Wednesday, 20 March 2013

Friday the 13th: Part 2 (1981)

“I told the others. They didn’t believe me. You’re all doomed!”

This film is rubbish. Normally, it wouldn’t be much fun to watch a rubbish film. But, for me, the knowledge that I can administer a good spanking to it in this blog makes it a perversely fun experience. Expect much slating and slagging off. How do I hate thee, Friday the 13th: Part 2? Let me count the ways.

It has to be said, the first film was surprisingly “meh” for such a well known title. With the sequel being so weak, I’m astounded that the franchise survived, let alone achieved lasting fame. The opening minutes immediately warn the viewer of the ineptness to come. We begin with flashbacks which are just slavishly taken from the original film with no attempt to do anything fresh or creative. The plot itself is non-existent, and the structure of the film makes no sense. Half way through, a large chunk of the characters leave the site of the killings to go out drinking (this being the early ‘80’s, they naturally drive). We follow their conversations in the pub, after which they are never heard of again. This leaves just a handful of characters to be gradually bumped off by Jason. Sadly, the deaths are nowhere near as fun or imaginative as they were in the previous film.

At least Jason himself, a silent and semi mysterious presence, is highly effective, or at least he would be in a better film. It is surprising to see that he is not yet wearing his iconic mask. The franchise can consider itself very lucky that it survived long enough for this to happen.

Of course, we get the usual clichés. Characters who have sex or wander off alone meet exactly the fate that those of us who have seen Scream have come to expect. But the film is too dull for these clichés to be much fun. There is some mileage to be had in the sheer ‘80’sness, especially the computer games, but this is slim pickings. More surprising for the time is the film’s permissive attitude to marijuana.

The film ends suddenly and disappointingly, leaving you with the distinct impression that it never really got going. It is little more than a series of formulaic stabbings. I sincerely hope that the next film in the series is better than this.

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