Release Date(s)Various (October 13, 2020)
Studio(s)Paramount Pictures/New Line Cinema (Shout!/Scream Factory)
- Film/Program Grade: See Below
- Video Grade: See Below
- Audio Grade: See Below
- Extras Grade: A+
- Overall Grade: A+
[Editor’s Note: This is a TWO PART Blu-ray review. When you reach the end of Part One, please continue reading by clicking on the link provided below.]
[Editor’s Note: We’ve been made aware that there are issues with three of the Blu-rays in this set that Shout! is working to correct. Click here for the details and instructions on how to participate in their disc exchange program.]
In 1979, Sean Cunningham decided that he was going to, in the words of screenwriter Victor Miller, “Rip off Halloween.” Quickly coming up with a story, a cast, and a crew, they not only succeeded, but unintentionally created one of the longest-running horror franchises ever.
One of the first independent films to be released nationally by a major studio, Friday the 13th was highly successful in 1980, eventually spawning multiple sequels between two studios. Taking place at Camp Crystal Lake where a group of camp counselors are preparing for a reopening, they’re quickly knocked off one after the other by an unidentified killer, who turns out to be Pamela Voorhees, the mother of Jason who drowned at the camp years before due to negligence.
After its success, a sequel was developed without the involvement of Cunningham, and in 1981, Friday the 13th Part II made its debut. Directed by Steve Miner and taking place in an area just a stone's throw away from Camp Crystal Lake, the film follows a group of new camp counselors in training. It’s revealed that not only is Jason somehow still alive, but that he lives in a nearby shack. When the young teens inadvertently disturb his home turf, “the body count continues.”
Friday the 13th Part III, again helmed by Steve Miner, was released in 1982. Taking place moments after the previous film, a young woman with a troubled past and a group of her friends come to the country to vacation at an isolated farm house. But with Jason lurking around, it isn’t long before they’re dispatched. Though not as successful as the previous two films, Part III became synonymous with the 3D craze of the 1980s. It was also the first film in the series to feature Jason in his iconic hockey mask.
Paramount then decided to close out the series and kill off Jason once and for all with Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter in 1984. Handling directorial duties would be Joseph Zito (The Prowler), and returning from the first film to do the make-up effects would be Tom Savini. While a group of teenagers throw a party next door, a small family, including the young and resourceful Tommy Jarvis, attempt to steer clear of them. In the woods nearby, a young man is camping and on the lookout for Jason in an effort to avenge his sister’s death. Meanwhile, Jason is slashing his way towards them all. However, he has finally met his match in Tommy Jarvis.
The decision was then made to continue the series, but without Jason. In 1985, Friday the 13th Part V: A New Beginning (directed by Danny Steinmann of Savage Streets) made its way into theaters. Traumatized after the events of the previous film, Tommy Jarvis is now grown up and being transferred to a sanatorium of sorts. He begins seeing visions of Jason, who then shows up to kill everybody in and around the institution at random. It’s eventually revealed that this Jason is just a disturbed impostor. Despite a decent turn-out, the disapproval from fans was felt by the studio and a course correction was needed.
Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives had a slightly higher budget, a talented director (Tom McLoughlin), a better story, and more interesting actors. The film also went in a more humorous direction while still maintaining its key horror elements. A now recast Tommy Jarvis returns to Camp Crystal Lake (now renamed Camp Forest Green) to find and dispose of Jason’s remains, which ultimately get up and start killing more people. Released in 1986, the film was a massive hit, both financially and with fans who welcomed Jason’s return with open arms.
The seventh sequel, Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood, debuted in 1988. Bringing in special effects guru John Carl Buechler on to direct, the film introduced fans to the man who would play Jason more than any other: Kane Hodder. While a party with teenagers is taking place next door, a concerned mother and her daughter Tina are looking for seclusion with a psychologist who is seemingly attempting to help Tina overcome a childhood psychosis. It’s later revealed that he is more interested in her telekinetic abilities, which accidentally cause Jason to re-emerge from his slumber at the bottom of Crystal Lake (ignoring previous continuity). He once again slaughters everyone in his path, but Tina’s supernatural abilities make her a worthy adversary. Despite the MPAA’s infamous destruction of all of the major gore effects, the film was another success.
Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan was the last film in the series to be released through Paramount Pictures, who later sold the rights to New Line Cinema. Directed by Rob Hedden, the story concerns a graduating high school class taking a cruise ship to New York City. Jason manages to hop aboard and begins taking them out quickly, eventually making his way to the streets of the Big Apple. Released in 1989, the film wound up being the lowest grosser of the series.
