The first several minutes of this movie is devoted to flashbacks from the last several minutes of the original Friday the 13th. Alice (Adrienne King), the hero from the first movie, is having the flashback nightmares of beheading Mrs. Voorhees and getting pulled into the water by a young Jason.
We are then treated to 10 minutes of Alice walking around her house and fake Jason POV scares. I’ve mentioned it before that I like the camera angles that are from the point of view of the killer and I think that in the right movie they can be very effective (like Halloween). The people that make the Friday the 13th movies, however, just use that shot whenever they want even if Jason is nowhere around.
It’s more fun to imagine that Adrienne King just flat out refused to react so they had to make it a fake out.
Also, Alice just took a 10 second shower so she must subscribe to the “Speed Over Accuracy” method of showering. She didn’t even wash her hair. What the shit was that all about, Alice? We have that phony killer shot, the phone rings and no one is on the other line and we’re even treated to a cat jump scare. It is just a whirlwind of frights in the beginning. Alice then opens the fridge and sees Jason’s mothers severed head and gets an ice pick to the brain. So basically the first 1/5th of this movie is completely pointless.
Sandra and Jeff arrive in the same town from the first movie and they’re making their way to a camp counselor training course at Crystal Lake that is taught by Paul and Ginny. They meet up with Ted, who is the lovable prankster / comic relief / guy who hopefully dies first. The Friday the 13th movies really have a problem creating a “funny character” These characters are really better described as goofy dipshits than anything else.
That ties into one of the main problems with this sack of shit movie; after Alice’s long as shit into, there is only about an hour left and roughly 20 characters that are needed to be introduced and promptly dispatched by Jason. For all of the problems with the first movie, you at least kind of gave a shit when Kevin Bacon took an arrow to the throat. That could also just be because Kevin Bacon is a damn national treasure.
Once at the camp we are introduced to a number of people whose names you don’t need to be bothered to learn. Around the camp fire they are telling the story of how Jason’s body was never recovered and some still say he roams the woods. We learn that it’s been five years since the first movie and that Jason saw his mother being beheaded and now takes his revenge on anyone that enters the woods.
It’s hard to know where to begin with this new narrative. So Jason was 11 when he supposedly drowned in the lake but now we’re led to believe that he never died and lived in the woods for 30 years before watching his mother being brutally murdered decades later. So then what the hell’s the deal with 11 year old Jason attacking Alice in the lake? I understand that they only added that scene as a shocking end to their movie but now their explanation just makes it even more maddening. It’s almost like they were just making it up as they went along. I’m just joking. Of course they were making it up as they went along. Just wait until Jason goes to space.
A half hour into the movie and Jason has only killed two people. He’s gonna have to kill someone every five minutes if he wants to have a respectable body count.
Terri goes off to look for Muffin and once again the film makers forget how line of sight works. We have Jason’s view as he’s spying on her and we get this ridiculous exchange.
Is Muffin 6 feet tall, Terri?
As bad as that one is, it’s nowhere near as stupid as this.
Deputy Winslow shows up warning the counselors about being so close to Camp Crystal Lake. He’s so concerned that when he thinks he sees someone in the woods he chases after them like a freaking gazelle.
He runs really deep into the woods, like almost too far into the woods, and comes upon Jason’s humble abode. Even though he was chasing Jason, Jason very easily sneaks up behind him and brains him with a claw hammer.
Back at camp the counselors split up and half go into town to get drunk while the other half stay behind. Terri decides to go for a swim by herself and proves that her entire characterization is “Girl who thinks every sound coming from the woods is her tiny dog, Muffin.”
(sigh) Jesus Christ, Terri.
The rest of the counselors then start coupling up to make the murders more efficient. It’s all a freaking sprint to the finish by this point.
Paul and Ginny make it back to camp and an epic showdown with Jason commences. Well, maybe “epic” isn’t the correct term to use here. This early in the series and it’s painfully obvious that they didn’t know exactly “who” Jason was and what kind of identity he has. Freddy had his sweater and knife glove, Michael Myers had coveralls and a Shatner mask and early Jason had a burlap sack and a pickaxe.
The subsequent movies in this series show Jason as an unstoppable juggernaut who looks imposing and completely bad ass but this movie really struggled with that aspect.
Ginny runs into the woods and takes refuge in Jason’s ramshackle home with Jason in hot pursuit. While trapped in the house she finds the skull of Pamela Voorhees along with her sweater in a sort of make shift shrine. Ginny makes the ballsy choice to put on the sweater and pretend to be Jason’s mother. You know how they say that to survive a bear attack that you should play dead and what a huge freaking gamble that is? It’s like that…it’s exactly like that. Beyond all logic, Ginny’s plan works and she’s able to drive a machete into Jason’s shoulder while he is busy attacking Paul.
Paul and Ginny make it back to the cabin safe and sound. I hope this movie doesn’t end with an implausible jump scare from Jason followed immediately by a scene suggesting that it was all a dream.