Friday the 13th Part 2 (1981) Explained

An Average Movie-Goer’s Review

Spoilers! If you don’t want spoilers – check out the Spoiler-Free post

I love horror movies and if I’m going to watch them anyway, why not write an entertaining/funny review from the POV of an average movie-goer and not a professional critic.

Today we’re looking at 1981’s Friday the 13th Part 2

5 years after the events of Friday the 13th, a group of counselors head to Crystal Lake where they’re stalked by a new killer

Is Friday the 13th Part 2 Scary?

Friday the 13th Part 2 has some effective jump scares, they don’t happen a lot but when they do, they will get you. There are also some gruesome kills that can be kind of gory, you won’t see a pool of blood but you’ll see someone’s neck sliced open.

In the end, you’ll leave Friday the 13th Part 2 afraid of camps and windows so move to an underground bunker.

Plot Synopsis:

Last we left Camp Crystal Lake, Alice (played by Adrienne King) was the only survivor after all her camp counselor colleagues were killed by an unknown assailant. She then discovers that Jason’s mom, Mrs. Voorhees (played by Betsy Palmer), was the one who killed her friends. 

Mrs. Voorhees murdered the counselors as revenge against all counselors since years ago the camp counselors were too busy having sex to realize her son, Jason, was drowning in the lake. Alice and Mrs. Voorhees have one final showdown near the lake that ends when Alice chops Mrs. Voorhees’s freaking head off! 

There’s one last jump scare when Alice takes the boat into the lake and a somewhat decomposed Jason jumps out of the water. The film ends with Alice at the hospital and the police saying there was no boy. So let’s see why Alice presumably returns to Camp Crystal Lake and what happens this time.

Adrienne King in Friday the 13th ending

The film opens on a street at night, which is as far away from Crystal Lake as possible. Though we only see their legs, a man approaches a house on the street. Inside the house, we see it belongs to Alice who is having a nightmare about the events from the first film. By nightmare I mean they pretty much show you the ending of the last movie all over again.

After a shower and a phone call from her mom. She then gets another phone call but this time it sounds like someone breathing before they hang up. Slightly worried, Alice goes and locks her door! This means it hasn’t been locked this whole time!

In a pretty tense scene, Alice looks throughout the house and gets a jump scare from her cat. She then opens the refrigerator and finds Mrs. Voorhees’s head sitting on the shelf. As she screams someone (definitely Jason) comes from behind and stabs her through the head with an ice pick.

And title screen, which means this wasn’t a dream and I wrote a 3 paragraph recap for a character that died immediately. We open with two new counselors Sandra and Jeff (played by Marta Kober and Bill Randolph respectively) on their way to a camp along Crystal Lake. 

While stopping to make a call for some directions Ralph (played by Walt Gorney) appears and warns them that they’re all doomed. Ralph was also in the first movie and warned the counselors that they would be killed, turns out he was right. 

Walt Gorney as Ralph trying to warn Marta Kober and Bill Randolph as Sandra and Jeff in Friday the 13 Part 2
“Excuse me, you’re all-… excuse… hey.. I’m trying to warn you… excuse me-“

After getting directions, Jeff realizes his truck is being towed and chases after it but this turns out to be a prank devised by fellow counselor and prankster, Ted (played by Stuart Charno). The three then make their way toward the camp but stop when they find a log in the road. While Ted and Jeff move it, Sandra finds a sign for Camp Crystal Lake. 

Ted gets awfully serious and calls it Camp Blood noting that it’s along the same lake where their counselor training course will be. Sandra wants to stop by Camp Crystal Lake to take a look but Ted refuses. The three leave but don’t notice someone watching them from a distance.

A short time later, the three are at the camp, and camp leader Paul (played by John Furey) calls for a meeting where we meet our new main characters. We have (top to bottom and left to right in the screenshots below) Terry (played by Kirsten Baker) her dog Muffin, Vickie (played by Lauren-Marie Taylor), Scott (played by Russell Todd), the other person in the screenshot is not important and doesn’t get named, Mark (played by Tom McBride) who is in a wheelchair, Sandra, Jeff, and finally Paul. Ignore the background counselors since the movie did as well.

Our final main character, Ginny (played by Amy Steel) shows up late and is reprimanded by Paul in a cabin. It’s then revealed that they’re actually dating so she’s not in any real trouble.

Amy Steel as Ginny in Friday the 13 Part 2
Basically, if you’re dating the head counselor, fuck them rules

That night the counselors huddle around a fire as Paul tells them the story of Camp Blood. It’s been 5 years since the events of the first movie and Alice was killed two months after she survived the attack though everyone just thinks she went missing. 

