Aw yeah back to the lake, baby.
On this day last year, I reviewed the first Friday the 13th movie and thought it was..okay? I guess? It was boring and a tad unmemorable outside of a few select scenes but I didn’t think it was anything bad. It was a movie that I saw. Now a year has passed, I didn’t even bother opening up by Friday the 13th DVD set because I’m garbage at keeping up with my backlog, and I finally decided to sit down and watch Part 2. This was the movie I was actually keen on seeing the most because by most accounts THIS is where the series starts developing its identity and becoming something special. From what I understand the movie was made with a very small budget (around $1 Million) and was shot over the span of a month (according to late Jason actor Steve Daskewisz) because Paramount desperately wanted to capitalize on the first film’s success. If that’s true then I commend them for it because Part 2 straight up fixes every problem I had with the original film.
Friday the 13th Part 2 plays out like the first movie more or less. A group of teenagers with a few adults stay at Camp Crystal Lake and a killer picks them off one by one, but Part 2 actually surprised me with the small changes it made to its own narrative, mainly that it actually tries to tell a story this time. The movie starts out with Alice Hardy alone in her apartment two months after the events of the first film and is clearly still dealing with her traumatic experience. After an AGONIZING amount of tension, she gets killed by an unknown (uh-huh) assailant and then the film actually starts and WOW did I love everything about this. The camera rarely leaves Alice’s side and you never get a full look of the apartment. Everything just feels so claustrophobic and stressful and the lack of music really sells it. I love how it messes with viewer expectations by killing the sole survivor and potential protagonist.
After this bombshell, we’re treated to a similar opening to Part 1, with two teenagers arriving at Crystal Lake for something camp related. Instead of opening up the camp however, they’re only there for a counselor training retreat. It’s throught his that we’re introduced to our main characters. Blonde man, blonde woman, girl with..Mickey Mouse shirt….guy in wheelchair.
I don’t remember their names and I’m not looking them up.
Now I mentioned that Part 2 had more of a plot than Part 1 and that’s because we actually learn more about Jason. Unlike with Pamela we get a lot more buildup to the type of person Jason is and how he operates. Jason is may be a madman but he’s also a lot craftier than his mother. Very rarely does he let himself be known to his victims and he’s a lot more creative with his kills. There’s also a really chilling scene near the end of the movie where we see what’s inside of his shack and it’s horrific, but also very telling since it was alluded to by the main character (?) in a scene where she kind of…REALLY nails exactly the type of person Jason ended up being which was kind of silly but in a good way to me. The story mainly tells the story of Jason through his horrific actions and mannerisms and that’s what impressed me most. He almost comes off as a vengeful spirit.
Speaking of his actions DUDE THE KILLS IN THIS MOVIE ARE SO DOPE.
Every single kill in this movie is so entertaining and brutal to watch and they way they’re executed is awesome. A personal favorite of mine is the guy in the wheelchairs death just because his chair goes tumbling back down the campgrounds stairs and it’s so blunt and funny. The way each kill is shot and performed just has this complete sense of brutality to it and it never lingers on a kill for too long, which I think is the right way to do it. If you linger on the gore aspect of a kill it becomes less fun and just ends up being uncomfortable which, while I get the point, would feel out of place in this movie since it’s a bit more tongue and cheek than the average horror film. For every act of brutality and horror there’s always something to laugh at or something absurd happening on screen like Jason standing on a chair and then falling flat on his ass trying to kill someone. Friday the 13th Part 2 is kind of like going on a horror themed version of one of those 4D rides at Universal. It’s just scene after scene of something entertaining happening but while never wearing out its welcome. One of my biggest complaints about the film is how short it is. I REALLY wanted there to be more.
In terms of other complaints I honestly don’t have much to say. I think Part 2 completely succeeds with what it sets out to do and I thoroughly enjoy my time with this movie. If the rest of the franchise is like this then I should really get my butt in gear and watch the rest of them.
Yo this dude goes to New York? Whaaaaaaaaaaaaat?????