Five years after the events of the original movie, a new camp opens on Crystal Lake, despite the area's grisly history. And as before, the teenage camp counselors who are training for their summer jobs are stalked and killed by a mysterious man who turns out to be Jason Voorhees, who apparently didn't drown but has been living in the woods near Crystal Lake all these years.
One thing the Friday the 13th series is good at is having each individual movie's title come up in an interesting way. In the original, we had the title come forward and break some glass, as if hitting a window; this one goes a step further. The title Friday the 13th comes up and then explodes and Part 2 is revealed in its place. It's an awesome visual. This movie's credits sequence also begins a tradition of the series in having the credits be the usual white lettering on a black background but with each credit appearing in a different position as the title theme for the respective movie plays. (The original just had a fairly standard credit sequence.) Except for Part 3, this credit sequence would appear in every film up to Part VII: The New Blood.
As with the original movie, the film is very well photographed, this time by Peter Stein. It's a bit more polished and not as lush looking as the first movie but it looks very good and, as before, the wilderness environment looks absolutely gorgeous. In fact, this movie solves the darkness problem that I mentioned in my review of the original, showing that the crew was more experienced this time around.
cowers in the corner as Jason slowly closes in and eventually stabs her with a butcher knife. Speaking of which, you know what's interesting? It's hinted that Ginny and Paul had sex at one point so they should have been killed as well according to the rules of slasher films! I guess they weren't as solid then, though.
Harry Manfredini reuses some music from the original but also manages to create a lot of new music that would be used in the next two films as well. I like the slow, creepy music that plays at the beginning as Jason slowly walks towards Alice's house and as she cautiously walks through the inside. The exciting main title theme is another one I like, as well as the music that plays during the chase between Ginny and Jason. I like the misdirection that Manfredini uses at the end when Ginny and Paul hear a noise at the door of their cabin and, thinking it's Jason, prepare to attack. The music tensely builds but instantly becomes warm and loving when Paul opens the door to reveal it's just Muffin, Terry's little dog. (This is a surprise because Muffin wanders into the woods at one point and encounters Jason. Later, Jeff and Sandra find the mangled remains of an animal at Camp Crystal Lake, suggesting that Jason killed Muffin.) But, just when Ginny is about to pick Muffin up, Jason bursts through the window behind her and all hell breaks loose. Of course, the music instantly turns frantic in that instance. To me, this is equal to Manfredini's misdirection in the moments leading up to the scene between Alice and Jason at the end of the original movie.