As previously explained, Friday the 13th was an important, impressive horror film that, though a little rough round the edges, was truly deserving of its legendary status.
And so a year later the sequel was released.
The first challenge (judging by the opening of the film) being, how to continue the story with the original murderer (Pamela Voorhees) dead and her only other real, vengeful relative being her long dead son who is at the bottom of Crystal Lake.
But is little Jason really dead? Was the dream sequence at the end of the first film really a dream? Perhaps although he had spent years under water, his algae covered body could somehow miraculously rise again?
Well, this is just the crazy notion that writers Ron Kurz and Victor Miller felt was strong enough to justify Jason’s return.
After an overly long and thorough recap of part one’s events, part two kicks off as former heroine Alice being stalked and murdered in a city apartment, far away from the rolling hills and dense woodland.
Camp Cystal Lake, now known (by locals) as Camp Blood is closed, but a little further along the water is a new camp where an enthusiastic group of young counselors are working to prepare the place for another busy summer with kids, games, camping and fun.
Paul and Ginny are running the show and although they’ve heard the stories of what went on down the road a few years earlier, they’re not bothered.
The idea that Jason, son of the serial killer, is alive and living in the woods somewhere nearby doesn’t worry them at all. If anything they pity him a bit. Most of all they’re not worried that he may also be a deranged murder, and the fact that he seems to be immortal doesn’t even make it into conversation.
Who cares if he can’t die?
Who cares if he’s supposed to be a shady hulk of a man that hides in the woods spying on people?
Who cares if he would probably like to get revenge on some camp counselors?
Not these guys.
It’s just this sort of carefree attitude that gets teens killed. And true to form, it’s not long until members of the camp are being picked off in ways that are equally as imaginative, shocking and gory as those seen in the first film.
Again, a range of typical, entertainingly irritating horror movie victims are represented. The pattern in which they are murdered and the methods used are somewhat unexpected and at times brutal, again, one of the things that made the first film so enjoyable.
And the fact that we now have a bigger, mentally damaged, hooded killer does change the game slightly, even if it loses the ‘whodunnit’ element used in part 1.
Generally speaking Friday the 13th Part 2 offers everything that a slasher fan could need. It stays true to the original film, whilst giving enough variation to keep the idea interesting. Things get particularly innovative later on when Ginny uses her knowledge of psychology to manipulate Jason’s damaged mind and make a break for freedom.
Friday the 13th Part 2 is essential viewing, not only because it’s a good film, but because it acts as the gateway to the later, even more absurd films.