Friday the 13th Part 2 (1981)
March 13, 2015 5:05 AM - Subscribe

Friday the 13th Part 2 is a 1981 American horror film directed by Steve Miner. It is a direct sequel to Friday the 13th, picking up five years after that film's conclusion, where a new murderer stalks camp counselors at a nearby training camp. The film marks the first time Jason Voorhees is the antagonist.

Originally, Friday the 13th Part 2 was not intended to be a direct sequel to the 1980 original but rather part of an anthology series of films based around the Friday the 13th superstition, but after the popularity of the original film's surprise ending to feature Jason Voorhees attacking the heroine, the filmmakers decided to bring back Jason and the mythology surrounding Camp Crystal Lake, a trend which would be repeated for the rest of the series.

This is also the second part of the seven year odyssey to watch every Friday the 13th movie on successive Friday the 13ths.

Streaming options look pretty good, with it available through Netflix and epix, and available for rental in a variety of other places.

As one last note, you can learn more about Horror Club 2.0 here.
posted by Literaryhero (7 comments total)
This is the highest point of the series for me, fundamentally for a reason that I'm almost ashamed to admit: it's the last time* that teens go to Crystal Lake to work and not just to relax and party. Related to that: it's also the last time** that there's a summer camp involved. This is totally my personal taste...I'm just too much of a boy scout I guess.

Stylistically/aesthetically, this might as well be a remake of the first one, minus the "mystery" aspect that the original did pretty awkwardly when you watch it while forcing yourself to forget who Mrs. Voorhees and Jason are from the start..."Jeez, who's been killing everyone all day? And who's this woman who just showed up for the first time 15 minutes before the end?" Having creepy, sack-face Jason established as the killer from the beginning helps a lot.

Amy Steel is a much more natural actor than Adrienne King. I find them both likable enough in their roles, but while King was clearly/unsubtly acting ("I don't know if I'm going to last all week!" [awkward stance/arm movement]), Steel actually seems to be there in the moment throughout this movie, which was pretty rare and much appreciated in the glut of post-Halloween 80s slasher movies. John Furey is relatively pretty good too...I always loved his sarcastic dismissal of the sheriff, particularly his delivery of the "No seconds on dessert for Jeff and Sandra tonight" line.

And Ted survives! Actually this one's probably got more survivors than any of them, since most of the trainees go out drinking and apparently got lost on the way back to the camp. Plus Paul survived? Maybe? Who knows!

I had always thought that they filmed the town scene at the beginning in the same little NJ town from the first one, but I just checked and apparently this one was filmed in Connecticut. Fooled me, looks basically pretty much the same.

And in conclusion: RIP Ralph. You deserved better, brother, and the streets of heaven are bike-friendlier than those in Crystal Lake. Salut.

* Sure, the kids in Part V are there because that's where they live, but don't try to convince me that that one is a high point of the series
** Sure, there's a summer camp in Part VI, but probably less than half of the movie takes place there
posted by doctornecessiter at 5:54 AM on March 13, 2015 [2 favorites]

Originally, Friday the 13th Part 2 was not intended to be a direct sequel to the 1980 original but rather part of an anthology series of films based around the Friday the 13th superstition

Huh, didn't know that. Funny since the other big slasher franchise of the 80s had a similar trajectory, though they actually made one before going back to cloning its established formula.
posted by kmz at 7:22 AM on March 13, 2015

"Contrary to what everybody hears, bears are dangerous." Is he confusing teddy bears with actual bears?
posted by Ik ben afgesneden at 9:23 AM on March 13, 2015

Brought to us from the director of Soul Man, which aged just awfully, being intended as a satire on racism at the time, it now looks baldly racist itself. That may need its own post someday...

Anyway, I hope to get to this one this weekend so I can join in.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 10:08 AM on March 13, 2015

All of the murders themselves were well done (though I'm a sucker for fun/ cheesy gore effects), and the last half of the movie really embraced the slapstick side of bloodbath films. Jiggling the handle on the Volkswagen, turning invisible by hiding behind a bush (both Jason and non-Jason used this trick!), and Mark rolling down the stairs backwards with a machete in his face were especially strong highlights. I feel like Friday the 13th part 2 really paved the way for directors like Peter Jackson to see how far you could go with the horror-comedy sub-genre.

Obviously not the first movie with a jump scare, but was it the first to really dial the jump scares up to 11? All the jump scares were very strongly telegraphed with both visual and auditory clues, and ultimately a disappointment in what was otherwise a really cool movie. I guess maybe they had to be included in order to call the movie "scary"?
posted by GrumpyDan at 8:19 PM on March 14, 2015

Rewatching the series now. This is really leagues more professional than the first. It's still not a good movie. But the characters are distinguishable, though nowhere near distinguished.

The first one coasted off of the effectiveness of the woods as a setting, the big stage debut of Tom Savin's work, some good music, and some serendipitous choices regarding what would become tropes. But this one, while missing the mystery angle and the cool POV shots, is better in nearly every way.

If the first one was a meh movie that benefitted from a great deal of Right Place, Right Time, this one still coasts (this time on sequel momentum) but has slightly better chops to make up the difference.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 11:58 AM on December 26, 2021

I mean, the kills aren't as good. The FX aren't as good. And the overall effect is of someone with only a passing interest in horror taking a pass at a sequel. But the fact that you can tell the characters apart and vaguely care what happens to them is a huge difference in watchability.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 2:47 AM on December 27, 2021

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