Jason is back and he has a new group of hormonal teenagers to hunt down. Friday the 13th: Part 2 is exactly what you expect it to be, a follow-up to the first film but with more blood and less logic.
It is a fun time seeing Jason stomping around the woods, but let me break it down for you in this week’s Late to the Party.
Fair warning, there will be some spoilers in my review but I will try to keep it to a bare minimum.
An eerie, dark, street offers the opening images to the movie. Jason’s feet appear in an angle shot, presumably to trick viewers.
Upstairs in the house lays Alice, our sole survivor from the first Friday the 13th. She is lying asleep in her bed, consumed by flashbacks of her final battle with Mrs. Voorhees.
Alice seems to be plagued by PTSD from her stay at Camp Crystal Lake. She seems on edge in her quiet apartment. The only thing that keeps her company is her art….and her cat.
Fun Fact: Actress Adrienne King, who plays Alice, is the only person to return to the series to reprise her role (besides Kane Hodder as Jason, of course).
The rest of the film seems to follow the same format as the first: an unknown killer in the woods by Crystal Lake stalks a group of teens. However, this time around, the camp is a training program for camp counselors.
“We’ll probably all get a brownie badge to wear if we survive,” jokes one of the counselors.
No one seems to listen in Friday the 13th: Part 2. The teens all seem preoccupied in scoring with one another. But, the dynamic works and the allure of friendship seems true. Even the townspeople we get to meet seem genuinely worried for these knuckleheads.
Naturally, the teenagers, again, do the opposite of what is told and venture into the garden of evil. One by one, the counselors are picked off with a vast array of weapons: from a kitchen knife to a spear, and the infamous machete.
Unlike the first film, this group of teens is very much aware of the fable that surrounds Jason. It isn’t until about midway through the film that we are introduced to a theory on what made the Voorhees clan snap.
Camp counselor Ginny analyses Jason as a human, traumatized by the death of his mother. Previously, we didn’t know much about the Voorhees family and the full dynamics behind the mother and son duo.
Jason’s mom is the only person he has ever known.
As a child, Mr. Voorhees was never in the picture. School was not an option for disfigured Jason. He had never trusted anyone other than his beloved mother.
Ginny alludes to Mrs. Voorhees’ killing spree as an act of revenge against the mistreatment of her son. Against the love she lost.
“I doubt that Jason even knew the meaning of death, or at least until that horrible night,” said Ginny at the bar. “He must have seen the whole thing happen — he must have seen his mother get killed and all because she loved him.”
This humanized version of Mrs. Voorhees and Jason might give some viewers a change of heart.
Overall, the movie is very repetitive, but you know what you are signing up for when it comes to this franchise. The kills are definitely amped up. I think I went in expecting much more out of this chapter of Friday the 13th.
I did really enjoy learning more about Jason and his mother. Even as ruthless killers, there is still love at the root of the film. So, I guess you can classify this a wholesome family movie.
The best kill definitely goes to wheelchair Jimmy — I mean Mark. It is brutal and the descent down the stairs is pure comedy gold.
Now for the best twist and OMG moment, in my opinion: the uncovering of Jeff and Sandra. I was not expecting that at all. I literally had my jaw to the floor.
It should be noted the era this film was released. There were not many movies like this out on the market. It paved the way for many horror films that followed, such as Sleepaway Camp (one of my all-time favorites). With so many stalker/slasher films, this entry to the Friday the 13th franchise seems a bit lackluster.
Nonetheless, Jason proves to us why we should always treat others how you would want to be treated. You never know if that person might come back from the dead and seek revenge with a machete.