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Friday the 13th Part 2(1981)
Serial murderer Jason, believed to have drowned in Crystal Lake, returns to camp to take his revenge on the young camp counselors.
For more about Friday the 13th Part 2 and the Friday the 13th Part 2 Blu-ray release, see Friday the 13th Part 2 Blu-ray Review published by Martin Liebman on June 12, 2009 where this Blu-ray release scored 3.0 out of 5.
Starring: Amy Steel, John Furey, Adrienne King, Kirsten Baker, Stuart Charno, Warrington Gillette
Director: Steve Miner
» See full cast & crew
Friday the 13th Part 2 Blu-ray Review
Jason in the hood.
Reviewed by Martin Liebman, June 12, 2009
Jason's out there...watching.
Answer quickly: a hugely successful Horror picture made on a budget that makes a jar full of pennies look like Scrooge McDuck's vault prompts the studio to call for a sequel. What's the fastest way to get another movie onto the big screen in under a year? Easy. Remake the original. Taking that approach, Friday the 13th Part 2 came together faster than a flock of Blu-ray.com readers lining up for a buy-one-get-five-free sale at Best Buy. With a budget that added a few nickels found under the couch and a dime or two recovered from the floorboards of that 1976 Chevette, the sequel, like its predecessor, raked in an impressive horde of cash for Paramount. Introducing Jason Voorhees as the world's favorite machete-wielding, teenager-killing, dead mother-grieving maniac, Friday the 13th Part 2 sees its hero strangle, stab, and slice a group of camp counselors and a few unfortunate souls who happen to stray onto his turf. Terribly repetitive, completely derivative, and a whole lot of fun in a macabre sort of way, Friday the 13th Part 2 revels in straight formula and recalls the glory days of the franchise before, gulp, Jason went to outer space or some such nonsense.
It's five years after the events of Friday the 13th and Camp Crystal Lake, better known as "Camp Blood," sits vacant and condemned. That fact doesn't stop camp counselor extraordinaire Paul (John Furey) from setting up shop nearby. With his collection of young and gullible counselors assembled, Paul frightens them with a tale of Jason Voorhees, famed drowning victim at Crystal Lake and believed to still be alive, now a full-grown man, living in the surrounding woods, surviving on wildlife, and stalking any teenager that shows up on the campgrounds. As the night drags on, myth becomes deadly reality for a group of hapless and hormonal teenagers as the legend himself, Jason Voorhees, turns Crystal Lake red with blood as he avenges his dark and disturbing past. Only the levelheaded Ginny (Amy Steel) may have there wherewithal to survive the night, using Jason's own limited brain power against him.
The name of the game in Friday the 13th Part 2 is "repetitive," and it becomes borderline obnoxiously so. The film begins with an extended recap of the events of the first film's final act, intercut with shots of that film's lone survivor restlessly tossing and turning in cerebral agony as her mind sleepily recalls the terrors she faced a year ago. While not quite as dumbfounding as the instant replay found in Silent Night, Deadly Night Part 2, this sequence makes Friday the 13th Part 2 rather cumbersome from the get-go. Nevertheless, the sequences sets up the film's first kill (these poor survivors rarely live past the first few minutes of the sequel; just ask Jay Hernandez) and allows newcomers to catch up with the story and understand more clearly this film's finale. Through the remainder of the film, fidgety audiences play the waiting game as they are introduced to delectably dull victims that patiently wait for their demise. So thinly developed and completely unimportant to the story are they that audiences are apt to forget their faces, let alone names, throughout the film. Remembered more for how they die in a split-second edit than for how they live through the course of the movie, this band of skinny and scantily-clad counselors are like diapers: identical, purposeful, completely disposable when soiled, and more memorable for what they look like at the end of their life than at any point before.
Unfortunately, the pay-off for the long wait time to see this collection insufferable characters meet the sharp end of random toolshed staples is akin to that 87-minute-long stare at the wall at the dentist's office, only to be called back for a root canal. It's not the kills aren't fun, it's that they mean nothing in context when "that guy in the wheelchair" or "that one girl that went skinny dipping" kick the bucket, because their development is about as thorough and purposeful as a fast food menu. Even then, the kills last but a frame or two, the camera cutting away as quickly as the brain is able to process the information on-screen. Perhaps it's the Saw-ification of the Horror genre, but these kills don't pack much of a punch, certainly not playing as squirm-worthy or painting the frame red with blood. Sure, a machete to the throat or a hammer to the back of the head makes for solid Horror kills, but the shots just don't hold up all that well. Finally, there is Jason, his introduction here, like the rest of the film, slow and purposeful, viewers becoming well-aquatinted with his hands and feet long before the film finally reveals his bag-covered noggin (the trademark hockey mask doesn't make an appearance until Part 3). Nevertheless, Part 2 features a nice payoff that is worth the wait with a strong, imaginative ending and a very slow-motion glimpse at Jason's Sloth-like mug, a face that only a headless mother could love.
