The Canon of Classic Horror Slasher Film Franchises — GeekTyrant

The Friday the 13th films comprise my favorite horror franchise. Jason Voorhees, with his mask, machete, and mommy issues has always remained a prominent horror icon for me. For the most part, the Friday the 13th films, minus the 2009 reboot, present a cohesive story. The key words here are, “for the most part.” When dealing with horror films of the 70s and 80s you expect a certain level of weird and nonsensical storytelling, and the Friday the 13th franchise is not without its issues.

For example, you have what fans have dubbed the “Fake Jason” in  Friday the 13th: A New Beginning (1985), a teleporting Jason in Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan (1989), and a body switching Jason, in the form of an incestous worm, in Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday (1993). Despite these aspects the films create a relatively cohesive timeline, minus the 2009 reboot. To add to this timeline I present you with my own fan theory, and a way to continue the franchise without a full reboot.

Crystal Lake, marred by tragedy and nestled in the forests of New Jersey, is a hellmouth where Jason Voorhees serves as lake’s guardian and one of its prisoners. In Friday the 13th (1980) Jason Voorhees is claimed by Crystal Lake and mutated into the giant behemoth seen in Friday the 13th Part 2 (1981). Jason is bound to the lake, dispatching anyone that runs afoul of the pristine body of water with a dark and cursed past that has now faded from memory.

Jason is not naturally evil though, and each film will see Jason’s anger grow, transforming him into a wrath of violence and terror. In Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter (1984) Jason finally meets his end at the hands of Tommy Jarvis, a boy who reflects the humanity that Jason has lost. Unfortunately, the lake is not done with either Jason or Tommy, and the trauma induced by harrowing events of the fourth film eventually leads to Tommy resurrecting Jason in Jason Lives: Friday the 13th Part VI (1986).

Each death and resurrection only fuels Jason’s anger and hatred for the lake and his victims. In Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan (1989) the storm, ample supply of drugs, and the effects of the lake on its helpless victims, give the hallucinatory impression that Jason is teleporting around the doomed cruise ship. Jason meets his end, once again, after being blasted by an onslaught of toxic sludge, which allows his latest victim to escape. Weekend by his exposure to the toxic chemicals Jason makes his way back to Camp Crystal Lake where he collapses and becomes one with the ground.

A copycat demon will take on the form and mask of Jason Voorhees in Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday (1993). The demon’s true form, that of a parasitic worm, will jump from body to body seeking rebirth through the Voorhees flesh. Unfortunately, the demon will be vanquished and sent to hell, his name unknown and forgotten.

The demon’s exploits though are not without merit, and will inspire another slasher, Freddy Kreuger, to seek out the real Jason Voorhees for his own devices. Freddy’s plans for Jason will take shape and come to fruition in Freddy vs. Jason (2003). Though laid to rest in the cursed lake after his battle with Freddy, Jason will heal and continue to terrorize anyone foolish enough to come near the lake, even after the world has ended in Jason X (2001).

In the meantime, the tale of Jason Voorhees will fade into urban legend and myth, an origin tale told and retold until what is seen in Friday the 13th (2009) is a mixture of fact and fiction. 

Leave a comment below with your thoughts and favorite slasher films.

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