Friday the 13th Part 2 (1981)

friday the 13th part 2 poster 1981 movie
7.0 Overall Score
Story: 6/10
Acting: 6/10
Visuals: 7/10

Probably the best in the series (or Part IV)

Typical slasher movie

Movie Info

Movie Name: Friday the 13th Part 2

Studio: Paramount Pictures

Genre(s): Horror

Release Date(s): May 1, 1981

MPAA Rating: R

friday the 13th part 2 ginny amy steel pitchfork

Ginny always comes to play!

Mrs. Voorhees (Betsy Palmer) is dead, but her son Jason (Steve Daskawisz) is alive.  Now, Jason is out to avenge his mother’s death and continue her vow to keep Camp Crystal Lake closed for good.  When the camp is scheduled to reopen five years later with all new counselors and management, Jason goes on a killing spree and he won’t stop until the counselors are all dead!

Directed by Steve Miner with scenes also directed by Sean S. Cunningham, Friday the 13th Part 2 is a sequel to the hit slasher film Friday the 13th 1980.  The movie faced rating challenges and negative reviews but was a big moneymaker.

I have to say after Friday the 13th Part 4 (the first film of the series I saw, and the first slasher film I saw) that Friday the 13th Part 2 is my second favorite of the series.  While the original film stole from Halloween, Friday the 13th Part 2 introduces the Jason mythos and the real slashing begins.

friday the 13th part 2 jasons mothers head sweater altar

Do you love your mother as much as Jason?

Friday the 13th Part 2 isn’t winning any story awards, and I concede that Jason is just a ripoff of Michael Myers.  The movie just introduces new campers who get slaughtered.  Everyone knows about “Camp Blood”, but no one seems to care that there are probably hundreds of other lakes that could be used for a camp.  The movie has some questions able Jason moments as well with Jason using a phone, driving a car, and being halfway intelligent at points…these don’t fit well with the rest of the series, but it isn’t like the series flows well anyway.  It also does one of the things I hate in horror movies where it kills off Alice Hardy at the beginning…a character we had vested interest in as a “survivor” in the first film.

Amy Steel is my favorite Jason “final girl”.  She is more active against Jason and doesn’t always play the victim.  Near the end of the movie, she actively tries to kill Jason instead of just running all the time.  Jason is portrayed by Steve Daskawisz but the unmasked Jason is Warrington Gillette.  You do get the return of the old “you’re all going to die” man Crazy Ralph played by Walt Gorney, the law enforcement played by Jack Marks, Adrienne King appears in the opening as Alice Hardy, and Betsy Palmer returns in a small cameo.

friday the 13th part 2 ending jason voorhees bag head amy steel

Dammit…can’t a serial killer catch a break?

Friday the 13th is really all about the slasher deaths and Jason’s almost superhuman strength and power are used to make the deaths crazier and crazier as the series went on.  The deaths in this entry are more over-the-top than Friday the 13th but not as ridiculous as later entries…just solid jumps and gory murders.  Plus, you get classic clichés like a girl looking for her missing dog suddenly deciding to strip and go swimming at night.

Friday the 13th Part 2 is a Friday the 13th movie.  Unlike a Nightmare on Elm Street, the humor is largely unintentional, but it still there in some of the bad acting, poor plot devices, and generic storytelling…but it is still fun for fans of horror.  The ’80s were a mecca for the slasher genre before it turned all post-modern and Friday the 13th Part 2 is classic ’80s slasher.  The film was followed by Friday the 13th Part 3 in 1982 (where Jason also gets his trademarked hockey mask).

Related Links:

Friday the 13th (1980)

Friday the 13th Part 3 (1982)

Friday the 13th Part 4:  The Final Chapter (1984)

Friday the 13th Part V:  A New Beginning (1985)

Friday the 13th Part VI:  Jason Lives (1986)

Friday the 13th Part VII:  The New Blood (1988)

Friday the 13th Part VIII:  Jason Takes Manhattan (1989)

Jason Goes to Hell:  The Final Friday (1993)

Jason X (2001)

Friday the 13th (2009)

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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