Four years would go by before Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday would surface from director Adam Marcus and New Line Cinema. In the film, Jason is hunted down and killed by the FBI, but is resurrected after body swapping with the local coroner and making his way towards his last living descendants, both of whom are key to his rebirth or his death. Debuting in 1993, the film received a lukewarm reception, but managed to bring in more money than the previous sequel. It was also released on home video unrated, with many of the death scenes extended to be much gorier. Despite its moniker, it was not the final Friday after all, again.
After failing for eleven years to get a film off the ground in which Freddy and Jason would battle each other to the death, another sequel was concocted. In Jason X, directed by Jim Isaac, Jason is cryogenically frozen, only to be discovered by a group of scientists almost five centuries later. Waking up on a spaceship, Jason goes back to his old ways and murders everyone in sight. He is later reborn as a cyborg, which proves to be even harder to stop. The film had a mixed reception from critics and fans alike in 2002, but was an effective stop gap for what came next.
Freddy vs. Jason was the match-up that fans had long been waiting for. Directed by Ronny Yu (Bride of Chucky), the story follows Freddy as he tries to once again instill fear into the kids of Elm Street so that he can return to the dream world. He resurrects Jason to help, but ultimately loses control of him. They wind up in the real world together, battling it out while their potential victims stand by to see who is victorious. Hitting theaters in 2003, the film was the biggest money maker of either franchise. Although a sequel involving Ash from The Evil Dead or Pinhead from Hellraiser was discussed, the film effectively ended each franchise before being rebooted.
After successfully remaking The Texas Chain Saw Massacre for New Line Cinema, Platinum Dunes tackled Friday the 13th in 2009 with Marcus Nispel in the director’s chair. In the film, a group of friends are gathering at a cabin in the woods for a fun weekend by the lake when a young man who is looking for his missing sister comes knocking on the door. It isn’t long before Jason, who has been hiding out in the woods nearby for years after seeing his mother decapitated, appears to kill them all. The film brought in plenty of business at the box office, mainly due to the marquee value. Despite the mildly positive feedback, the overall feeling was that it was unnecessary and additional entries were never made.
Rumored for the better part of a year, Scream Factory finally debuts the Friday the 13th Collection: Deluxe Edition, a massive 16-disc boxed set that brings together all 12 films in the series plus a mountain of new and existing extras. It’s worth noting up front that the first two Friday films, plus four through ten, were originally shot for a 1.85:1 aspect ratio and were previously presented on Blu-ray in 1.78:1. This has now been corrected.
Both the theatrical and uncut versions of Friday the 13th have been given a new 4K scan from the original camera negative and are presented on separate discs. Certain scenes from the previous Blu-ray had a green push to them. Those are now gone, leaving behind more natural colors. Whites are brighter and blacks are deeper. Grain is better resolved and the level of detail has been boosted, but not by much as the low light cinematography can only allow for so much visual information to be obtained. Contrast is also improved. The images are crisper and more vibrant during daytime scenes, but not murky or overblown during nighttime scenes. Everything appears clean and stable with no visible damage leftover. It doesn’t look like a new film, but it’s much sharper with more refined detail and natural color than previous home video releases.
Part II has also been given a new 4K scan from the original camera negative. Improvements are similar to the previous film, but in this instance, skin tones are much more natural over their tanned counterparts. More detail can be observed and grain is better refined. A couple of moments, including Ginny’s horrifying discovery in Jason’s shack, were too bright on the previous Blu-ray. They have an appropriately darker look now. Also like the previous film, the color palette has been slightly adjusted in regards to reds and greens, including those found on foliage and clothing. Blacks are also deep without being crushed. It all appears clean and sharp, with only a minor (and mostly impossible to detect) scratch that lasts for a single frame.
Both the 2D and 3D versions of Part III have also been given a new 4K scan from the original camera negative and are presented in their original aspect ratio of 2.35:1. The 2D benefits greatly as the amount of detail has jumped, though the film is still soft compared to the previous films. The anamorphic lenses used to shoot the film are also more obvious around the edges of the frame. The color palette isn’t that much different than the previous Blu-ray. Instances of red and green are similar, though browns are a tad darker.
This is also the first time that the film has been presented on home video in stereoscopic 3D. A title card at the beginning lets us know that the opening few minutes are not in 3D, which is not present in the 2D version. The 3D works best in terms of depth. Since the film was shot specifically for 3D, background, midground, and foreground items have clear dimension most of the time. The film’s infamous gags, such as an eyeball popping out of a character’s head or a yo-yo bouncing up and down towards the camera, don’t always work, but others like the fruit juggling, the leaping snake, and the clothesline prop at the beginning do. It all depends on the individual item and how in focus it is. A minor amount of ghosting during a couple of moments is leftover, but it’s an overall excellent 3D experience, and one that should have been fully available a long time ago.
