08th Oct2020

Which is Better: Halloween or Friday the 13th?

by Chris Cummings

We all know just how integral to horror and cinema overall these two franchises are. Halloween has been a staple in the genre since 1978 when John Carpenter introduced us to Michael Myers in the quiet suburban streets of Haddonfield, Illinois. Two years later we were introduced to the franchise that would eventually bring Jason Vorhees into the consciousness of film-goers, with Friday the 13th hitting the screens for the first time, and Camp Crystal Lake becoming splashed with blood. Over the course of the forty-plus years that have passed, we’ve seen many Halloween and Friday the 13th films released. Halloween has had eleven movies released, with more coming in the next couple of years. Friday the 13th has seen ten movies, and a movie in which Jason appears alongside Nightmare on Elm Street villain, Freddy Krueger. Between these two franchises, there have been some absolute gems of horror, but there are some damn awful duds in there too. It can be a real challenge to get through some of the movies in these series’ but it can also be an absolute blast.

So, as we stand here in 2020, which is the better of these two franchises? Is Michael Myers the superior killer? Is Jason more terrifying? Let’s delve a little deeper and decide, in this writer’s view at least, which is better.


Oh, Michael… you crazed lunatic, you. I first encountered Michael Myers when I was just a kid and someone was wearing his mask while I was out trick-or-treating for Halloween. He scared the daylights out of me. I would, a little later, watch the very first Halloween flick. It was a revelation, and remains the greatest Halloween movie to date. If I were to pick a single movie out of the 21 movies these two franchises hold, I’d place the 1978 Halloween as the very pinnacle. It’s fucking brilliant. Over the course of eleven films, there are some definite highlights. The second movie, from 1981, is a lot of fun and continues where the first movie ended. The third, beloved now, though a bit odd (it doesn’t follow the Myers story, and Michael doesn’t even feature in the film) is great Halloween fun. Number 4, from 1988, is a favourite of mine, for sure. It loses its footing later on, and by the time Halloween: Resurrection landed in 2002, things were looking bleak for the series. Rob Zombie attempted to revive and remake the series in 2007 and 2009 to mixed opinions. Some loved Zombie’s gritty, gory and music-video style way of telling the Halloween tale, but some were upset by its lack of real eerie atmosphere and its new revelations about Michael himself. He wasn’t the supernatural shape he used to be, and that was a problem. Come 2018, another relaunch of Halloween occured, and the results were much more palatable. I personally really like the 2018 film and am eager to see Halloween Kills in 2021 and Halloween Ends after that. Still, when you look for the answer to “which is the best one?” it’s so easy to say the original 1978 film. None of the others really come close.


Oh Jason… you’re also a crazed lunatic, calm down… I wasn’t ignoring you. Friday the 13th wasn’t as familiar to me growing up as Halloween was. I remember watching the first movie when I was younger, but it didn’t hit me between the eyes like Halloween did. I think the reason was perhaps the lack of that iconic villain. Jason, of course, didn’t really join us until Part 2 when he appeared with a sack around his melon. Twelve movies on, since that classic in 1980, Friday the 13th has become so beloved in the minds and hearts of horror fans, and rightfully so. A terrifically bad-ass and unkillable villain, a bunch of victims-in-waiting, and some damn good locations. You can’t, however, beat Camp Crystal Lake. There’s something about Friday the 13th that should always really be at the camp, with kids being sliced and diced by Jason. There are, like with any horror franchise, ups and downs along the way. The first movie is a total classic, and there are other high-points, like The Final Chapter, Jason Lives and Part 3, but there are some low-points too, such as the abysmal “A New Beginning”. It is, though, all worth watching, which reminds me of Halloween. I will watch all of these movies, like I will the Halloween movies, even if some of them are fucking terrible. Oh, the life of a horror fan.

It’s hard, really, to sit down and pick apart these movies to the point of coming up with an actual conclusion to this question. It’s difficult, mostly, because there are people who will argue until they’re blue in the face that each of these franchises is the best. I like both, but I do think one is a little bit better than the other… so I guess I need to throw that conclusion out there. The overall quality and watchability, as well as a character who I tend to want to watch a little more, has to land at the feet of Halloween. Friday the 13th is a blast and full of incredible ideas and some wonderful films, but Halloween features more of the truly memorable and great stuff than Friday the 13th does, as far as I’m concerned, with the original Halloween in 1978 being the very best of all these movies. I do, then, believe that Michael beats Jason, and Halloween stands tall as the winner of this battle.



So, do you agree? Do you think I’m flat-out-wrong? Let us know!


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