Horrortoberfest ’22 Day 2 – Friday the 13th Part 2 (1981)

This year, I’ll be taking a look at some of the iconic horror movie franchises that I’ve only seen small bits of. Friday the 13th is one of the series I never got into since the standard slasher genre doesn’t particularly do all that much for me. Even so, it’s status in the horror genre means I have seen a few samplings of the series such as the original, the 7th one where Jason fights a psychic, then 10th one where he becomes a space cyborg, and the reboot. That means I wont be looking at them here and will instead be watching all the ones I’ve missed.

Part 2 starts out a few months after the first movie with the previous film’s final girl, Alice, recovering at home from the traumatic events of Part 1 and giving a “Previously On” dream sequence to remind us the first killer was Jason’s mom. After meandering around her house for a good 10 minutes of run time, she gets taken out and we move on to the new meat. We cut to 5 years later and a group of new would-be camp counselors are getting trained up just down the way from Camp Crystal Lake. They mostly dick around in a glacially paced plot (though still better than the first one) and it takes a full ass hour for Jason to get around to killing some horny teens in some incredibly bloodless ways.

Most the people from the first movie didn’t return for Part 2, including special effects wizard Tom Savini. That, coupled with some MPAA pressure, means the deaths in this film are kind of lackluster from a visual standpoint. Shout out to the only good kill in this, a wheelchair bound teen getting a very sudden machete to the face. Most of the other deaths are either extremely tame or cut away from such that you don’t see anything happen. For a slasher film, there just isn’t that much in the way of slashing. Honestly, watching this, I couldn’t believe that this series managed to spawn so many sequels and gain the level of popularity that it did. Perhaps that’s just looking at early slasher film through the lens of post-ironic Scream eyes.

I will say that the acting in this was a definite step up from the first film and the characters seem slightly less wooden. We have a bunch of background counselors that manage to survive by being drunk in town when all the murder goes down so we are left with 4 couples as the main machete magnets. Instead of just being all copy-paste horny teen squads, they all interact in unique ways. Our final girl for this film, Ginny, gets a great scene of pretending to be Jason’s mom and I appreciate that her boyfriend, Paul, also manages to make it through the night. Probably. Maybe. The ending, in addition to reusing the Jason jump scare from the first film, ends in a very ambiguous way where we don’t really know.

In all, Part 2 didn’t really grab me or give me anything interesting to latch on to. I’m much more of a sucker for weird, supernatural shit in my horror movies so I can’t wait until the franchise moves Jason from “guy wearing a pillowcase” to “teleporting zombie goalie”. Also, I don’t think Jason ever uses an axe despite it being the weapon on the poster. That’s false axe-vertising.

Score: 2 out of 5.

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