Who’s the best character in Friday the 13th? In this one, there’s no Jason. It’s all about the odd and flirty camp counselors, a crazy old man and a psychotic mommy! While I’m partial to Mrs. Voorhees, and her awfully sick ways, I did like a few others. I simply mean, there was enough for me to write a list of top 5 best characters in Friday the 13th. So, why don’t we take a trip down memory lane and rank the best of the best? Enjoy the list!
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5. Crazy Ralph
Surprise, surprise! I’m starting off the list with Crazy Ralph, isn’t that… crazy? Well, not really! Considering that most characters in Friday the 13th are frustratingly boring, I had to include someone who actually had some personality. In favor of Crazy Ralph, I’m leaving Marcie, Bill and Brenda off my list. I’m not even including Jack. There was no sizzle on this Bacon, Kevin.
Crazy Ralph is the town drunk, who’s constantly rambling about the “death curse” of “Camp Blood”. Sometimes you’ll find him on his bicycle. But if you’re lucky, you can find him in your pantry, grabbing a snack while waiting for the right time to warn you about the “death curse”. In turn, he’s a ball of comedy, intended to be a serious character. But who on earth could take him seriously? His facial expressions are enough to warrant a few chuckles. If anything, he’s a character we need in Friday the 13th to break the monotony. In turn, I’m ranking Crazy Ralph at the 5th spot on my list of the best characters of Friday the 13th. Walt Gorney, I tip my hat to you, good sir!
We all need a good laugh every once in a while, don’t we? And with a friend like Ned, we either laugh with him or at him. While that’s not really a compliment, it’s the reason I mildly enjoyed Ned’s part in Friday the 13th. He wasn’t a douchebag with a girlfriend; he was a funny pervert. While most other characters were bland and horny, Ned was actually different. It’s something that made him stand out in the midst of horny idiots that added nothing to the film. They just added to the movie’s death count. In turn, I found Ned to be the comedic relief character that actually made the mid part of the movie a bearable watch.
Why did they have to kill Annie? Oh, how I wish they didn’t! While I understand that they were diverting our expectations, killing the first loveable girl we came across, it wasn’t really worth it. In Annie we had a character who ticked most boxes for a good Final Girl. She had a distinct personality and kind-hearted nature, and it felt believable and genuine. It wasn’t fake. It felt like she was actually a good human being, with a smile that would make people at a funeral feel warm at heart. In turn, it’s a damn shame we didn’t get to see more of her! Nevertheless, Annie did enough to win me over. Therefore, I’m giving her the 3rd spot on my list of the best Friday the 13th characters!
Subjectively, I like Annie more than Alice. But objectively, there’s something special about Alice’s warm presence and mental fortitude that makes her climb past Annie. It’s just difficult to say that Alice doesn’t deserve this spot, considering that the last 30 minutes of the movie she’s a really solid Final Girl. While there’s much to be desired in her lack of personality up until that point, she still has a better overally character than everyone, except for Mrs. Voorhees.
While I’m not too fond of Alice, thinking that she could’ve had more personality and a distinct behavior, she’s still good. In time, maybe I will like her more, as she’s a character that I would consider to be a “grower”. Someone who slowly but surely gets better, the more time she has in my mind. With that being said, all respect to Adrienne King for her part in this classic.
1. Mrs. Voorhees
Betsy Palmer, I bow before your performance as Mrs. Voorhees. I was surprised, I was terrified, and I was impressed. What makes it even more awe-inspiring is that she doesn’t appear in the movie before the 75-minute mark, and that’s insanity! Friday the 13th has a runtime of just 95 minutes. It means that Betsy Palmer had little screen time during that 20 minute window, and did so amazingly! Obviously, I need to give some credit to writers Ron Kurz and Victor Miller for pulling off this unimaginable gamble. It paid off. That’s for damn sure!
Consider that there’s a lack of quality characters in Friday the 13th, Mrs. Voorhees stands out like a bright light at midnight. Why’s that? She’s a character who has lost her mind following the death of her son, Jason. When he drowned at Camp Crystal Lake, Mrs. Voorhees snapped. In turn, she became psychotic, and we see Betsy Palmer portray her sick and twisted mindset perfectly! It’s the nuanced performance that the character needed. The underlying pain and guilt are there, and so are the terrifying speech pattern and unsettling facial expressions. I’m just gonna come out and say it: Betsy Palmer did all of this during 10 days on set, and that’s mind-blowing.
“Oh, my sweet innocent Jason. My only child… Jason. You let him drown. You never paid any attention! Look what you did to him!
– Mrs. Voorhees
The close-ups, the flashbacks and the long chase-and-fight sequence between her and Alice are more than enough to warrant a high spot on my list. Add to that everything I mentioned above, and Mrs. Voorhees clears everybody in Friday the 13th ten times over. In turn, I crown the queen of Friday the 13th; Mrs. Voorhees is the best character of the movie!