Jason Voorhees has now become one of cinema's most iconic horror movie villains. His piercing eyes and hulking frame, along with his signature hockey mask and machete, have made his character an enduring figure of modern pop culture. So, as a massive #FridayThe13th fan, I decided to take a look at the evolution of #JasonVoorhees, from his 1980 debut, all the way to the latest installment in 2009.
So let's get started!
1980: Friday The 13th
This is the Jason that started it all. Contrary to popular belief, Jason did not wear his signature hockey mask in his debut. In fact, his full frame is barely seen in the entire movie, with the audience building up the horrifying image of his appearance in their heads. When his face is finally revealed, his horrifyingly twisted facial features speak for themselves.
1981: Friday The 13th: Part 2
Jason in the second Friday the 13th movie changed his look significantly, trading in his signature hockey mask and machete for a burlap sack mask and a pickaxe. Jason again returns to terrorize the residents of Crystal Lake. At the end of the movie, (and after taking a machete to the shoulder), he disappears.
1982: Friday The 13th: Part 3
Following the events of Part 2, Jason begins the film heavily wounded. Like the previous installments, he quickly resumes a murderous killing spree. However, at the end of this movie he takes an axe to the head, and his "dead" body is shown as the film fades to black. This film is incredibly important for Jason's evolution, as it is the first film to feature his signature hockey mask and machete, which cemented Jason's status as an iconic movie villain. His appearance in this film is what most people usually think of when they think of Jason Voorhees, and his mask has made an indelible print on pop culture.
1984: Friday The 13th: The Final Chapter
While this wasn't the final chapter of the Friday the 13th series, it was for Jason Voorhees. In the conclusion to The Final Chapter Jason is finally killed for good. This was a key turning point in Jason's cinematic evolution because Jason Voorhees was no longer a (hard to) killable threat. From this point onwards, Jason becomes a supernatural force. In this film, his appearance is exactly the same as in Part 3, however, he uses both a hammer and his signature machete to kill and dismember his victims.
1985: Friday The 13th: A New Beginning
This was the first (and last) Friday The 13th movie to not star Jason Voorhees as its central killer. Rather, this film's Jason was actually Roy Burns, a paramedic who snaps after the death of his son. Unable to cope with his denial, he dons Jason's familiar hockey mask and machete and begins a murderous rampage. While both the mask and machete are reminiscent of the 1980 Jason's look, Roy sports all-gray coveralls. Despite not actually appearing in the film per say, Jason haunts the protagonist, as he relives multiple flashbacks from his encounter with him as well as inspiring a copy-cat killer. (Seen above.)
1986: Friday The 13th: Part VI: Jason Lives
For the sixth installment in the franchise, Jason is brought back from the dead, and is now the primary antagonist for the rest of the films until 2009. This film reestablished Jason as the primary antagonist of the series. Another important change that this movie put forward was changing Jason from a mortal enemy to an immortal, supernatural force. This Jason sports a green shirt as well as a utility belt and multiple holsters. His now famous mask also returns. However, Jason's choice of weaponry changes to include his traditional machete and a more practical combat knife.
1988: Friday The 13th: Part VII: The New Blood
Jason's usually ragged clothes are even more ragged this time around, and his exposed skeleton can be seen. The film follows a similar formula to the previous movies in the series, while re-introducing supernatural elements seen before in Jason Lives. By the end of the movie, Jason is chained to the depths of the lake like a mythical monster.
1989: Friday the 13th: Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan
In the eighth entry into the series, Jason's look partially remains the same. His mask and machete return, but both are now joined by an all new, shiny leather shirt and trousers. For this film, Jason is again resurrected from the dead by two unsuspecting teenagers. Jason once again begins another killing spree, which even I'm getting tired of writing about by this point. Maybe that's why Jason Takes Manhattan has the second lowest US box office gross of the entire series.
1993: Jason Goes To Hell: The Final Friday
This time around, Jason's familiar mask has now freakishly meshed into his face. His now iconic machete also returns. He also sports a gray shirt and gray trousers, both of which look pretty worn down from use. Despite the name of the film, Jason only goes to Hell in the climax of the film, wherein the souls of his victims physically drag him there. In a surprising twist, Freddy Kruger's hand is seen at the film's end — a tease which eventually culminated in Freddy Vs Jason, a full 10 years later.
2001: Jason X
For the tenth entry in the series, Jason is sent into the future, thanks to cryo-sleep and plot contrivances. His look here is unlike any seen before in the series, as his body is partly made of metal. His mask also gets a big re-design, and looks more like a metal skull than its previous incarnation. His machete returns, although it is now larger than ever. This re-design did not go down well with both critics and audiences, and it was never seen again.
2003: Freddy Vs. Jason
For this hotly anticipated battle royale, Jason sports a similar outfit as the one from his early '80s appearances. Both his trademark machete and his signature mask return, as well as his tattered rags that haunted audiences for over 20 years prior. This movie seemed to break canon as this Jason didn't seem to be doing anything in particular. His character eventually defeats #FreddyKrueger, while leaving a sequel implied, as Freddy's decapitated head winks at the audience. However, more than 10 years later, we still haven't been given a second Freddy vs. Jason movie.
2009: Friday The 13th
For this reboot, Director Marcus Nispel goes back to the series' roots, retreading exactly the same ground of the original tread back in 1980. In this film, Jason has two looks. For the first half of the film, Jason wears a familiar burlap sack over his face, like that in Part 2 of the original films. Then, upon discovering it in a barn, wears his signature hockey mask for the remainder of the film. This Jason Voorhees is re-imagined and given an actual backstory. There is no indication that he is a supernatural threat, and for the first time he is not mortally injured during the film's climax.
Want to see all of these Jasons in action? See how many teenagers he's slain in some of his best kills below: