The franchise is mainly based on the fictional character of Jason Voorhees, who drowned at Camp Crystal Lake as a boy due to the negligence of the teenage counselors. Decades later, the lake is rumored to be “cursed” and is the setting for a series of mass murders. Jason is featured in all of the films, either as the killer or as the motivation for the killings.
- Friday the 13th 1980
- Friday the 13th Part 2 1981
- Friday the 13th Part 3 1982
- The Final Chapter 1984
- A New Beginning 1985
- Jason Lives 1986
- The New Blood 1988
- Jason Takes Manhattan 1989
- Jason Goes to Hell 1993
- Jason X 2002
- Freddy vs. Jason 2003
- Friday the 13th 2009
In the original Friday the 13th (1980), Mrs. Voorhees (Betsy Palmer) stalks and murders a group of camp counselors. She is determined to make sure Camp Crystal Lake does not reopen, after her son Jason (Ari Lehman) drowned in the lake while two counselors, who were supposed to be watching him, were off having sex and not paying attention. The last girl, Alice (Adrienne King), fends off Mrs. Voorhees long enough to grab a machete to decapitate her. For Friday the 13th Part 2 (1981), Jason’s death as a boy is retconned, and he gets his revenge on the girl who decapitated his mother. Afterward, Jason (Steve Daskewisz) returns to Crystal Lake, guarding it from all intruders. Five years later, a group of teenagers come to Crystal Lake to set up a new camp, only for Jason to murder them, one by one. Ginny Field (Amy Steel), the lone survivor, finds a cabin in the woods with a shrine built around the severed head of Mrs. Voorhees, and surrounded by mutilated corpses. Ginny fights back, and slams a machete through Jason’s shoulder. Jason is left for dead as Ginny is taken away in an ambulance. In Friday the 13th Part III (1982), Jason (Richard Brooker) finds his way to Higgins Haven, Chris’ family land at Cystal Lake. At the same time, Chris Higgins (Dana Kimmell) returns to the property with some friends. An unmasked and reclusive Jason kills anyone who wanders into the barn where he is hiding. Taking a hockey mask from a victim to hide his face, he leaves the barn to kill the rest of the group. Chris seemingly kills Jason with an axe to his head, but the night’s events drive her into hysteria as the police take her away.
Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter (1984) continues where Part III leaves off, with Jason (Ted White) found by the police and taken to the morgue at the Wessex County Medical Center. Once delivered, Jason, not dead, awakens and kills the coroner and a nurse, and then makes his way back to Crystal Lake. A group of friends rent a house on Crystal Lake and fall victim to Jason’s rampage. After killing all of the teens next door, Jason seeks out Trish (Kimberly Beck) and Tommy Jarvis (Corey Feldman). While distracted by Trish, Jason is attacked and killed by Tommy. Friday the 13th: A New Beginning (1985) tried to move in a new direction. Tommy Jarvis (John Shepherd) was committed to a mental hospital after the events of The Final Chapter and has grown up constantly afraid that Jason (Tom Morga) will return. Jason’s body was supposedly cremated after Tommy killed him. Roy Burns (Dick Wieand) uses Jason’s persona to become a copycat killer at the halfway home to which Tommy was moved. Tommy, supervisor Pam (Melanie Kinnaman), and a young boy named Reggie (Shavar Ross) manage to defeat Roy. They learn Roy was motivated to become Jason after witnessing the remains of his son, whom no one knew about, butchered at the hands of one of the patients at the institution. Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives (1986) had Tommy (Thom Mathews) visiting Jason’s grave after being released from a mental institution. It is revealed that Jason’s body was never actually cremated, but buried in Forest Green cemetery (formerly Crystal Lake cemetery). Tommy inadvertently resurrects Jason (C.J. Graham) via a piece of cemetery fence, which acts as a lightning rod. Jason remains in Forest Green, believing it is Crystal Lake. After killing the new camp counselors working there, Jason is chained to a boulder by Tommy, and left at the bottom of the lake to die.
Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood (1988) begins an indeterminate amount of time after Jason Lives. Jason (Kane Hodder) is resurrected again, this time by the telekinetic Tina Shepard (Lar Park Lincoln), who was trying to resurrect her father. Jason once again begins killing those who occupy Crystal Lake, and, after a battle with Tina, is returned to the bottom of the lake. Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan (1989) sees Jason return from the lake, brought back to life via an underwater electrical cable. He follows a group of students on their senior class trip to Manhattan, boarding the Lazarus to wreak havoc. Upon reaching Manhattan, Jason kills the rest of the survivors, with the exception of Rennie (Jensen Daggett) and Sean (Scott Reeves); he chases the final two into the sewers, where Jason is caught and melted away by toxic waste. In Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday (1993), Jason, through unexplained resurrection, returns to Crystal Lake, where he is being hunted by the F.B.I.. The F.B.I. sets up a sting to kill Jason, which proves successful. Through possession, Jason manages to survive by passing his black heart from one being to the next. Though Jason is hardly seen throughout the film, it is learned that he has a sister and niece, and that he needs them to get his body back. After resurrecting his own body, Jason is finally killed by his niece, Jessica Kimble (Kari Keegan), and dragged to Hell.
Jason X (2002) takes place in the future, where Jason has again been inexplicably resurrected. He is being held and experimented upon in a research facility. It is determined that he has regenerative capabilities and that cryonic suspension is the only possible solution to stop him since he cannot be killed. Jason breaks out of captivity and manages to slice through the cryo-chamber, spilling the cryonics into the room freezing the only other survivor, Rowan (Lexa Doig). Four hundred and fifty-five years later, Jason’s body is discovered by a team of students studying Earth. Upon being thawed by the team, he proceeds to murder everyone aboard the spacecraft, before finally being blown into space, and landing on Earth 2. The most recent Friday the 13th film was a crossover with A Nightmare on Elm Street, entitled Freddy vs. Jason (2003). Set in the contemporary period, Freddy Krueger (Robert Englund) has grown weak, as people in Springwood, his home, have suppressed their fear of him. Freddy, who is impersonating Pamela Voorhees (Paula Shaw), sends Jason (Ken Kirzinger) to Springwood to cause panic and fear. Jason accomplishes this, but refuses to stop killing. A battle ensues in both the dream-world and Crystal Lake. The outcome is left ambiguous, as Jason surfaces from the lake holding Freddy’s severed head, which winks and laughs.
Jason Voorhees is afictional characterfrom the Friday the 13th series of slasher films. He first appeared in Friday the 13th (1980), as the son of camp cook-turned-murderer Mrs. Voorhees, in which he was portrayed by Ari Lehman. Created in combination by Victor Miller, Ron Kurz, Sean S. Cunningham and Tom Savini, he was not originally intended to carry the series as the main villain. Jason Voorhees has also been represented in numerous novels, comic books, and a cross-over film with another horror legend, Freddy Krueger.
The character has primarily been an antagonist in the films, whether by stalking and killing the characters, or acting as a psychological threat to the lead character, as is the case inFriday the 13th: A New Beginning. Since Lehman’s portrayal, the character has been represented by numerous actors and stuntmen, sometimes by more than one at a time; this has caused some controversy as to who should receive credit for the portrayal. Kane Hodder is the most well known of the stuntmen to portray Jason Voorhees, having played the character in four consecutive films.