonderful though.

I’ve been a fan of Elizabeth Olsen’s since Martha Marcy May Marlene, and I can’t remember a time I wasn’t a fan of Chastain’s…. was there a time? I don’t recall. Sally Hawkins & Streep really didn’t do too much for me in their leading roles this year, I love them both as actors obviously, there were performances I enjoyed more thoroughly. 

Director Sean Baker got a wonderful performance from Brooklyn Prince in The Florida Project, I’m sure a lot of the credit must go to him, but there is no doubt Prince was great. Lynskey gave one of my favorite performances, as one of my favorite characters from 2017. Another young actor on my list, newcomer Dafne Keen was terrific as X-23/Laura, and if you disagree, watch her audition video.

Nicole Kidman had a wonderful year, and for a woman who has been in the game a while, she continues to shine. Vicky Krieps has been in many films, but really burst on to the scene with her performance in Phantom Thread, and it takes someone great to steal the show from Mr. Daniel Day-Lewis.

  1. Saoirse Ronan – Lady Bird
  2. Frances McDormand – Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
  3. Margot Robbie – I, Tonya
  4. Elizabeth Olsen – Wind River
  5. Jessica Chastain – Molly’s Game
  6. Brooklyn Prince – The Florida Project
  7. Melanie Lynskey – I Don’t Feel at Home in this World Anymore
  8. Dafne Keen – Logan
  9. Nicole Kidman – The Beguiled
  10. Vicky Krieps – Phantom Thread

Almost Made it: Gal GadotWonder Woman, Tatiana Maslany – Stronger, Emma Stone – Battle of the Sexes and Carla Gugino – Gerald’s Game

Other Notable Performances: Sally Hawkins – The Shape of Water, Meryl Streep – The Post, Judi Dench – Victoria & Abdul, Charlize Theron – Atomic Blonde, Sandra Oh – Catfight, Jennifer Lawrence – Mother, Daisy Ridley – Star Wars: The Last Jedi, Rebecca Ferguson – Life, McKenna Grace – Gifted, Carey Mulligan – Mudbound, Lily Collins – To the Bone, Kristen Stewart – Personal Shopper

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Best Lead Male Actor

It happens more often than not, that when someone is a lock to win an Oscar, and they do, they’re almost dismissed, it’s as if the person isn’t as deserving of that Oscar. You’ll hear people say “This person was snubbed” or “The best performance of the year wasn’t even nominated”. This year, I wholeheartedly believe that Gary Oldman deserved this Oscar, and no, not a lifetime achievement Oscar, because yes, he deserves that as well. No, Gary Oldman deserves this Oscar for this performance, it’s really great. Obviously, you can hardly tell it’s him because of the makeup, but you’d be hard pressed to tell it’s him if you didn’t know.

There is no doubt in my mind that the powers that be at the Academy didn’t have a hand in James Franco not being nominated for best actor, as he easily gave the 2nd best acted performance of 2017, and the news of his alleged sexual harassment was released mere days before the voting ended, and most voters probably had their votes in. Maybe it will come out one day, and it will be a scandal, that they removed Franco and put in the one with the next highest votes.

For 17 years Jackman has given pretty great performances as Logan, but in 2017 he gave it his all as the older, rapidly debilitating Wolverine in Logan.

Sometimes good performances come from not so great movies (Split) or almost bad ones (The Glass Castle). Get Out is a good film elevated even higher by its performance from Kaluuya, while Pattinson transforms himself into the despicable character of Connie Nikas. Thomas Jane is a man who never gets his due, probably because he doesn’t always pick the best films, but even when he’s in a bad movie, like 2016’s The Veil, he gives 110%.

Steve Carrel had a good year, He had some fun with Battle of the Sexes, he gave his regular voice performance in Despicable me 3 which was probably a nice paycheck, but it was his quiet, unassuming role in Last Flag Flying that felt real and lived in. Kyle Mooney, who I’m not the biggest fan of on Saturday Night Life gave his film Brigsby Bear everything he had, and it shows.

  1. Gary Oldman – The Darkest Hour
  2. James Franco – The Disaster Artist
  3. Hugh Jackman – Logan
  4. James McAvoy – Split
  5. Woody Harrelson – The Glass Castle
  6. Daniel Kaluuya – Get Out
  7. Robert Pattinson – Good Time
  8. Thomas Jane – 1922
  9. Steve Carrell – Last Flag Flying
  10. Kyle Mooney – Brigsby Bear

Almost Made it: Ali Fazal – Victoria & Abdul, Jake Gyllenhaal – Stronger, Timothee Chalamet – Call me by your Name, Jaeden Lieberher – It, and Daniel Day-Lewis – Phantom Thread

Other Notable Performances: Jeremy Renner – Wind River, Aaron Taylor-Jonson – The Wall, Andy Serkis – War for the Planet of the Apes, Kumail Nanjiani – The Big Sick, Ansel Elgort – Baby Driver, Charlie Hunnam – The Lost City of Z, Joel Edgerton – It Comes at Night, Jake Gyllenhaal – Life, Jason Clarke – Mudbound, Bruce Greenwood – Gerald’s Game, Jacob Tremblay – Wonder, Hugh Jackman – The Greatest Showman

Male Actor

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Best Ensemble Performances of 2017

Without a doubt, The best ensemble performance is from Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri. An All-around terrifically acted movie, even Lucas Hedges, who is criminally underused here, is great. Trailing behind it, is It, director Andy Muschietti, took great up and coming actors and unknowns and got great performances from almost every one of them.

