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Review: Friday The 13th Part 2 (1981)

Reviewer: Christopher Youngblood

 

To all retroslashers.net readers...your all doomed, doomed I tell you! The words of the iconic and crazy Ralph from the "Friday The 13th" series warning campers on their way to visit Camp Crystal Lake. Of course nobody was doomed as this series has gone on to be one of the most popular horror franchises of all time. After the success of the first film obviously a sequel was ordered by Paramount to capitalize on the success on the first one. It is this sequel that I will take a stab on reviewing today. ;)

Taking place 5 years after the incidents at Camp Crystal Lake our heroine Alice the lone survivor from the massacre years before and is now adjusting to normal life and continues to try and forget the nightmare that happened to her years earlier. It was one late night when Alice is visited by a masked stalker and is relieved of her life. Elsewhere campers decide to revisit Camp Crystal Lake yet again ignoring the warnings form the local townsfolk and a crazy elderly man named Ralph that the camp has a death curse on it. Lurking in the woods around the camp is Jason Vorhees waiting patiently to exact his revenge on those who took his beloved mothers life five years earlier . As the campers begin to settle in they begin to fall victim to the masked and disfigured Jason who begins eliminating the campers with a machete, a pitch fork etc...

This film was filmed on a modest budget of $1,000,000.00 with a 30 day shooting schedule in Connecticut and grossed nearly $23,000,000.00. A stellar sequel and in some fans eyes improved on the original. The thing that stands out to me more then anything is the opening sequence with actress Adrienne King mulling around her house. As the viewer you knew what was going to happen, you just didn't know when. Director Steve Miner did a good job at building some suspense before dispatching the actress. He provided several scares before the payoff and first appearance of a grown up "Jason Vorhees". It set the tone for the film and this film and the direction was set.

Producer Sean Cunningham was not sure which direction he wanted to take the sequel and a nearly entirely different film was written. After discussions with his partners it was decided to expand on the idea of Jason. Originally Jason was a only a gag at the end of the first film but the idea was put in motion. The look of Jason in this sequel was set after a real life serial killer that was brought to life in the film "The Town That Dreaded Sundown". In my opinion this was the scariest Jason had ever looked in all of the films. He only wore a white sheet over his head. The recognizable hockey mask was not introduced until Part 3.

All in all I enjoyed this film. It is definitely better than most of the sequels and better than most of the slasher films of that time. Some real life horror happened as actress Adrienne King was being haunted by a real life stalker which ended her career in the film business. Since Friday Prt. 2 she has not acted in any other films fearing for her life. Something similar happened to actress Danielle Harris who is best known for the "Halloween" series. The Friday The 13th series are alot of fun and sure some of the movies got very hokey but this one manages to keep a little class.

 
  
 

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