Paul says the legend claims that Jason was still alive and watched his mother get beheaded and has been hunting people for the last 5 years. We get a jump scare when Ted shows up screaming wearing a mask and carrying a spear to scare the counselors. 

Turns out this was a prank set up by Paul and Ted and once everyone stops screaming Paul sets the record straight: Jason is dead. Unfortunately, Paul doesn’t know he’s in a Friday the 13th movie.

The counselors hang out in the main cabin not realizing someone is watching them from outside. After whooping Paul’s ass in chess, Ginny heads back to her cabin where we get another jump scare when Paul shows up for some smooches. We see that the person who has been spying on the counselors is Ralph… but he gets killed by Jason who garrotes him from behind a tree.

Ralph is killed in Friday the 13 Part 2
That’s a wrap for all the OGs from the first movie 

The next day the counselors head out on the trail for some kind of unspecified training and Muffin wanders off on her own. Eventually, Muffin comes across the legs of who I can only assume is Jason and if he kills that dog I’m turning off the movie. 

Later while the counselors all go for a swim, Sandra convinces Jeff to sneak off and go to Camp Blood despite it being off-limits. After crossing into the Camp the two don’t notice someone following them and come across an eviscerated dog. Though it looks like it could be Muffin, the fur is all wrong so I’m not attached to this dog. Basically, it’s not Muffin, it’s just some common bitch.

While the two wonder what happened to the dog, the sheriff catches them. Cut to the three in Paul’s cabin and the sheriff demanding Paul reprimand Sandra and Jeff. Paul doesn’t take it seriously but tells Sandra and Jeff to stay away from Camp Blood. After they leave, the sheriff tells Paul he should move his counselor training course to the next county.

After the sheriff leaves and drives off, he spots someone running into Camp Blood and gets out of his car to chase after them. After about 2 minutes of just watching the sheriff running through the forest chasing the unidentified person who is totally Jason, he comes across a dilapidated cabin.

Jason's cabin in Friday the 13 Part 2
I don’t know what serial killer cabins look like but this would be up there

The sheriff enters the cabin to investigate and upon entering a backroom he is shocked at what he finds. Unfortunately, we don’t see what it is and the sheriff doesn’t see Jason approach him from behind. Jason jams the claw of a hammer into the sheriff’s head, killing him.

That night after dinner, Paul makes an announcement that it’s the last night the counselors will be able to go out on the town. All of our unnamed counselors, Paul, Ginny, and Ted choose to head into town to party while Sandra, Jeff, Terry, Vickie, Mark, and Scott stay behind. 

Terry heads out for a walk and apparently, this includes a random skinny dip in the lake despite it being pitch black. While she swims, Scott appears and takes her clothes. Terry gives chase until Scott is caught in a snare that hangs him upside down. Scott thinks it was a trap set by Paul to catch wild animals and begs to be cut down. Terry agrees as long as Scott promises to stop pranking her. 

As Terry heads back to the cabins to find a knife, Jason appears behind Scott in a jump scare and cuts his neck open with a machete. Terry returns with a knife only to find Scott dead causing her to scream. Turning around she screams into the camera as it’s clear Jason is now in front of her but we cut to the bar in town so we don’t see her die.

At the bar, Ginny, Paul, and Ted are enjoying drinks when Ginny, who is studying to be a child psychologist, wonders if Jason is real. Ginny suggests that since Jason has been living out in the woods all this time he might not understand what death means. 

She believes that after watching his mother die, Jason still believes his mom could come back from the dead to care for him. Paul and Ted laugh off the suggestion that Jason is even still alive and call him a legend.

Back at the camp where Jason is being a legend…ary killer, Sandra and Jeff head upstairs to have sex while Vickie hits on Mark real hard. After he reveals that only his legs are paralyzed from a motorcycle accident Vickie gets real interested in what parts of his body still work.

Vicki hits on Mark in Friday the 13 Part 2
Aww, these two have a nice future ahead of them… Oh wait I forgot what movie this was

Vickie and Mark kiss and make plans to have sex in a cabin but first Vickie heads back to her cabin to change. A storm rolls in and Mark hears someone outside the cabin. Going to check we get a jump scare as he gets a machete to the face killing him instantly. 

The force of the blow knocks Mark’s chair down a long steep set of stairs that I’m pretty sure weren’t there earlier.

Mark gets a machete to the face in Friday the 13 Part 2
Where was Jason standing that Mark didn’t see him?

Jason enters the cabin and grabs the spear that Ted left behind during his prank. Heading upstairs Jason enters the room where Sandra and Jeff have just finished having sex and he stabs them both with the spear. Jason’s on a speed run right now.

