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Friday the 13th Part 2 (Deluxe Edition) - horror DVD review
Rated R by the Motion Picture Association of America curledupdvd.com rating: 2 stars
Actors: Amy Steel, John Furey, Adrienne King, Kirsten Baker, Stuart Charno, Walt Gorney
Director: Steve Miner   Distributor: Paramount
DVD release: 03 February 2009   Runtime: 86 minutes (1 disc)
Format: AC-3, Color, Dolby, Dubbed, DVD-Video, Original recording remastered, Subtitled, Widescreen, NTSC
DVD features: Audio tracks (5.1 Dolby Surround - English; Mono - English, French, Spanish), Subtitles (English, French, Spanish), Inside "Crystal Lake Memories," Friday's Legacy: Horror Conventions, Lost Tales from Camp Blood - Part 2, Jason Forever, Original theatrical trailer

In my review of the original Friday the 13th, I defended the film and noted that it is a pretty well-made, scary little horror film that happened to become a phenomenon (much to the chagrin of "cultured" critics everywhere). However, I cannot say the same for Part 2. In truth, it is a generic slasher film, no different from countless imitators that came out at this time. Furthermore, this film features the first true appearance of Jason - and he is a disappointment (more on that later).

The plot: Despite warnings from the lokel yokels, a group of counselors decide to set up a new summer camp near the infamous Crystal Lake (or "Camp Blood"). Soon they begin to get slaughtered, one by one. Who, or what, is the culprit? Could it be the legendary Jason, the boy who was left to drown and saw his mother beheaded? What do you think?

One major pet peeve in slasher films for me is when I see the "idiot victim" - meaning when someone gets killed mainly because they did something really stupid. In reviewing the first one, I noticed that nearly all the victims did not really do anything silly to get themselves in trouble, so they never really had a chance (which makes it scarier for me). In Part 2, however, we have two kids who sneak into Crystal Lake illegally, a girl who goes skinny-dipping alone in the middle of the night and, worst of all, a sheriff who pursues a shadowy figure through the woods without once signaling for backup or calling in his position. When characters are "asking for it," it just makes the situation less scary.

As for Jason, horror fans know that Jason's only appearance in the original was as a boy near the end, when he made the infamous jump out of the lake to grab the lone survivor (not to mention that it was in a dream sequence), so Part 2 features the first true appearance of Jason the killer. However, what is disappointing and somewhat surprising is how unscary this first "killer Jason" is. For instance, Jason doesn't wear his famous hockey mask in Part 2 but only a white cloth bag with one eyehole (the hockey-masked Jason does not actually appear until Part 3). Even more surprising is that he is not the hulking, indestructible menace most are familiar with but is actually small (some of the male victims he fights are clearly taller than he) and, well, rather wimpy (he gets felled rather easily by a swift kick to his nether region and clearly recoils in terror when an intended victim comes after him with a chainsaw). In short, Jason was clearly changed for the better as the series progressed.

Finally, while it is still good for a jump for the unsuspecting, Part 2's attempt at a final jump scare clearly pales in comparison to the original and actually only complicates matters, as the ending to this version is notoriously confusing (*See the "Inside Crystal Lake Memories" bonus feature for more information on the confusion with the ending.)

In short, Part 2 isn't the worst horror movie I've seen, but it's just not very good (and inferior to the scarier original). It's pretty much a generic "burger and fries" horror movie - not very good or good for you, but, if you're wanting a generic slasher movie, it gets the job done.

Features included on the DVD as well are
  1. "Lost Tales from Camp Blood - Part 2," a continuation of the Jason-inspired mini-series started on the original Friday the 13th DVD.
  2. "Inside Crystal Lake Memories" refers to a detailed history of the series by Peter M. Bracke. Here, the author is interviewed by "Dark Delicacies" owner Del Howison and is quite informative on Part 2, particularly regarding the somewhat confusing ending.
  3. "Friday's Legacy: Horror Conventions," a brief meet-and-greet with cast and crew from the series at a horror convention.
  4. Theatrical trailer
  5. The best feature is "Jason Forever," a panel discussion from the 2004 Fangoria convention featuring four actors who played Jason - most notably Kane Hodder, who played Jason in four films (and who seems rather menacing in reality as well).
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reviewed by Trent Daniel
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