61 Days of Halloween: Friday the 13th Part 2 (1981)

Most holidays worth their while encompass entire seasons, such as Christmas, for example. However, as you may have noticed there is a corporate push every year for us to think about the next holiday even sooner. While this has many negative side effects I figure I may as well embrace it.

Since Labor Day is really only good for college football and movie marathons cinematically it is as significant as Arbor Day, which means the next big day on the calendar is Halloween and we can start looking toward it starting now.

Daily I will be viewing films in the horror genre between now and then and sharing the wealth. Many, as is usually the case, will not be worth it so for every disappointment, I will try and suggest something worth while as well.

NOTE: This post was written originally for the Site Which Shall Not Be Named. It was my 2nd Installment in the series. I have decided to preserve the text as originally written.

Friday the 13th, Part 2 (1980)

In selecting my second film for 61 Days of Halloween I wanted to select something a little safer than what I chose yesterday (The Prowler). I managed to succeed in that task by selecting, of all things, a sequel.

The sequel is Friday the 13th: Part 2 (1981). It is a film that succeeds in spite of how much of the original is quite literally rehashed at the start and spliced in. It’s a great piece of myth-building that without having to backpedal introduces a new villain into the franchise, eventually the face thereof. There’s a great scene where the counselors are at the bar and speculation starts about how he could’ve been spurned to kill based on what he’d been through.

These films took the time to develop their maniac and because we as an audience became ensconced in this knowledge the makers of the remake needed to eliminate things and rush to create their tale. Keep in mind that the hockey mask, with which he is so synonymous, isn’t in this film.

Unlike The Prowler this film catapults after its teaser and the teaser kill at the beginning is very important as it directly ties into the original. However, this group of people who are going to be in the vicinity of Camp Crystal Lake are drawn out and we do get to know them to at least an extent, so it never really quite becomes a body count film, in which you not only await the next kill but also want it to happen.

It is a film that also uses the false alarm scare very well because the timing is impeccable and on occasion when you think the danger’s gone…here it comes.

Some of the kills are rather brutal, and as became usual, Jason spices it up. This is the film that propelled the film into franchise mode because here’s where the frontman comes into play. As great a shock as the end of the original was you couldn’t build a franchise around Missus Vorhees but Jason fit perfectly into the prototype created by Halloween in 1978.

More scares are sure to abound. Hopefully good ones. Stick around for the upcoming days.

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