Celebrating Horror Season by ranking Friday the 13th's most memorable kills (spoilers)

It's Friday the 13th and for many, that means the unluckiest day of the year. Not so at Cineworld – instead, we're inviting you lucky Cineworlders to experience classic slasher horror Friday the 13th on the very day that inspired it. Are you brave enough to take up the challenge?

The movie is showing as part of our ongoing Horror Season in which tickets for classic chillers cost just £5. The movie was released in 1980, immediately in the wake of John Carpenter's seminal Halloween and Friday the 13th exerted its own kind of influence, reshaping the notion of cinematic gore and death scenes.

There's a deadly killer on the loose at the haunted Camp Crystal Lake, a place with a tragic past – and a group of teenage counsellors are next in line. Which character suffers the most memorable fate in the movie? With spoilers, we've ranked the film's best demises.


5. Pinned to the door

Camp counselor Bill (Harry Crosby) is more than used to his share of strange characters at Camp Crystal Lake. Even so, his experience can't save him from a gruesome fate: bolted via the means of several arrows to a cabin door where he's later discovered by 'final girl' Alice (Adrienne King).

4. Ax to the face

If John Carpenter's original Halloween (1978) was distinguished by its level of suspense, rather than gore, then Friday the 13th giddily exploits the rush for violent retribution and mayhem. When said effects are devised by the legendary make-up artist Tom Savini (famed for his work on George Romero's Dead trilogy), you know things are going to be memorably nasty.

Sequences like the unfortunate Marcie (Jeannine Taylor) getting an axe to the cranium scarred an entire generation and helped initiate a cycle of far more explicitly grisly slasher movies.

3. Mrs. Vorhees' death

It's well-established that the killer in the first Friday the 13th movie isn't Jason Vorhees, it's his mother, Pamela (as revealed during Scream's opening trivia test).

She's played in deceptively homespun form by veteran actor Besty Palmer who nails the switch to knife-wielding sociopath with ease. She ultimately loses her head in the final fight with Alice, inviting both whoops of revulsion and a sigh of relief that the chaos is over. Or is it?

2. Kevin Bacon gets smoked

A pre-Footloose Kevin plays one of the hapless, horny teens set for the chop. The creepy premise devises that Mrs. Vorhees has been lying under his bed for some time, ready to spike him through the throat with an arrow. Ouch.

It's another sign of the movie's enjoyably gratuitous approach, expressly equating sex with death in a way that has entered slasher movie lore. This was later satirised in the likes of Scream (1996) and Cherry Falls (2000), the latter of which suggested that abstinence would instead result in a gruesome fate.

1. Jason's revenge

One of the best horror jump scares of all time? It's surely between the end of Friday the 13th, Exorcist III (1990) and a mere handful of others. If we're talking about this movie, it does a marvellous job of putting us off the scent via Mrs. Vorhees' death and the deceptively tranquil environment.

As sole survivor Alice drifts her hand across Camp Crystal Lake, Jason surges up totally unexpectedly from behind to drag her beneath the surface, Harry Manfredini's bucolic score transitioning back into stabby, chaotic strings to leave us utterly shaken.

Are you ready to return to Camp Crystal Lake on Friday the 13th? Click the link below to book your tickets.