The Final Chapter has also been given a new 4K scan from the original camera negative. The differences between this new scan and the previous Blu-ray aren’t obvious at first. The slight blue push on the old master is now absent, which helps to improve skin tones. Grain is also slightly more resolved, allowing for higher levels of shadow detail and deeper blacks. Contrast is dialed ever so slightly higher and everything appears sharper without any leftover damage.
The first presentation in this release that makes use a previous master, A New Beginning lacks the finer detail of a fresh scan, but it’s otherwise identical to its counterpart (aside from the aforementioned aspect ratio change). The color palette has a nice variety of hues and skin tones appear mostly natural, although they do get a bit too pink in certain scenes. Black levels are decent and the overall presentation is clean. Because film grain isn’t quite as refined as it could be, there’s a mild bit of flicker leftover, which is more obvious on solid backgrounds.
Jason Lives has also been carried over from its previous master, but it has been given an overhaul. The previous Paramount Blu-ray had a warmer, greener look to it, which often clashed with skin tones, white surfaces, and even instances of fire. This release has been color corrected to have a cooler, more natural look. The reds are redder and the blues are bluer. Blacks are also deep and contrast levels are ideal. Grain is well resolved and fine detail is abundant, which is most likely due to the stock that the film was shot on rather than the age of the master itself.
The New Blood and Jason Takes Manhattan are also carryovers, but they come from slightly lesser masters comparatively in terms of fine detail. It’s a minuscule amount of difference, but pixel counters will definitely notice, particularly in backgrounds and skylines. Nothing has been done to substantially alter them like Jason Lives, but both feature excellent color reproduction and deep blacks with good contrast.
Both the theatrical and uncut versions of Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday have been given new 2K scans from the original interpositive, while the uncut version utilizes HD inserts to complete it. They are also presented on separate discs. This is actually the first time that the unrated version of the film has been provided in high definition on disc. Both presentations offer a substantial improvement over their Blu-ray and DVD counterparts. Grain levels are well resolved and fine detail has been boosted, particularly in the shadows where there was previously more crush. Blacks are more solid and contrast has been adjusted overall. The color palette is also different, offering cooler and more natural hues than the green and blue-tinged palette of old. It’s also a much cleaner and more stable presentation, though mild speckling is still present. The HD inserts are almost unrecognizable next to their 2K-sourced counterparts, blending quite well without any obvious dip in quality.
Jason X also comes from a new 2K scan of the original interpositive. It offers an obvious upgrade in terms of its color palette, which is cooler and allows for more natural skin tones. Grain is better refined but there isn’t an enormous difference in fine detail. The image is also slightly darker than its previous release, and in some instances a tad too dark, which causes a mild bit of crush. The interiors of the ship are a darker shade of gray and Uber-Jason’s chrome is now more silver in appearance. There’s also slightly more information along the left and right edges of the frame.
Freddy vs. Jason and Friday the 13th (2009), the latter including both the theatrical and extended “killer” cuts, are not just carryovers but the same Blu-ray discs repackaged. They are presented in their original aspect ratios of 2.40:1. Both films look great for their age, which is likely why Scream Factory chose not to do new transfers (though it could be that they simply weren’t granted access). Both presentations feature a light sheet of finely resolved grain and high levels of fine detail, especially Friday the 13th (2009). The color palettes also offer a variety of bold hues, whether in more natural moments, or in the case of Freddy vs. Jason, extremely artistic ones which use big splashes of red, green, and blue for style. Skin tones are natural and black levels are deep and inky. Friday the 13th (2009) features extremely high contrast, perhaps too high, but is otherwise solid.
The theatrical version of Friday the 13th features a newly restored English 2.0 mono track, while the uncut version features the same, as well as an English 5.1 DTS-HD track. The 5.1 spaces out the elements well enough, though it’s limited by its single channel source. On both tracks, dialogue exchanges are clear while Harry Manfredini’s score rules the roost sonically. Sound effects often lack dimension, but they’re true to their source. The mono track is an overdue addition. Everything on it is mixed well without ever sounding muddled or overcrowded.
Part II and Part III feature the same selection of newly restored English 2.0 mono and 5.1 tracks, though Part II has a bit more ambiance to it, particularly in the bar scenes later in the film. Part III is less interesting aurally than the previous two films as the focus was likely driven towards the visuals. However, the audio selection is more than serviceable—even giving a minor amount of boost to the disco theme during the opening and closing credits.
