Friday the 13th Part 2 Movie Review
Having just received the first three Friday the 13th movies in the mail the other day, it didn't take me long to start watching them. In fact, about five minutes after I finished the first movie, I went right onto the second, eager for some Jason goodness. Of course, 'Jason goodness' is relative, given that Friday the 13th is one of the worst horror franchises on the market.
Despite my distaste for the Friday the 13th movies, I'd rather watch these short, mindless horror flicks than the alternatives that have crossed my desk this week. Friday the 13th Part 2 is about the same as the first one, only with a few more deaths, more sex and more nudity. These improved elements, in turn, make Part 2 better than the first - even though it lacks a truly creepy villain.
Sadly, the pre-hockey mask Jason is not very intimidating at all; the killer in 2008's Baghead is creepier, and looks about the same. Jason wanders around killing naked teens with a bag over his head, but the bag is so un-scary it's laughable. Combined with the same level of suspense and scares that we saw in the first one, that means that once again this movie does little more than serve as a platform to show some blood and boobs. There's nothing wrong with that, but those expecting something creepy or exciting should look elsewhere.
The problem with the series is that the direction just isn't very good. For a movie like this, you don't need a great script or quality actors - but you do need a director who can rely on more than cheap scares. Director Steve Miner is able to produce absolutely no sense of dread or suspense, leaving the film stale and bland. Given that this movie is his first directorial feature - and that the first Friday the 13th didn't exactly set the bar high - I'd be inclined to give him a pass, but the direction is just so plain lousy. For the type of movie it is, the acting and screenplay are decent enough - the only real gap is the direction.
Friday the 13th Part 2 isn't scary or exciting, but for what it's worth, it could be worse. There's enough mindless sex, nudity and gore to make the film enjoyable, but that doesn't make it good.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.