Friday the 13th Part 2

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"Please help me! "

Oct 12th, 2011

I want to praise Friday the 13th part 2 for a multitude of reasons. The second film decided to ditch the P.O.V style allowing for more creativity in the death scenes. Jason was made the antagonist dropping the Scooby Doo antics of the first and of course above all Part 2 cemented the franchises love of nudity.

Ditching the idea that Jason is a retarded zombie kid the ending to the last film was passed off as a dream. Survivor girl Alice (Adrienne King) has a pass the torch moment giving the strongest connection between any of the sequels as a connected story.We quickly learn Mrs Voorhees son survived his drowning (how this is possible is never explained in any of the movies and makes the motivations behind the original killing spree unbelievable)and is out for revenge (at least I think thats what he was doing).

5 years after the last movie (why do the 80's horror franchises end up taking place in the not too distant future?) some new councillors (from a nearby resort) pop over to the now abandoned camp Crystal Lake to find that Jason has the same murderous tendencies as his mother. As with the first the storyline is thread bare but serves a satisfying reason to let the carnage begin.

With the cast fulfilling the same role as those in the first i.e. Cannon Fodder they once again lack distinctive personalities but boy are they good at playing horney teens. Luckily this time out we are given a great performance by Amy Steel as Ginney who is clearly the survivor girl from the outset. I found Alice from the first movie quite drab and blended into the background (who knew she was the hero?); it wasn't until the final moments of the first that I realised she was there. I like watching Amy Steels performances in 80's horror even though they are basically the same character (see April Fool's Day).

We know that this franchise has survived on the premise that each movie has more kills than the last (After the 5th film they tend to slow down a bit) but this one really added a mean streak to events. While the massacre is a little more open (ditching the P.O.V) the poor design of Jason means a lot of time is spent trying not to reveal his face (even being covered by a sack). This iteration of Jason uses traps to lure his victims in (so the fact that this was used in the new remake was not fabricated) and shows no concessions for minorities (the wheelchair kill has always been a favourite of mine). Things aren't quite as fluid as the later sequels but this is a lot better than the original. I should also point out that a few of the death sequences (the best ones at that) were lifted from the Italian Horror film Bay of Blood.

Not content with just graphic kills some smart arse (and praise be that smart arse) decided that if the film was receiving the highest rating why not through in some T and A. The first dabbled in mild titillation but this one showed the goods. The girls here who stripped usually ended up on the end of a pole (I should just leave it there), or a knife but what a way to go. Let's be honest here it's not a Friday film without nudity (that's the story I'm sticking to).

Now where the other movies where nothing more than light hearted fluff Part 2 tried its hand at something creepy. The Jason of this film keeps the severed head of his mother in his woodland shack. This hick quality is the only time I've felt the true twinge of horror from this franchise. It also made for a unique location for the final showdown. It's a shame the atmosphere created here was dropped as it was fairly original and was a lot more visceral than just having a large body count. It makes me wonder what could of happened if the series had continued with this style.

What really hits me no matter how many times I see the film is the terrible ending. It left me confused and racking my brains to figure out what had transpired more so than any of the other flicks. The dreamlike ending of the first may have been a little out of place but it worked as a closing reel shock. Part 2 attempted to replicate another jump out your seat moment but left the ultimate fate of the survivors unclear. Was Jason still alive? Was the final chick crazy? Who knew?

Friday 2 is a lot closer to that recognisable formula and for me a lot more enjoyable without the mystery element of the first. The only real let down is the bizarre conclusion. It's not a bad time filler when the other sequels aren't available.

Other reviews in the series

Friday the 13th (1980)
Friday the 13th Part 3
Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter
Friday the 13th Part V: A New Beginning
Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives
Friday The 13th Part VII The New Blood
Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan
Jason Goes To Hell
Jason X
Freddy vs. Jason
Friday the 13th (2009)

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Movie Details

Movie Poster Here
Director:Steve Miner
Screenplay: Ron Kurz
Phil Scuderi
Released: 1981
Starring:Amy Steel
John Furey
Adrienne King