30 October 2009

Friday the 13th Part 2 (1981)

Directed by: Steve Miner
Written by: Ron Kurz
Full credits at IMDb

The Friday the 13th series...[is] the sort of imitator that can tarnish the legacy of a true original. The first film in this neverending series was a crude cash-in on the Halloween phenomenon, with a little Carrie (1976) poaching for good measure. I haven't seen the original in many years, but it seems by now most of us agree it's weak, and that the big twist is a big disappointment. (The recent reboot was a mess, as well.)

Part II, on the other hand, has a soft spot in my heart: it's the quintessential 80s slasher, complete with promiscuous, plastered, post-Carter pueriles getting their reactionary deserts. Sure, it's a bit dopey (how is Jason so big if he was a boy in the last film, set five years earlier?) and sloppy (why do half the characters disappear from the film after the midway point?), but it also maintains an anchoring sense of driving logic—something that can't be said for so many of the horror movies that would follow as the decade progressed.

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