  1. Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri – Frances McDormand, Woody Harrelson, Sam Rockwell, Caleb Landry Jones, Peter Dinklage, Abbie Cornish, Lucas Hedges, Zeljko Ivanek, Amanda Warren, etc.
  2. It – Bill Skarsgård, Jaeden Lieberher, Sophia Lillis, Jeremy Ray Taylor, Finn Wolfhard, Chosen Jacobs, Jack Dylan Grazer, Wyatt Olef, Jackson Robert Scott, etc.
  3. Mudbound – Jason Clarke, Jason Mitchell, Rob Morgan, Mary J. Blige, Garrett Hedlund, Carey Mulligan, Jason Clarke, Jonathan Banks, Kennedy Derosin, Kelvin Harrison Jr., Lucy Faust
  4. Lady Bird – Saoirse Ronan, Laurie Metc3alf, Tracy Letts, Lucas Hedges, Timothee Chalamet, Beanie Feldstein, Lois Smith, Jordan Rodrigues, Odeya Rush, Stephen Henderson, etc.
  5. Molly’s Game – Jessica Chastain, Idris Elba, Kevin Costner, Michael Cera, Chris O’Dowd, J.C. MacKenzie, Brian d’Arcy James, Bill Camp, Graham Greene, etc.
  6. I, Tonya – Margot Robbie, Sebastian Stan, Allison Janney, Julianne Nicholson, Paul Walter Hauser, Bobby Cannavale, McKenna Grace, Caitlin Carver, etc.
  7. The Big Sick – Kumail Nanjiani, Zoe Kazan, Holly Hunter, Ray Romano, Anupam Kher, Zenobia Shroff, Aidy Bryant, Adeel Akhtar, Bo Burnham,
  8. Logan Lucky – Channing Tatum, Adam Driver, Daniel Craig, Riley Keough, Katie Holmes, Jim O’Heir, Jack Quaid, Brian Gleeson, Katherine Waterston, Dwight Yoakam, Sebastian Stan, Hilary Swank, Macon Blair, etc.
  9. Logan – Hugh Jackman, Patrick Stewart, Dafne Keen, Stephen Merchant, Boyd Holbrook, Elizabeth Rodrigues, Richard E. Grant, Eriq La Salle, Quincy Fouse,
  10. Darkest Hour – Gary Oldman, Kristin Scott Thomas, Ben Mendolsohn, Lily James, Ronald Pickup, Stephan Dillane, Nicholas Jones, Samuel West, David Schofield, etc

Other Notable Ensemble Performances – Detroit, The Disaster Artist, The Killing of A Sacred Deer

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Best Young Actors of 2017

It has been a great year for young actors, Brooklyn Prince gave an award winning performance in The Florida Project as well as Dafne Keen in Logan. Sophia Lillis was a standout in the horror film It while McKenna Grace seems poised to follow in the steps of young stars such as Dakota Fanning.

  1. Sophia Lillis – It
  2. Brooklyn Prince – The Florida Project
  3. Dafne Keen – Logan
  4. Ella Anderson – The Glass Castle
  5. McKenna Grace – Gifted & I, Tonya
  6. Raffey Cassidy – The Killing of a Sacred Deer
  7. Jaeden Lieberher – It
  8. Sunny Suljic – The Killing of a Sacred Deer
  9. Izabela Vidovic – Wonder
  10. Finn Wolfhard, Jackson Robert Scott, Jack Dylan Grazer, Chosen Jacobs, Wyatt Oleff, Jeremy Ray Taylor – It

Other Notable Performances: Amiah Miller – War for the Planet of the Apes, Jacob Tremblay – Wonder, Noah Jupe – Wonder

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Best Supporting Male Actors of 2017

Let’s start with one thing here: the fact that I had a list for Supporting Male actors double the size of supporting female actors is ridiculous. Anyways, Willem Dafoe was great in The Florida Project, playing a great character, he was just as deserving of the Oscar as Rockwell.

  1. Sam Rockwell – Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
  2. Willem Dafoe – The Florida Project
  3. Michael Shannon – The Shape of Water
  4. Barry Keoghan – The Killing of a Sacred Deer
  5. Jason Mitchell – Mudbound
  6. Tracy Letts – Lady Bird
  7. Sebastian Stan – I, Tonya
  8. Daniel Craig – Logan Lucky
  9. Ray Ramono – The Big Sick
  10. Woody Harrelson – Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri & War for the Planet of the Apes

Almost made it: Patrick Stewart – Logan, Adam Driver – Star Wars: The Last Jedi & Logan Lucky, and Benny Safdie – Good Time

Other Notable Performances: Richard Jenkins – The Shape of Water, Rob Morgan – Mudbound, Jason Mitchell – Detroit, John Boyega – Detroit, Algee Smith – Detroit, Will Poulter – Detroit, Michael Fassbender – Alien: Covenant, Harrison Ford – Blade Runner: 2049, Dave Franco – The Disaster Artist, Bill Skarsgard – It, , Bradley Whitford – Get Out, Michael Stuhlburg – Call Me by Your Name, Chris Pine – Wonder Woman, Robert Pattinson – The Lost City of Z, Tom Holland – The Lost City of Z, Idris Elba – Molly’s Game, James McCavoy – Atomic Blonde, Graham Greene – Wind River, Paul Walter Hauser – I, Tonya, Noah Jupe – Wonder

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