Friday the 13th: Best Endings in the Franchise

Last Updated on April 30, 2024

Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter ending

Another Friday the 13th is upon us – unfortunately, we’re just talking about the date, not the release of a new Friday the 13th movie. But while the future of the Friday the 13th franchise remains murky, we can still go back and revisit the awesome F13 movies we do have. For this Friday the 13th, we have decided to go through our Friday collection and pick the top 5 Best Endings in the Friday the 13th Franchise!


This one is all about the chase. While Steve Miner’s Friday the 13th Part III was at one time expected to be the last movie in the franchise (so they made it extra special by shooting it in 3-D), the way Jason is dispatched doesn’t feel like a finishing blow. An axe to his hockey mask-protected forehead just isn’t gonna do it. There’s also a ending jump scare that makes absolutely no sense, as a character who has never (within the movie, anyway) even heard of Mrs. Voorhees somehow has a dream that she’s being attacked by the woman’s rotten corpse. But getting to those moments is quite a ride. Once Jason has wiped out all of the friends Chris (Dana Kimmell) has brought with her for a nice vacation at her family cabin, as well as some bikers who stopped by to mess with them, he engages the young woman in a 13 minute long chase sequence that goes all through the cabin, involves her cool van (which she has covered with band-related stickers), and ends up in the barn. Chris may not be the greatest overall heroine in this franchise, she doesn’t gain any insight into Jason’s psyche or do anything particularly impressive in her fight against him, but she is a major player in the best extended chase sequence of the series.


We didn’t get Freddy vs. Jason until 2003, but the concept was first discussed in the late ’80s – and when Paramount Pictures and New Line Cinema couldn’t come to an agreement to put their icons in the same movie back then, Paramount decided to put Jason against a Carrie-like character in Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood instead. Some might say it’s a sign of sequelitis when a franchise that started out so grounded now has a hulking, masked zombie facing off with a teenager who has telekinetic powers, but when the showdown between Jason – played for the first time by Kane Hodder and sporting one of his coolest looks ever, thanks to FX artist / director John Carl Buechler – and Tina (Lar Park Lincoln) is so entertaining, how can you complain? Tina accidentally used her powers to bring Jason back, so we have her to thank for this film’s body count, but she makes up for it in the end by using those powers to beat the hell out of the rotting slasher, and it is a delight to behold. Jason is electrocuted, set on fire, has a porch roof dropped on his head, gets knocked through a staircase, gets headbutted by a severed head that’s riding in a potted plant… Good times.

FRIDAY THE 13TH (1980)

Director/producer Sean S. Cunningham brought a very effectively creepy tone to the original Friday the 13th, which doesn’t have Jason Voorhees slashing his way through the characters but does still have one of the best endings in the series. When Steve Christy (Peter Brouwer) makes the mistake of trying to re-open Camp Crystal Lake, a place with a tragic history, he and his staff are picked off one-by-one by an unseen assailant. When only counselor Alice (Adrienne King) remains alive at the camp, someone comes driving up in a Jeep. Alice thinks she’s being saved. Instead, that Jeep is being driven by Mrs. Voorhees (Betsy Palmer), a woman who at first appears to be caring and kind, but is soon revealed to be the killer. Mrs. Voorhees (revealed to be named Pamela Voorhees later in the franchise) was driven insane when her son Jason drowned at the camp back in 1957, and now she is taking extreme measures to make sure it will never re-open. Certain critics shamed Palmer for taking part in this movie, but she turns in an incredible performance as a woman we can feel some degree of sympathy for even though she happens to be a relentless murderer. Palmer’s deliveries of her lines are unforgettable and endlessly quotable. The confrontation between Mrs. Voorhees and Alice involves a lengthy chase and multiple physical altercations, all building up to a beach brawl that ends with a spectacular special effect provided by the legendary Tom Savini. And that’s followed by one of the most famous jump scares of all time.


Who is the best Friday the 13th heroine? Many fans would pick Ginny Fields, played by Amy Steel in director Steve Miner’s Friday the 13th Part 2. She certainly comes off as being the most clever of all the heroines, thanks to her interest in child psychology. The legend of Camp Crystal Lake has made it across the lake to the counselor training camp being run by Ginny’s boyfriend Paul (John Furey), and after hearing the story told as a campfire tale, Ginny spends a night at the bar pondering the lives of Jason and Mrs. Voorhees… Then when she returns to the camp, she finds that Jason has been spending his night murdering counselor trainees. When the climactic chase leads Ginny to Jason’s makeshift shack, where he has set up a shrine to his mother’s severed head, Ginny is quickly able to figure out a way to really mess with Jason’s head and stop him in his tracks. If we were in this situation, how many of us would even imagine that we could trick Jason into thinking we were his resurrected mother simply by slipping on her filthy sweater and talking to Jason in soothing tones? Well, that’s exactly what Ginny figures out she needs to do after just a few seconds of thought. Her trick is quite effective, until Jason notices that mommy’s head is still on the table behind her. Still, just the fact that it worked at all earns Ginny a spot high in the heroine rankings, and makes this one of the best endings.


Great elements of the Friday the 13th and Friday the 13th Part 2 endings collide in Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter, director Joe Zito’s attempt to end the series prematurely. In this film, we’re introduced to the character who is, I would think, indisputably the best hero in the franchise, Tommy Jarvis – a character so interesting that he got his own trilogy in the midst of all the sequels. Here Tommy is a young kid played by Corey Feldman, and all he has to do is look through some newspaper clippings to deduce that he could cause Jason some serious confusion by shaving his head, making himself somewhat resemble how Jason looked as a child. While Tommy is cutting off his hair, Jason – who has already killed a bunch of teens and Tommy’s mom – is busy chasing Tommy’s sister Trish (Kimberly Beck) through their house and the neighbor’s house. A chase that’s almost cool as the one in Friday the 13th Part III, thanks to a spectacular window jump stunt and how legitimately terrified Beck appears to be at times. It’s looking like Trish is a goner, until Tommy steps in with his newly bald head and paves the way for some jaw-dropping special effects provided by Tom Savini. If this had been Jason’s final defeat, it would have been a rather satisfying one thanks to Savini.

This was a very difficult list to put together. Some painful sacrifices had to be made. What about Tommy’s rematch with Jason at the end of Jason Lives: Friday the 13th Part VI? The climax of Jason Goes to Hell, which lives up to the promise of the title? Jason’s long-awaited bloody brawl with Freddy Krueger at the end of Freddy vs. Jason? But this is how the list of Best Endings came out on this Friday the 13th.

Source: Arrow in the Head

About the Author

Cody is a news editor and film critic, focused on the horror arm of, and writes scripts for videos that are released through the JoBlo Originals and JoBlo Horror Originals YouTube channels. In his spare time, he's a globe-trotting digital nomad, runs a personal blog called Life Between Frames, and writes novels and screenplays.