The Trilogies Found Within The Friday the 13th Films

Existing within the Friday the 13th franchise are two trilogy story lines that helped drive the Paramount films of the 1980′s. The first trilogy centers around the events of Friday the 13th Part 2 through Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter. These three films not only introduce Jason Voorhees as the maniacal killer of Crystal Lake, provide him the iconic hockey mask, and introduce Tommy Jarvis as a central character in the franchise, but also take place within a few days of each other.

Friday the 13th Part 2 sets up Jason Voorhees as the quintessential slasher and his story and circumstances were ripe for a franchise to be born. The ending of Part 2 left open the possibilities of future Jason adventures and that is exactly what happened. Friday the 13th Part 3 picked up that very same day from the end of Part 2, after Ginny is driven away in the ambulance. Jason limps away from his shack and at Crystal Lake and decides to change some clothes (and shave his head and face) at the Hockett's Diner before he heads out to Higgins Haven.

Jason Actor Richard Brooker Filmed This Scene In Jason's Part 2 Attire For The Beginning Of Part 3 To Create Continuity In The Series And The Burgeoning Trilogy

After meeting up with Chris Higgins and her carefree friends, Jason suffers the iconic fatal axe blow to his head and is left for dead in the barn for the film’s finale. Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter begins the very same day as night has fallen and police have arrived to find Jason laying in the barn as well as his many victims strewn about the property of Higgins Haven. After Jason is taken to the morgue, he awakens to Axel watching his aerobics video for which he quickly dispatches of him and Nurse Morgan before heading back to Crystal Lake. There he happens across the residence of the Jarvis family for this trilogy's swan song with the introduction of the Tommy Jarvis character who would not only kill Jason, but resurrect him for future stories.

The second trilogy within the franchise is the Tommy Jarvis trilogy, which runs from Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter through Jason Lives: Friday the Part 6. This set of three films do not succeed each other from day to day as the previous trilogy does, but they are all tied together by the Tommy Jarvis character. The three parts of this second trilogy introduce the Tommy character (Friday The 13th: The Final Chapter), explore the emotional trauma that he suffered at the hands of Jason Voorhees ( Friday the13th: A New Beginning), and then finally show how he deals with the trauma of his past encounters with Jason Voorhees (Jason Lives: Friday the 13th Part 6).

The Same Alien Mask Was Used For Both 'The Final Chapter' And 'A New Beginning' For The Second Trilogy

The Tommy character grows throughout the three films and actually becomes more of a central figure to the plot than Jason or the curse of Crystal Lake. Starting with The Final Chapter, Tommy is not as prevalent a character, but he takes on the most important role in the film by the end of the story by being the first person to actually defeat and kill Jason. A New Beginning shows the traumatic effects of his encounters with Jason and how that eventually expands into an almost obsessive personality co-existing with a possible cracked psyche. In order to deal with these psychological issues, he goes to Jason's grave in Jason Lives to finally destroy Jason once and for all. Although, that didn't necessarily work out as planned.

It is fascinating to see that trilogies can be created within a film franchise. This is especially true when there was really no intended thinking of trilogies when these films were created. For a long running series of films like Friday The 13th, trilogies are a healthy way to keep fan interest and also attempt to create some continuity to appease fans. Lets hope that newer films try to adhere to this thinking for a new generation of Jason Voorhees fans!