Film Review: Friday The 13th Part 2 - The Worst Paramount Sequel?

This is a pretty bold statement, but just read what I have to say. I am ready to concede that perhaps Friday The 13th Part 8 is truly the worst Paramount sequel, but my reasons for thinking that Friday The 13th Part 2 is the worst are the following.

1. It is a very rushed and short film. Clocking in at 86 minutes (or 87 minutes depending on how you time the film) it is the shortest film in the entire franchise. Couple that with the fact that the movie's opening scene is supported with healthy amounts of flashback scenes to the 1980 film, there was even less time actually spent on a new product. Yes, I know that the other sequels showed scenes from previous movies as well, but the run time on those films were longer with better overall production quality.

2. The kills were really pretty weak in comparison to the rest of the films in the franchise. Yes, I am aware that the MPAA completey destroyed all of the great effects work created for the film, but even so, the death scenes overall were really pretty tame. Ralph gets strangled with a wire from behind a tree? Scott has his throat slit with a machete while hanging upside down? Terri is killed offscreen? Vicki is stabbed with a knife, after discovering Jason, in the sternum? I mean, these are not anywhere near the tense, atmospheric or creative death scenes witnessed in the original film or the subsequent films after Part 2. I will give credit that Mark's death was awesome, getting the machete to the face and then travelling down the stairs. I also give strong credit to the Deputy Winslow death scene whereas the hammer blow to his head was edited by the MPAA, the overall scene worked.

This is a sequel. You're supposed to improve on the last film and up the ante and it just didn't happen here.

3. The sequel is basically a very generic rip-off of its vastly superior predecessor. Multiple scenes and camera shots were almost lifted completely from the original film and sometimes you swear they were the exact shots just inserted in from the 1980 film (the image of the moon in the sky transitioning between shots of Ginny running and the Jason during the chase scene). You also go from Ned (1980 film) to Ted (Pranksters) as the same guy. They should have just called Ted, Ned, and been done with the charade.

Don't get me wrong here. I appreciate the introduction of Jason as the killer in this movie. I think that part of the movie is done very well, saved by the finale and encounter in Jason's shack. The characters are indeed likable in Part 2 and the finding of Jason's shack and Mrs. Voorhees' head is a classic horror moment, but if you take a moment and step back to look at all of the films from Paramount, this seems like a very hackneyed attempt at trying to create the magic of the original film with no real original thought in the filmmaking process along with very unoriginal kills. At least Jason Takes Manhattan lets you see Jason in the film for more screen time than any other film and the audience gets to take a cruise. But man I hate that damn ending with a passion!

Rating: 2 out of 5 Machetes

Review By: Jason Parker

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