This is a story about the love between a mother and her son. See, the mother loved her son and when he drowned, she decided to get avenge his death by killing everyone she believed was responsible. When the mother was beheaded by one of her intended victims, the boy somehow sensed his mother’s death and rose up from his watery grave to attack his mother’s killer. He would then begin his own campaign to continue his mother’s work, spawning a legacy of terror that would reign for decades. That, in a nutshell, is the motivation for today’s movie (as well as all of the subsequent sequels), Friday The 13th Part 2.
The plot – Two months after surviving the murders at Camp Crystal Lake, Alice Hardy is still recovering from the ordeal in her apartment. Waking up from a nightmare of reliving her encounter with Mrs. Pamela Voorhees, and dealing with a phone call from her concerned mother, Alice goes to get her cat some food but as she opens the fridge, she is horrified to find Pamela’s head inside the fridge, just as a mysterious assailant stabs her through the temple with an ice pick. Five years later, Paul Holt is hosting a camp counselor training session at Crystal Lake; with his assistant Ginny, Jeff, Sandra, Ted, Mark, Scott, Terry, and Vickie among the attendees. As they all sit around a campfire that night, Paul tells the assembled counselors about Jason, how his body was never recovered from the lake and some of the locals believes he is still wandering the woods near Camp Crystal Lake. He also tells them about Alice and how she had disappeared, with nothing but a lot of blood found in her apartment and how some say that Jason had gotten his revenge on her. After Ted scares the counselors by wearing a mask and waving a spear, Paul tells the group that Camp Crystal Lake is off limits, then has everyone head back inside the cabins. As the counselors all have some fun before heading to bed, Crazy Ralph has made his way to the camp to try and warn the counselors to leave the area but as he is hiding behind a tree, someone uses some barbed wire as a garrote and kills him. The next day, as the counselors all head down to the lake, Sandra convinces her boyfriend Jeff to go with her to Camp Crystal Lake but they end up getting caught by Deputy Winslow. After telling Paul to keep the counselors away from the camp, Winslow heads back towards town but spots someone wearing a burlap sack for a mask race across the road heading towards the camp. Winslow gives chase, eventually finding a cabin deep in the woods and as Winslow checks inside, he sees something in the back room that terrifies him, just before the mystery person kills him with a hammer. That night, Paul invites all of the counselors to a night on the town before the training gets serious, with Jeff and Sandra staying behind as punishment for their running off, and Terry Scott, Mark, and Vickie stay behind as well. After the counselors all leave, Terry decides to go skinny dipping in the lake but as she is out in the water, Scott steals her clothes and tauntingly tosses them to her as she gets out of the water. As Scott runs away from her, he ends up caught in a snare trap and suspended in the air. Terry considers leaving him there but decides to get something to cut the rope with and while she is gone, someone slits Scott’s throat. Terry returns to free Scott but when she sees that he is dead, she starts screaming, only to be confronted by someone. Meanwhile, at the bar, Ginny is talking with Paul and Ted about Jason and whether he could possibly be alive, but they both laugh off the notion. Back at the training center, Jeff and Sandra head upstairs to have sex, leaving Mark and Vickie downstairs. Vickie asks Mark about how he ended up in a wheelchair and as they get closer, they start making out and make plans to spend the night together. Vickie heads to her cabin to get ready but after she is gone for a while, Mark gets worried and goes looking for her, only to be struck in the face by a machete and sent rolling down the stairs. The killer then makes his way inside the main cabin and heads upstairs, where he kills Jeff and Sandra as they finish having sex. Vickie returns to the main cabin and when she doesn’t see him waiting for her, she heads upstairs to ask Jeff and Sandra if they have seen him, only to be surprised by the killer and stabbed with a kitchen knife. Paul and Ginny come back from the bar to find the lights out in the cabin and a mass amount of blood on one of the upstairs bed. As they head back downstairs to wait for the rain to stop so they can look for the others, Ginny sees the killer rise up behind Paul and shouts out a warning. Paul and the killer struggle in the dark and Ginny loses sight of them but when the killer rises up, Ginny screams and runs off. The killer chases her through the cabin and grounds, forcing Ginny to run into the woods to try and hide, where she eventually comes across the cabin. Calling out for help, Ginny enters the cabin but as she looks around, she sees Pamela’s desiccated head on a table in the back and realizes that the killer is Jason. Jason starts to break into the cabin so Ginny quickly dons Pamela’s sweater and tries to convince Jason that she is his mother, telling him he has done a good job. Getting him to kneel down, Ginny goes to slash him with the machete but as she moves, Jason sees his mother’s head and realizes he is being tricked. Jason deflects the blow, then slashes Ginny’s leg but before he can kill her, Paul shows up and jumps onto Jason. The two struggle, with Jason getting the upper hand but before he can kill Paul, Ginny swings the machete into Jason’s neck, dropping the killer. Ginny takes off the sack and Paul and Ginny react in horror to Jason’s face then head back to the cabin, where Paul starts to tend to Ginny’s wound. Hearing something at the door, the two arm themselves and Paul opens it to discover it is Terry’s dog Muffin but as the relax, Jason bursts through the window and grabs Ginny, dragging her outside. When morning comes, Ginny is being loaded into an ambulance by the authorities, with her asking where Paul is, but there is no sign of Paul or Jason.
Friday The 13th Part 2 was panned by the critics, holding a 29% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. The critical consensus on the site is, “Friday the 13th Part 2 sets the template for the franchise to follow with more teen victims, more gruesome set pieces, and fewer reasons to keep following along.” When Adrienne King was asked to reprise her role of Alice, she said that she wanted to only be on screen for a short time, as she was dealing with an obsessed fan after the release of Friday The 13th and feared for her life. The stalking was so bad that this resulted in her not taking any on screen roles for almost 30 years, though she did do some voice over work for several movies in the 90’s. While it didn’t earn as much as the original, the movie was still a box office success, earning $21.7 million off of a $1.2 million budget.
I’m not ashamed to admit it, these movies have always entertained me for how ridiculous they can be, but even I can admit that they should have never made a sequel to the original movie. That being said, this is still a pretty decent horror movie, even though it was rather predictable how it was going to turn out. The acting was ok, with Amy Steel doing a good job in her role as Ginny. I did like Adrienne King and Betsy Palmer reprising their roles of Alice and Pamela from the original movie and thought their small parts did a decent job in trying to keep the two movies connected while also expanding on it. The story was a pretty basic horror movie fare, but I did have a couple of problems with it. First off, I hated the ending, primarily the fate of Paul, as you are left with no idea if he lived or died. But the thing that bothered me more than anything was towards the beginning, when Jason kills Alice and as he leaves, he takes the tea kettle off of the burner. Why would he even bother doing that. It honestly made no sense and actually killed the mood, as it made it seem more comedic that scary. The special effects were ok, though some of the kills seemed to be a little muted, which is a little odd for a slasher film. This mainly involved the deaths of the women. For some reason the director seemed to be a little squeamish about showing excessive violence against the women (Terry’s death actually happening off camera and never shown as to how she died), even though there was no such hold up in the original movie. For all my issues, this is still a decent horror movie to watch, if for no other reason than to laugh at how ridiculous it is.
Rating: 2 1/2 out of 5