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Five years after the bloodbath at Camp Crystal Lake, Paul opens up a camp close to the site, ignoring the warnings to keep away. A group of counselors follow. When they learn about the sole survivor of the previous massacre was killed, they worry that Jason Voorhees might be out to avenge his mother's death. The story is a simple slasher plot. Don't expect anything more or less from the story line or the character development. The screenplay follows a similar tone as the one in Friday the 13th (1980), in fact many classify the two films as being strikingly similar. Even the sex crazed teenagers are alike in their personalities and idiotic decisions leading to their deaths. The kills are just as spread out as in the first one. Dialogue is laughable, just as expected. If you've seen other slashers, then you know what to expect from the script.
The acting is even more trite than the screenplay. None of the actors stand out above the rest, but I feel that it adds to the atmosphere of the film. A lot of the dialogue is tacky and the actors follow the same fate. I believe that this adds to the enjoyment of watching each one of them getting picked off one by one. Betsy Palmer was a treat in Friday the 13th (1980) and only appears in a flashback and is in a voice over due to her demise in the first film. None of the actors here have very much of a resume, but their performances add to the campy nature of the movie.
Of the series, Friday the 13th: Part 2 is known to be the least gory entry. The blame doesn't go on the filmmakers, but goes on the MPAA. They forced the studio to cut quite a bit out of the death scenes to qualify for the R rating. However, there are still decent death scenes, despite the lack of a lot of blood. This entry into the series is before Jason Voorhees obtains the iconic hockey goalie mask. He wears a burlap sack that will receive different opinions. While I prefer the hockey goalie mask, Jason Voorhees set the trend for wearing a burlap sack that carried over to modern slashers.
The Friday the 13th franchise is large and continues to grow in number. However, Friday the 13th: Part 2 stands as my favorite in the series by being barely better than the original. Jason Voorhees makes his first appearance. I was thoroughly entertained from start to finish, even if there isn't as large a body count as seen in the other entries. Opinions are certainly going to differ from person to person on the best film in the franchise. Friday the 13th: Part 2 is slightly better than the original and is recommended to fans of the slasher genre only.