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Friday, December 13, 2019

Review: Friday the 13th: Part 2

Director: Steve Miner
Screenplay: Ron Kurzr
Year: 1981

Another Friday the 13th that brings another “Friday the 13th” review, something that is quickly becoming a tradition in the 10th Circle. In this case, it is “Friday the 13th: Part 2” the chosen one, the sequel to “Friday the 13th”. Although this is the second one in a long saga of movies, many consider it to be the first one, as it is where the mythical Jason Vorhees appears as a villain for the first time.
After Ms. Vorhees was violently killed, her son Jason seeks revenge from the person responsible for her death. Near Crystal Lake, where the events on "Friday the 13th'' took place, a new group of young counselors prepare the area to reopen it to the public, without being conscious that Jason Vorhees is not a mere legend, but someone real. This way Jason extends his vengeance to the group of counselors present in this place.
“Friday the 13th: Part 2” starts sometime after the events in the first part, from which about six minutes are spent reliving them as part of a dream from the protagonist and survivor from the previous movie. These scenes bring an interesting twist, as this character is dispatched quickly and graphically. This event makes clear that in this sequel there will be a new group of victims and that the story will not be all that associated with the previous events. 
Something interesting about this movie is how the villain Jason is portrayed. After so many sequels where he is presented as an almost immortal monster with an unnatural capability for killing and avoiding death, it’s hard to see him as someone vulnerable. “Friday the 13th: Part 2” is the introduction of Jason as a killer and portrays him simply as an individual full of rage that seeks revenge for his mother’s death, which he gets early on, but that proves to not be enough. This image is quickly substituted in the following sequels, where his intimidating and sadistic projection starts to be more important than the smart but vulnerable one shown in this movie. 
 “Friday the 13th: Part 2” follows all the rules of the ‘80’s slashers, with a poor character development whose presence only serves to increase the body count. The only character that is somewhat developed is that of Ginny, interpreted by Amy Steel (“April Fool’s Day”), who is considered one of the best final girls because of her brilliant move to avoid getting brutally killed in the final stretch of the movie. Similarly, the plot of Ron Kurz (“Off the Wall”) only focuses on putting the necessary elements to move the story and performing the graphic killings, even if it doesn’t make much sense how they are reached. 
Director Steve Miner (“Halloween H2O: 20 Years Later”) significantly improves the quality of the movie with respect to its predecessor in the technical aspect without forgetting what happened in it. He is capable of always maintaining a tense ambient and uses several effective jump scares, both cheap with the simple purpose of getting the viewer to jump from its seat, as well as some that does have relevance in the plot. The deaths are another of its strong points that, by today’s standards might seem limited, but for its time were brutal. Where even some had to be heavily edited for the movie to be able to be released in theaters.
“Friday the 13th: Part 2” is a great improvement over “Friday the 13th'', offering a better rhythm and with superior quality in the direction and interpretations. Even so, it is not a great movie, betting for a script that only seeks to justify the deaths from Jason’s authorship in which represents his introduction to the world of slasher movies, to which he later became synonym with. Besides enjoying the deaths, quite visually limited by the standards of its time, little more can be rescued from this movie that, even when it is fun, it is completely overrated.

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