Friday the 13th at the home drive in: Friday the 13th Part 2 (1981)

As I said in a previous postFriday the 13th Part 3 3D was the first movie I saw in the series. I quickly followed it with the original Friday the 13th. I didn’t see Friday the 13th Part 2 until some time later. I had heard people talk about Part 2 being their favourite, or call it “the best” of the three, so I think my expectations must have been pretty high when I finally sat down to watch it.

I was disappointed to discover that I didn’t enjoy it as much as the other two. My memory of that first viewing is a little bit hazy now, but I think I felt it was basically the same movie as Part 1, but without the surprise ending. Of course, I had already seen the ending of Part 2 at the beginning of part 3, so maybe that didn’t help. I may also have felt that it was the same movie as Part 3, but without the 3D. I’m not sure. It just didn’t thrill me as much as it had those other kids at school who said it was “the best.”

Looking back on it, I think I found it to be a bit of downer that they (possible SPOILER ALERT here, although who doesn’t know this by now?) killed off the only survivor from Part 1 in the first ten minutes of Part 2. I thought it was a cruel and unnecessary ending for a character who had earned the right to live by surviving Part 1. Worse than that, by killing off Alice (Adrienne King), the series lost it’s opportunity to have a Laurie (Jamie Lee Curtis) or Sam Loomis (Donald Pleasance) who could help tie the films together, and give us someone to root for. Already a huge fan of Halloween (1978) and Halloween II (1981) by the time I saw Friday the 13th Part 2, I couldn’t understand why the filmmakers wouldn’t have wanted that.

But that’s 38 years of water under the bridge now. And as an adult, I’ve watched Friday the 13th Part 2 several times, and enjoyed it thoroughly. I would still never call it my favourite of the series, but there are days when I feel like watching it more than any of the others. And that’s more than I can say about some examples of #NotQuiteClassicCinema.