Friday The 13th Characters And How They Influenced The Film Franchise

Since there are twelve movies to choose from in the Friday the 13th film franchise, it can be difficult to sift through all of the characters and pick out which ones are the most memorable. Some characters in the franchise could be viewed as possibly the most influential in taking the franchise in a certain direction. There are those few characters that are easily recognizable and might very well be the living, breathing essence of what makes Friday the 13th the type of movie series it is.

Recurring characters would be the first to come to mind and you need look no further than Tommy Jarvis. His character spanned three films and is responsible for not only ending the original series of films with Friday The 13th: The Final Chapter, but also for creating the zombie Jason that dominated multiplexes in the late 1980’s. His story also spawned the murderous exploits of Roy Burns, and in doing so, completed a profound transition in the franchise to what we know it as today.

Prophets of Doom are littered throughout the series to this point and none are more recognizable than Crazy Ralph. “It’s got a death curse” is just as synonymous to the Friday the 13th films as Jason Voorhees himself or the "Ki Ki Ki Ma Ma Ma" as the signature sound of the franchise. There has also been quite the following for another Prophet of Doom with Abel from Friday The 13th Part 3. His brief appearance in the film and his cut scene later on in the story were merely an homage to Ralph, but the spirit of that type of character definitely defines the film series.

Perhaps you enjoy the outhouse exploits of Demon and his girlfriend Anita talking about “the snake that’s gonna crawl up that crapper and bite yo’ ass”. Those damn enchiladas were killer. Over the top characters are what make the tense moments in film more settling for certain viewers and that comic relief feeling is a key ingredient in the Friday the 13th saga. Ned dancing around with Indian feathers in the original 1980 film or Ted having Jeff’s truck towed in Friday The 13th Part 2are prime examples of this fact. Maybe lovable Shelly turning around with a porno mag when being asked for money struck your funny bone in the third movie? The endless laughs of the Ethel and Junior combo in Friday The 13th: A New Beginning alone allows for multiple viewing of their film.

The serious tone of the characters can also lend a powerful element to the films as well. In The Final Chapter, when Rob is being attacked in the basement and screaming his last words, “He’s killing me!”, chills can run down the audience's spine. The fact that we know as an audience that Rob was there to avenge his sister’s death makes us sympathize with his character. Mrs. Voorhees' poignant speech at the end of the original 1980 film where she explains why the camp should not be opened is actually quite moving. In an instant, you feel something for her character and her now iconic motives.

The newer films in the series offer more flashy characters. Telekinetic Tina lays waste to anything that emotionally angers her in Friday The 13th Part 7: The New Blood. Uncle Charles is the prototypical overbearing parental figure, and then some, in Friday The 13th Part 8: Jason Takes Manhattan. The film Jason Goes To Hell offers one of the more endearing and most overlooked characters in the franchise in bounty hunter Creighton Duke. His character should have been used in more installments. Marine Sergeant Brodski was possibly the lone stabilizing force in Jason X as his tough demeanor gave a formidable foe for Jason Voorhees. Jenna’s death in Friday The 13th 2009 was surprising and saddening for some as her character came off as one of the few likable in the film.

So you see, there are many different personalities present in the characters created within the Friday the 13th universe. Every fan has their favorite, but each character has had their hand in shaping the direction of the film franchise and how fans perceive the films. Which is your most memorable character and how do you feel they contributed to the mythos of Friday the 13th?