The silent killer of the Friday the 13th movies, Jason Voorhees, has a surprisingly extensive family tree. Here’s a complete guide to his relatives.
Friday the 13th‘s silent killer, the iconic Jason Voorhees, has a surprisingly extensive family tree. For the last four decades, the terror of Camp Crystal Lake has acted alone in his never-ending quest to increase his body count. But even the most cold-hearted, seemingly immortal killer has to come from somewhere. Indeed, a deeper dive into the lore of the Friday the 13th franchise reveals that Jason was by no means the only Voorhees on the block. In fact, it’s no exaggeration to say that much of Jason’s character and motivation comes from a seriously traumatic event involving the loss of one of those family members.
With a dozen movies and one of the most iconic designs in horror cinema to his name, it’s easy to forget that Jason Voorhees wasn’t originally meant to be the center of the Friday the 13th universe. In fact, the original 1980 film was never intended to have any follow-ups, and it was only due to the movie’s runaway success that Friday the 13th: Part II was produced. It was the sequel that firmly cemented Jason as the true villain of the story, transforming him into a horror legend and the star of a further ten films. Given his current status, it’s often shocking for viewers to discover that Jason wasn’t even in the original film outside of several flashback shots and the infamous nightmare ending.
Instead of Jason, the original Friday the 13th featured his mother, Pamela Voorhees, as the deranged killer of Camp Blood. Following her decapitation at the end of the film, the sequel had no choice but to promote Jason to the role of chief antagonist. However, the idea of exploring Jason’s relatives stuck around, and several future installments and spin-offs of the series — including the films themselves, deleted scenes, and even comic books and novels — would feature members of his extended family.
The most prominent and well-known member of Jason’s family tree is his aforementioned mother, Pamela. As explained in the original Friday the 13th, Pamela raised Jason largely by herself, and the comic miniseries Friday the 13th: Pamela’s Tale reveals that she murdered her husband and Jason’s father, Elias Voorhees. Pamela Voorhees believed her son to be dead after he was reported drowned in Camp Crystal Lake’s titular body of water in the summer of 1957. Placing the blame on the irresponsible teenage camp counselors who left Jason unattended in the lake, Pamela spends the entirety of the first film murdering a new generation of counselors in an act of bloody revenge. It’s only through the bravery and quick thinking of the attack’s lone survivor, Alice Hardy, that Pamela is finally killed.
While Jason would go on to headline the remainder of the franchise — sans Part V, of course — without his mother, the sixth movie in the series, Jason Lives, nearly introduced audiences to his father. In a deleted ending, Mr. Voorhees would’ve made his presence known, but the plotline was eventually dropped. The father of Jason Voorhees does, however, appear in the novelization of the film, albeit with a different first name. The idea of including Elias in the film series popped up several more times, with Jason actor Kane Hodder even on tap to play him in both Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday and Freddy vs. Jason. Unfortunately, none of these appearances came to pass.
However, the idea of Jason’s extended family did end up becoming a vital plot point in Jason Goes to Hell; as part of the convoluted mythology behind the film, it’s explained that Jason has a half-sister: a woman named Diana Kimble. With his body having been destroyed in the beginning of the film, Jason is seeking a way to regenerate himself and grow to full power. Only another member of Jason’s Voorhees‘ bloodline can defeat him, and when Diana dies, it falls onto Jason’s niece, Jessica, to defeat him once and for all and save her infant daughter, Stephanie, from the clutches of her immortal great-uncle. One thing’s for certain: when it comes to being a Voorhees, it doesn’t take long for things to get complicated, frightening, and more than a little bloody, as is tradition with Friday The 13th.
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