Vickie returns to the cabin looking for Mark and searches the rooms for him. Entering Sandra’s room she pulls on the sheets revealing Jason, wearing a sack on his head, who immediately slashes at her leg with a butcher’s knife. Vickie screams but doesn’t run allowing Jason to walk over to her and kill her.

Jason in Friday the 13 Part 2
“If you could just do a me a favor and don’t run while I kill you that would be great.”

Meanwhile Paul and Ginny return to the camp just as we see Jason remove the bodies. The two enter the cabin and search for the other counselors but are shocked to find all the blood on Sandra’s bed. The power goes out and the two head downstairs where Ginny realizes someone else is in the room with them. Hint: It’s Jason.

Ginny alerts Paul before Jason can stab him with the spear and the two fight. Jason knocks Paul out and chases after Ginny who runs into the bathroom. Jason attempts to grab her through the window but she narrowly avoids him and runs to the kitchen where she finds Ralph’s body. Realizing shit has gotten real and maybe she doesn’t actually like Paul, she doesn’t bother to check if he’s alive and escapes the cabin through a window.

Running to her car it refuses to start and Jason appears at the window. He then disappears and starts using a pitchfork to rip through the hood.

Escaping from the car, Ginny runs through the forest narrowly escaping Jason twice. Ending up at a different cabin, Ginny avoids Jason again but this time uses a chainsaw to swipe at his arm. Jason falls to the ground and Ginny knocks him out with a chair. She then just runs away instead of chain sawing him to death. 

Continuing to run she ends up at his cabin and spots Jason from a window which wouldn’t have happened if she had given Jason the ol’ chainsaw to the chest. Ginny runs into the room that we saw the sheriff enter earlier but this time we see what he saw as Ginny sees it too. 

It’s a shrine with Jason’s mother’s head and sweater in the center. We now also see the sheriff’s body, Terry’s body, and that might be Alice’s body that’s the most decomposed.

Jason's shrine to his mother in Friday the 13 Part 2
At least Jason decorated

As Jason tries to break down the door, Ginny decides to put on Jason’s mom’s sweater and impersonates her as Jason breaks in. The plan works as Jason lowers his weapon and from his POV we see that he is seeing Ginny as his mom who is telling him his work is done. Ginny tells Jason to get on his knees and he complies. 

Ginny lifts a machete in the air but Jason then notices his mom’s real head still on the altar and snaps out of it. Using his pickaxe Jason swipes at Ginny’s leg leaving a deep gash but before he can kill her, Paul arrives. 

Paul and Jason fight and during their struggle, Ginny picks up the machete and cuts through Jason’s shoulder into his chest. Jason falls back dead. Ginny removes Jason’s mask but we don’t see what she and Paul see.

Ginny drives a machete through Jason's shoulder in Friday the 13 Part 2
“Ow! Is this is what getting stabbed feels like? I had no idea, my bad guys.”

Paul and Ginny head back to the cabin where they hear strange noises outside. Ginny grabs a pitchfork as a weapon and Paul carefully opens the door to reveal… MUFFIN!

Muffin is alive in Friday the 13 Part 2
“Sup… hey why are y’all covered in blood?”

Just as some calm music plays, this fucking jump scare happens as Jason busts through the window:

We fade to white as Jason grabs Ginny and the following morning we see paramedics wheeling a still-alive Ginny into an ambulance. Ginny asks where Paul is but no one answers. Tragically we also don’t see where Muffin is. The film ends as we get a close-up of Jason’s mother’s shrine where we see that candles are lit implying Jason is still alive.


Friday the 13th Part 2 is pretty good for what it is. If you’re expecting to see anything else besides a slasher film from the 80s you’re going to have a bad time. There are no hidden meanings, no grand design, and no secret twists, it’s just one guy killing a bunch of young adults. It does try to give Jason some meaning when Ginny suspects he’s killing because he doesn’t understand death but it doesn’t do much with that.

Acting and dialogue are alright. Story is extremely easy to follow and it has some pretty good jump scares sprinkled throughout. I was surprised that the characters actually felt like real people instead of some cardboard cutouts of characters destined to die so that was a plus.

On the negative side, I would say there isn’t a lot happening for a large portion of the movie but luckily it’s not boring. It felt like the writers were trying to go for the Michael Myers stalking and watching gimmick from 1979’s Halloween but it wasn’t as effective. Although if you read my Halloween review, Halloween overdoes it to the point of boredom.

Overall if you’re looking for a slasher film to watch to pass the time, you can’t go wrong with Friday the 13th Part 2.


Stuff to Ignore

Rotten Tomatoes – 29%

Metacritic – 26

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