Thursday, June 12, 2014

Friday the 13th Part 2 - Review


Friday the 13th Part 2 (1981) * 
D: Steve Miner 
C: Adrienne King, Betsy Palmer, Amy Steel, John Furey, Russell Todd

Plot Synopsis: Years after the events in the first film, the camp counselors of another camp, that just happens to be near Camp Crystal Lake, are systematically slaughtered by Pamela Voorhees' son- Jason. 

Review: Part of the thrill in the Friday the 13th franchise is that viewers get to indulge in amoral behavior without actually having to partake in it. Of course, we're going to root for the final girl, but until then, part of the thrill comes from watching Jason dispatch of the cast in all kinds of creative ways. When two of the characters sneak away to engage in promiscuous sex, we know nothing good is going to come from it. Or when a character goes off to skinny dip, ...well we know that they have it coming to them. Watching the buildup and anticipation is part of the charm (so to speak). 

With this being the debut of iconic anti-hero Jason Voorhees', you would think that this would deliver the goods, but it doesn't. In one scene, we see someone hanging upside down on a rope. Jason walks over to the person with a machete. The soon to be victim raises their eyes in horror and then the film cuts away. Or in another scene, two lovers are impaled by a spear. We see Jason raise the spear. We see the frightened reaction of the couple and then the film cuts away yet again. 

Friday the 13th Part 2 is all tease and no action. Almost all of the blood soaked antics and T&A of the original have been muted. A lot of the entertainment value derived in watching a slasher is how in-politically correct these films were. Yet the tone feels rather politically correct here. Did the makers of this sequel not want to deal with the controversy that surrounded the first film?!? Did the makers of this sequel dial things back, because of a then recent assassination attempt on Ronald Reagan's life? Did this film fall victim to the MPAA? Did the studio muddle with things? Whatever happened, Friday the 13th Part 2's downfall is that it fails to embrace what it is. [R] 87 mins.

Reviews for Additional Films in This Series:

Friday the 13th (1980)

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