Welcome, children of the night! This Blog is for fans of vintage horror films as well as those who are just beginning to discover the joy of these classic movies. I'd love to hear from you!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Friday the 13th: Part 2 (1981)

For those who care...Mrs. Voorhees, the original killer from Part 1, is dead.  She was beheaded, at the end of the first film.  This time it's Jason's turn to slash.  However, this is not the giant, indestructible Jason whose hockey mask spawned a million Halloween costumes.  This Jason is slightly smaller in stature and wears a pillow case over his head with one eye hole cut out.  His iconic form would follow in later sequels.
How good is Part 2?  Well, I think it's a bit weaker than the original but is actually very well made with lots of nice scares and blood effects.  Thankfully, director Steve Miner doesn't mess with the things that made Part 1 a classic.  He takes over nicely for Sean S. Cunningham and adds a few extra touches that work well in the sequel.
In Part 2 we have another group of camp counselors ripe for slaughter.  They are at a camp down the road from the now defunct Camp Crystal Lake.  But this doesn't stop Jason from paying them a visit as he seeks his revenge for the death of his momma.  This cast does an decent job in fulfilling their roles although I think the original cast was better.  My favorite of the bunch is "survivor girl" Ginny, played by Amy Steel.  She really shines in the final scenes of the movie which are some of the best moments in this film.
The fun of Part 2 is that it still manages to make me jump a time or two even though I've seen it over and over again.  There is a lot of misdirection in Part 2 as well as good use of making the viewer let their guard down before going in for the kill.  
Finally, my favorite thing about Part 2 is Harry Manfredini's iconic and masterful film score.  It builds on the themes established in Part 1 and sets the mood of each scene like few other scores out there.  Brilliant!
RATING: Very Good.
For more info check out the film's entry in IMDB.

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