Jason is the staple of the franchise Friday The 13th. He has been played by many different actors to varying degrees of success...
...I have spent a good deal of time during the stay at home order watching this series and figuring out just exactly who was the best Jason to me, and something funny happened: Some of my least favorite films in the series have my favorite Jasons.
Here is my list of the best performances of Jason.
9. Ari Lehman
Ari Lehman was the first Jason ever. It’s unfair to rank him with the other actors who got more than 3 seconds of screen time jumping out of the water. He was fine, he helped create a shocking moment. One that would help spawn the sequels. Still, he was just a dead camper whose Mom was the original antagonist.
8. C.J. Graham
Friday The 13th Part VI: Jason Lives is my personal favorite of the entire series. It also features my least favorite Jason, and that is something I didn’t realize until I rewatched them all. I still think this film is the most fun, and perhaps it’s in not taking itself seriously that Graham’s performance suffers, or maybe it is the knowledge of what is to come that holds his performance in the latter of my ranking.
7. Ken Kirzinger
In Freddy Vs Jason, the role that Hodder had perfected was taken over by Kirzinger, and it just doesn’t work in my opinion. He is fine as Jason but when you are putting him up against Robert Englund’s Freddy Krueger. It would have been so cool to see Kane Hodder in the role.
6. Steve Dash
The first adult actor to play the role was Steve Dash in Part 2. Dash does a decent enough job, and without him playing the role we wouldn’t have had the future of wonderful Jasons. His Jason was believable and good, but he lacked a certain “it” factor that future actors would bring to the role.
5. Tom Morga
Morga technically didn’t play Jason in Friday the 13th: A New Beginning but he still rocked the role and has some of the most memorable kills in the franchise in a film that is often maligned for being one of the weakest entries of the series.
4. Ted White
Ted White was the fourth actor to play Jason in Friday The 13th: The Final Chapter. His Jason was very different than what was brought to the screen before his arrival. He brought something unique to the table and would have been the perfect actor to end the series as was the intention at the time. I think this is one of the strongest Fridays and is matched with White’s strength in the role.
3. Richard Booker
The placement of Richard Booker will shock most, and I think if it weren’t for the fact that the hockey mask happened to arrive in Friday The 13th Part III, his placement would have been much lower. Still, as a kid his Jason freaked me out. I’ll always remember the first time I saw him on screen.
2. Kane Hodder
Kane Hodder is by far the most recognizable actor who has ever played the role. He also played Jason the longest. When people think of Jason, they mostly think of Kane. He found himself starting the role in Friday The 13th Part VII: The New Blood, which is a personal favorite, and stayed in the role until Jason X. Even in the lesser films which he appeared in, he was Jason.
1. Derek Mears
Derek Mears stars in the 2009 remake of Friday The 13th. His Jason is frightening, intense and takes up the entire screen and honestly I find him to be the most compelling, and the right actor for the role. The bummer is he just was never set up to succeed. This remake really was not necessary or that good. I know it has its champions but it would be better if he took over the mantle in a continuation of the series.
By Justin Drabek
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