Customer Review

94 of 99 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Possibly The Greatest Of The Early Fridays, September 30, 2004
This review is from: Friday The 13th, Part 2 (DVD)
As I noted in my write-up for the first "Friday The 13th", I feel that movie and this one form two halves of a beginning stage for the full series. The first deliberately ended on a wide-open note (not as common in 1980 as it is today, and not in the slightest contrived but the pivotal point for the whole movie and perhaps the whole series) and without the second chapter the first would have been woefully incomplete.

I think "Part 2" fully equals or possibly exceeds its predecessor. Like "Part 1", it's shot in a somewhat 'rough' manner, with simple camerawork and a minimum of flash, similar to the styles for the first "Texas Chainsaw Massacre" or "Basket Case", though not nearly As rough. It's a technique that's worked far better in a number of horror films than in most genres, because it doesn't look like someone's meticulously filming a motion picture, it looks as though events are being captured on film as they happen, giving the movie (when it's done right) a creepy, unsettling atmosphere.

It's got one of the most likable casts of characters in The "Friday" line (admittedly a problem in some of the other entries), with even the couple of characters who look like they're going to be total wastes becoming much more bearable as the movie progresses and you get to know them, with my personal favorite all along being the Kirsten Baker character (Teri). And Jason, of course. Actually, this is one of the most essential chapters in the series in establishing Jason as not just atop-tier horror monster, but a top-tier 'sympathetic' horror monster in the vein of the Frankenstein Monster, as opposed to Freddy Krueger, who's a top-tier 'Pure Evil' horror monster. It's been opined that Jason isn't truly evil because he acts on instinct alone like the shark in Jaws, or a force of nature like a hurricane - with no actual will and hence no ill will. I agree with part of that but not all - I submit that Jason acts on instinct AND emotion but without reasoning, rationality, or any of the 'intellecetual' thought processes, aside from occasional glimmers at most. One can see that in this film, especially when it's rewatched after some of the later entries. You see things in the early films in new ways, and sometimes from very disturbing new angles after you have the benefit of hindsight from seeing all the movies. Very surprisingly, you can also sometimes see things from slightly brighter possible angles too, in addition to darker interpretations.

Both by itself and in conjunction with the other entries, "Part 2" is particularly disturbing in some of the things it doesn't come right out and say, but which have unsettling implications for possible untold parts of Jason Voorhees's origins. There are some things that are very open to interpretation in places (some in more than one mutually-contradictory direction). To say any more would be to risk giving away possible spoilers.

In less abstract terms to this movie's many high points - excellent pacing, high intensity, some genuine humor (as opposed to failed attempts at humor in some similar horror movies), some truly ferocious moments, and an absolutely awesome midight lakeside scene with Baker (which was all the more enjoyable because it didn't come until after one had time to get to know her character, so by that point I was thoroughly smitten with her). Also, Baker's character has an adorable little puppy she carries along with her through much of the movie. A little 'cute animal' touch here and there to occasionally break the tension usually doesn't hurt; plus it makes me like the character even more because I have a soft spot for girls who love animals. Besides, she's so frikkin' Sexy (Kirsten, not the dog!!)

All this and one of the best, most high-charged endings in the "Friday" series - this isn't just a must-see, this is a must-have.
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Showing 1-3 of 3 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Mar 15, 2007 10:01:57 AM PDT
My hat is off to you. You are a horror and Friday the 13th fan and have written an intellectual review consisting of more then just the usual "this movie is awesome or this is the scariest one." I wrote an unintellectual review for Friday 2, because I spilled my brains out on my Friday 1 review. LOL.

Anyway, I agree with basically everything you've said but you made one mistake. During the making of the original Friday the 13th, Sean or Georgetown or Paramount had no plans for a sequel. It is true the ending seemed to be left open, but that was the intention of nobody. Plans for a sequel came to be only because of the film's box office success, grossing like $35 million or however much it made.

When it was time to start putting the story for a sequel together, Sean didn't even know what to do. Georgetown wanted to bring Jason into the movie as a character, and Sean hated that idea. Of course today he admits that he was wrong, but Friday 2 was not planned from day one, it is simple something that happened, and thank goodness it did.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 14, 2008 10:30:18 PM PST
After reading this review I just had to have the movie. So I bought it and it was great, very scary. I loved it, Thanks for the helpful and very great review

Posted on Feb 18, 2009 7:04:30 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Feb 18, 2009 7:20:35 AM PST
Excellent review. I second Richard's congratulations to you, Stephen, for providing an intellectual review. People tend to stereotype horror movie fans in general and F13 fans in particular as unintellectual, even unintelligent. You're evidence that they're wrong.

I agree with all your points. I especially agree that Jason is a sympathetic character and that he acts on emotion as well as instinct. Despite his inability or unwillingness to speak (perhaps this is a psychosomatic, hysterical condition), there's room to develop him as a character, but most of the subsequent filmmakers in the series squandered their opportunities to do so. (There are slivers of actual character development in FREDDY VS. JASON and the remake/"re-imagining" of FRIDAY THE 13TH, even though those two aren't the best movies otherwise.)

I have a lot more to add, but I'll save it for my own review, which I should get around to eventually. Suffice it to say that you've really made me want to watch Part 2 with your points about all the angles in mind. Again, kudos, fellow fan.
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