The Friday the 13th series hasn’t traditionally been much for continuity of narrative logic, with its entries jumping around in time, rehashing origin stories and generally resisting a clear through-line for fans. The twelve films and multiple appearances of Jason Voorhees in other media share some common elements, but different creators have tweaked the history of the series to their liking. A new video from Looper has taken on the challenge, though, of explaining the whole Friday the 13th story, which at least represents an honest effort to add reason to the franchise.
The video, which you can see below, starts with the familiar backstory of the original Friday the 13th, where young Jason drowns at Camp Crystal Lake in 1958 after being neglected by two amorous counsellors, who then get their comeuppance. Following that, we get a recap of the events twenty years later, where counsellors are brutally taken down by Jason’s mother Pamela, before she’s decapitated by Alice, the series’ first Final Girl. Alice, who has a nightmare of Jason coming back from the dead, returns for Part Two, set two months later, but is taken out in short order.
From here, we get a by-the-numbers breakdown of Jason taking center stage in the franchise, first with a sack on his face and then his iconic hockey mask in Part Three, as well as the misleadingly-titled Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter. Recurring characters like Corey Feldman’s Tommy Jarvis (later played by John Shepherd and Thom Matthews) appear as well through A New Beginning and Jason Lives, taking in highlights like a copycat Jason and the killer’s bizarre resurrections. The seventh entry, which could have featured Freddy Krueger before settling on a Carrie homage, at least makes more sense than Jason Takes Manhattan. Finally, we get caught up on the gonzo Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday, the so-so Jason X, Freddy vs Jason, and the 2009 reboot.
Although a solid run-through of the franchise, the video doesn’t really offer explanations beyond being a recap. As such, anyone wanting to make sense of the movies as a whole is probably as doomed as Jason’s victims, and unlikely to get more answers while Friday the 13th remains in legal limbo.