Mrs. Voorhees is dead, and Camp Crystal Lake is shut down, but a camp next to the infamous place is stalked by an unknown assailant. Is it Mrs. Voorhees' son Jason, who did not really drown in the lake some 30 years before?
After killing Mrs. Voorhees, who was avenging her son Jason's death, Alice Hardy can finally sigh with relief. But there is just one problem. Jason never drowned at Camp Crystal Lake and lived in the nearby woods as a hermit all this time. The day that Alice beheaded his mother, Jason saw everything and his heart filled with thirst for revenge. Two months later, Alice gets stabbed by an ice pick in the temple and disappears. Is Jason behind this? Five years later, a camp next do to Camp Crystal Lake is built and the counselors start snooping around the old, abandoned camp ruins. This makes Jason very upset, since his shack is next to the remains of Camp Crystal Lake and what is inside the shack shall be kept secret forever, even if it means killing nine people! Written by
"Friday the 13th Part 2" is good, straightforward slasher fare that plays a formula for all it's worth. Its story (mostly) takes place five years after the events of the first movie, when a camp counsellor training centre has been set up in the Crystal Lake area. For five years the area has been quiet, but that's about to change, as the arrival of a new batch of nubile victims will spur Jason Voorhees to murderous action, as he inherits the mantle of crazed backwoods mass murderer from his late mother Pamela. This sequel announced the emergence of Jason as a prominent slasher icon in a big way, and he's a truly evil creep in this one, and still more or less human, as opposed to the unstoppable zombie he would become in later sequels. While not ignorant of the iconic status of the hockey mask, this viewer has to say that he really likes the "pillow sack" covering of the face in this entry. The Jason face makeup is good if not too consistent with the way he looked in Part 1. Sadly, the trimming down of key gore scenes definitely dilutes their impact, although there's still a delight in the way he stalks his victims as the preludes to the kills. Director Steve Miner keeps the story racing forward; if it weren't for that extended, 12 minute plus pre-credits sequence that reminds the audience of what has come before, this would be quite the short movie indeed. Even so, it runs a mere 87 minutes. The woodsy setting works just as well as before, and Harry Manfredini's instantly recognizable score adds to the fun just like it always does. The cast does acceptable work, with Amy Steel as Ginny making for an appealing and intelligent "final girl"; the best in this series in this reviewer's humble opinion. A psychology major, she actually attempts to mess with Jason's mind in order to get the upper hand, and doesn't do too bad a job. John Furey is likable male lead Paul Holt, a guy scrappy enough to give Jason a good fight. Stu Charno is great as geeky comedy relief guy Ted, and Kirsten Baker as Terry supplies some wonderful eye candy, especially as she goes skinny dipping. A treat is in seeing Adrienne King, Betsy Palmer, and Walt Gorney return to their previous roles; Gorney is just as hysterical as ever as doom sayer Crazy Ralph. Fine cinematography (by Peter Stein) and production design (by Virginia Field) are assets - Jason's isolated decrepit dwelling is truly a marvel to behold. All in all, Part 2 is one of the best sequels in this franchise by far, a solid continuation to one of the definitive slasher movies, delivering enough laughs, shocks, and thrills to make this a fine hour and a half or so of no-fooling-around entertainment. Eight out of 10.
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