Mw Horror Reviews
Friday the 13th Part 2 (1981)
I'm all for opening up a sequel with a brief recap of events in the previous film, but 'Friday the 13th Part 2' is already running just short of 90 minutes, so spending so much time replaying these events on screen seems ineffective to me. Not only that, but having part 1 final girl Alice (played by Adrienne King) also return for these opening moments, only for her to be killed immediately felt like a missed opportunity. Given her survival of the first by decapitating Jason's mother, her return made way for very interesting character and plot development that unfortunately never came to fruition. Considering the time of its release, it was no surprise to see the standard slasher kills that we have come to expect from this genre. I don't think this installment necessarily brings anything new, but there are a few notable stand out ones. Crazy Ralph (another wasted returning character from the first) being strangled against a tree with barbed wire, and wheelchair bound Mark's machete to the face were the two notable ones to that really caught me off guard. Carl Fullerton steps in to replace Tom Savini as make-up effects artist, due to Savini's conflicting schedule, as he worked on the 'Friday the 13th' knock of 'The Burning'. As serviceable as Fullerton is, Savini's absence is certainly noticeable in comparison to the first. More often than not, I find that slasher films that are filmed during the day tend to suffer with lack of tension. It takes a lot of careful cinematography to make these scenes look as suspenseful as necessary, something this film struggles with. I found there to be some strange uses of the POV camera that don't quite work as intended (or at least from my perspective anyway), with multiple scene where the actor is looking straight into the camera lens as though we, the audience, are looking back at them. This for me didn't have the effect I believe the director was trying to achieve. It just makes things seem unnatural and really pulled me out of the film on multiple occasions. Things do take more of an impressive turn once night falls and the storm draws in. We have numerous on screen kills and plenty of genuinely convincing scares to go with it, something I was pleasantly surprised by. It can take a lot for me to actually jump at a scare, the way this film caused me to on more than one occasion. Finally seeing Jason take center stage and revealing himself makes for a much more impactful presence on screen rather than the poor attempt at replicating the POV Halloween style camera work. I also really like the look of Jason with the sack head mask and appreciated how human his character is portrayed, something most slashers tend to lose sight of. He stumbles, he takes damage and I think that he is overall performed convincingly by actor Warrington Gillette. The human aspects of his character are what make him more terrifying in my opinion, knowing that this is just a man makes him a much more realistic threat. There is no denying that this sequel suffers from more than a few minor issues. That being said, I do think that this a slight improvement on the first film, feeling more enjoyable to watch overall and a direction I would much prefer to see this franchise take. I'm looking forward to seeing Jason take his iconic full hockey mask wearing, machete welding form in the next few entries, and I'm hoping they take more of what the latter half of this film gave us moving forward.