The Final Chapter also features a newly restored English 2.0 mono track, as well as an English 5.1 DTS-HD option. The mono is on par with the previous films, allowing for clear dialogue reproduction and a potent score. Things get a little muddled in the finale because of all the various activity that’s taking place, but the 5.1 manages to straighten that out a bit.
A New Beginning also features a newly restored English 2.0 mono track, as well as an English 5.1 DTS-HD option. It definitely has a lot more bite than expected, particularly during all of the kill scenes where the screams, stabbing sounds, and music are all top notch. Dialogue exchanges are clear and precise as well.
Jason Lives and The New Blood feature newly restored English 2.0 tracks, as well as an English 5.1 DTS-HD option. Having the original theatrical stereo soundtracks for both films is a real treat. Both are very active, particularly Jason Lives, which layers the score’s instruments all over the place, but also gives sound effects and ambient activity plenty to do. The 5.1 options are basically remixes, which have their own advantages (chiefly filling out the surround speakers), but the stereo tracks give each film a whole new dimension.
Jason Takes Manhattan carries over the English 2.0 and 5.1 DTS-HD tracks from the previous Blu-ray release. Having the original stereo soundtrack would have been preferable for this one as well, but these two tracks are certainly no slouches. They are very active, particularly the 5.1 track which takes full advantage of its environments, including the many sounds of the ship at sea and the various locations throughout New York. Dialogue exchanges are clear and precise and the film’s score and music selection have plenty of room to breathe in the surrounding speakers.
Both versions of Jason Goes to Hell, as well as Jason X, feature English 2.0 and 5.1 DTS-HD tracks. These audio presentations are fairly stellar in terms of immersion. Whether it’s the explosive opening of the first film or the spaceship-oriented sounds of the second, both are exemplary surround experiences. Dialogue tends to keep to the front, save for other atmospheric moments, while the sound effects and score have a large amount of room to play around in. The 2.0 tracks work well enough in their own right, but the multi-channel experiences are more satisfying.
Freddy vs. Jason and Friday the 13th (2009) are presented in English 5.1 Dolby TrueHD (the latter’s theatrical version also includes a French 5.1 Dolby Digital option). The 5.1 presentation for Freddy vs. Jason is a tad too quiet, but after a quick volume adjustment, it offers a highly immersive experience with clear dialogue exchanges and excellent score and music reproduction. The variety of sound effects, both small and large, has plenty of fidelity. The surround speakers are also put to great use for the atmospherics and heavy staging. The same can be said of Friday the 13th (2009), just minus the volume adjustment.
Optional subtitles are included for the first ten films in English SDH. Freddy vs. Jason includes subtitles in English SDH and Spanish, while Friday the 13th (2009) includes subtitles in English SDH, Spanish, and French.
- FRIDAY THE 13TH – THEATRICAL (FILM/VIDEO/AUDIO): B/A-/B+
- FRIDAY THE 13TH – UNCUT (FILM/VIDEO/AUDIO): B/A-/B+
- FRIDAY THE 13TH PART II (FILM/VIDEO/AUDIO): B+/A-/B+
- FRIDAY THE 13TH PART III – 2D (FILM/VIDEO/AUDIO): B-/B+/B
- FRIDAY THE 13TH PART III – 3D (FILM/VIDEO/AUDIO): B-/A-/B
- FRIDAY THE 13TH: THE FINAL CHAPTER (FILM/VIDEO/AUDIO): B+/A-/B+
- FRIDAY THE 13TH PART V: A NEW BEGINNING (FILM/VIDEO/AUDIO): C+/B/B+
- FRIDAY THE 13TH PART VI: JASON LIVES (FILM/VIDEO/AUDIO): B+/B+/A-
- FRIDAY THE 13TH PART VII: THE NEW BLOOD (FILM/VIDEO/AUDIO): C/B/B+
- FRIDAY THE 13TH PART VIII: JASON TAKES MANHATTAN (FILM/VIDEO/AUDIO): C+/B/B+
- JASON GOES TO HELL: THE FINAL FRIDAY – THEATRICAL (FILM/VIDEO/AUDIO): C/B+/A-
- JASON GOES TO HELL: THE FINAL FRIDAY – UNCUT (FILM/VIDEO/AUDIO): C/B+/A-
- JASON X (FILM/VIDEO/AUDIO): C+/A-/A-
- FREDDY VS. JASON (FILM/VIDEO/AUDIO): B-/A/A
- FRIDAY THE 13TH (2009) (FILM/VIDEO/AUDIO): B-/A/A