Friday the 13th Part 2 Blu-ray, Video Quality
Friday the 13th Part 2 slices into Blu-ray with a rather strong 1080p, 1.78:1-framed transfer. Plenty of grain may be seen over the image early on, appearing so heavy over a few very dark shots that it seems to mask the image almost entirely. The grain field practically appears much less substantial during the brighter outdoor sequences. A fair level of visible detail is to be seen throughout, whether in the interior shots that see Alice's murder or in the bright, vibrant exteriors where the image truly shines. Also impressive is an old, abandoned, neglected, run-down shack as seen in chapter six. Its filthy toilet and weather-worn wood planks take on a natural appearance that places the viewer in the undesirable locale. Colors are vibrant in the daylight, particularly those in clothing and foliage. The image sports a fair level of depth, and clarity and detail remain consistent in both the foreground and background. Blacks are sufficiently rendered and flesh tones appear accurate. Though a few pops and speckles crop up from time to time, they never interfere with what is an above-average transfer of an older catalogue Horror title.
Friday the 13th Part 2 Blu-ray, Audio Quality
Friday the 13th Part 2's Dolby TrueHD 5.1 lossless soundtrack impresses only to the extent that it gets the job done. The track features a few good, realistic environmental sound effects that fool the listener into believing they are real, for instance a dog barking far in the distance. The score plays adequately, the front-heavy delivery not terribly impressive but simply satisfactory considering the limited source. It spreads out across the front well enough, punctuated by good highs that make up the trademark "shrieks" and the famous Friday the 13th chanting. Sound rarely strays to the back channels, but the 5.1 mix nevertheless offers up a more spacious and clear experience than its mono counterpart. Dialogue sometimes plays at a slightly low volume, but is otherwise well-presented.
Friday the 13th Part 2 Blu-ray, Special Features and Extras
Friday the 13th Part 2 on Blu-ray offers up only a few bonus features. Inside Crystal Lake Memories (1080p, 11:15) features author Peter Bracke discussing several aspects of his book and some details pertaining to Part 2. Friday's Legacy: Horror Conventions (1080p, 6:50) takes viewers into the world of horror conventions. Jason Forever (480p, 29:27) features four of the actors to portray Jason: Ari Lehman, Warrington Gillette, C.J. Graham, and Kane Hodder. These otherwise silent actors come together for a Q&A session at the Fangoria Convention on January 4th, 2004. Concluding the supplements is part two of the Lost Tales From Camp Blood short (1080p, 8:54) and the film's theatrical trailer (1080p, 2:12).
Friday the 13th Part 2 Blu-ray, Overall Score and Recommendation
A copycat of its predecessor, Friday the 13th Part 2 is likely to lull viewers to sleep with an agonizingly long and familiar set-up before the film starts to take off. Even then, the kills are well-staged but rather meaningless outside the actual act of murder, because this film tosses in a bunch of expendable, one-dimensional nobodies into the mix that do nothing but run around half-dressed in tight-fitting clothes waiting to be killed. Introducing Jason, but not as audiences have come to know and love him, Friday the 13th Part 2 is one of the better entries into the series thanks to its classic, no-nonsense, straight-out-of-the-book approach that might be repetitive, but it repeats a proven, marketable, and even entertaining-to-a-degree formula. Paramount's Blu-ray release should please fans. Though the extras are a bit thin, the studio has included a wonderful-in-context video transfer and a suitable lossless soundtrack. Recommended for fans of the series.
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Friday the 13th Part 2 Blu-ray, News and Updates
• Friday the 13th Parts 2 & 3 Announced for Blu-ray - April 13, 2009
Paramount Home Entertainment has announced that they will bring the first two sequels to the legendary horror franchise 'Friday the 13th: Part 2' and 'Friday the 13th: Part III' to Blu-ray on June 16th. For both releases, video will be presented in 1.85:1 1080p ...
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