Friday the 13th Part 2

fridaythe13thpart2

John Carpenter’s Halloween became the structural basis of the slasher. Friday the 13th attempted to codify its subtext into a repressive morality tale. Part 2 goes even further, locking in character types and their fates. Mrs. Voorhees out of the picture, Jason gets his turn. He first removes the previous film’s final girl, Alice, in an eerie prologue sequence, then goes back to Crystal Lake and reenacts the previous film. Many characters and situations in the film double for those in part one: the archery fakeout is replaced with a flirty slingshot gag; the two-dudes-one-girl trio driving down the road in a pickup not only act like the similarly-introduced, Kevin Bacon-led kids, but physically resemble them; new final girl Ginny is in a relationship similar to the one Alice had previously with camp owner Steve (the slashers still hadn’t gotten about to making “virgin” a prerequisite, it seems). The impression given is Jason, hidden away in the wilderness, had been observing mommy dearest, and is simply imitating her actions–perhaps even trying to outdo her, spearing two horny counselors at once when it comes time to repeat the arrow kill. That Jason mimics his mother’s sexual dysfunction and seeks her approval, even building a shrine to her, suggests an Oedipal complex. Too bad for Ginny: she attempts to use her child psychology lessons, by play-acting as Mrs. Voorhees, to calm the psycho before her. It doesn’t go well.

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