This sequel is my absolute favorite Friday the 13th film. It doesn’t get the credit it deserves, but we all know it rocks. After surviving the final chapter that wasn’t, as well as the Jason that wasn’t, we see a grown-up, and much cuter, Tommy Jarvis determined to send Jason back to where he came from – the bottom of Crystal Lake. Jason’s been haunting him for years now, and since he can’t leave well enough alone, he is hell-bent on destroying Jason’s corpse, now buried in a cemetery. Let’s get to it, shall we?
So, Tommy and his buddy leave the mental hospital and go to the cemetery in Lake Forest Green (renamed from Crystal Lake) to dig up Jason’s body and burn it. His friend, Hawes doesn’t really get how much power Jason has over him, but he will find out. After digging up the grave, Tommy plunges a fence post into his chest multiple times, seemingly having a nervous breakdown. Then, what do you know? Lightning strikes the post, bringing Jason to life. He rips out Hawes’ heart, as Tommy tries to set Jason on fire. It doesn’t work. Wind and matches don’t really go together. He rushes back to the sheriff’s office where he is met with disbelief and ridicule and placed in a holding cell. Next, we see two head counselors driving down a bumpy back road, looking for this year’s campsite. One is a young Tony Goldwyn, who tries to stand up to Jason, but he and his girl are both murdered in the woods. The next morning, Tommy awakens in jail to the sound of other people. Turns out, Sheriff Garris’ daughter, Megan, and her friends are looking for the counselors who disappeared the night before, because they are all supposed to be setting up camp for the kids. Megan and Tommy have an instant connection to one another, as he warns them of their impending doom. The sheriff denies his claims and tells the kids to stay away from him.
Sheriff Garris is determined to get Tommy out of his town and stop scaring people with legends. He takes him to the county line and tells him to get lost. Meanwhile, the kids have arrived at camp and the inexperienced counselors do their best to make it fun for them. And we cannot forget the company executives who are in the woods playing paintball, when Jason shows up and dispatches them, namely three at once in a triple-decap. Score! Cort has run off with his girlfriend to have sex in her stepdad’s RV trailer. Jason’s hot on their trail and cuts off their electricity. While Cort and Nikki are outside seeing what happened, Jason has snuck onto the trailer. Thus begins probably my favorite death scene in all of F13th history. I love Cort’s character, but if he had to die, he needed to go in the neatest way possible, and he did. Jason kills Nikki in the bathroom by smashing her face through the trailer wall, and Cort is stabbed in the temple with a hunting knife, causing the RV to crash and skid down the road. In one amazing shot, Jason appears on top of the now-sideways vehicle, and is silhouetted against the smoke and fire. Awesome.
Tommy has called Megan at the sheriff’s office, and tells her his plan to stop Jason, and by now she believes him. Apparently, though, police have found dead bodies and are convinced that Tommy has snapped and is the culprit, so there’s a roadblock. We see a fantastic high-speed chase between Megan and Tommy and the cops, whereby Tommy is rearrested. Jason has now made his way back to the camp to kill the rest of the counselors, Sissy and Paula. Jason scares a little girl named Nancy, but he doesn’t kill children because he too was mistreated as a child. Using some fancy footwork, Megan breaks Tommy out of jail and they head straight for the camp to find the others dead. The sheriff and other police have arrived, still thinking Tommy’s the bad guy, and gather all the children into one cabin. A few officers are murdered quickly, whereas poor Sheriff Garris has his back broken as he is bent backwards. That one always makes me hurt. Megan is calling out for her dad, not knowing he is dead, while Tommy gets a canoe and a big heavy boulder with some chains and heads out to the middle of the lake, taunting Jason. Jason makes his way out to Tommy, disappearing under the murky waters. Tommy tosses some accelerant and a match onto the lake, causing a ring of fire around his boat.
Tommy is waiting with the chains tied into a noose, when Jason pops up and grabs him. The weight of the two men crush the tiny boat and it sinks. He has, however, managed to get the chains around his neck to trap him at the bottom of the lake. But Jason still has a little kick to him and holds Tommy long enough to make him unconscious. Megan can’t stand to see this, so she dives in and saves Tommy, but not before ramming the running boat motor into a still-lively Jason’s face and neck. Awesome gore scene, by the way. She makes her way back onto the shore, and with the campers watching, performs mouth-to-mouth, reviving Tommy. The kids cheer and all is quiet as the camera pans out to the lake. The fire has now been extinguished, and everyone seems fine. The next morning, we are taken underwater again, with a great shot of Jason’s still open eye. Of course he’s not dead! Did you really think he would be?
This movie is absolutely fabulous. There’s some amazing kill scenes, better actors, a great, lumbering, creepy Jason, and fantastic music, including some from Alice Cooper. The dialogue is fairly typical, with the exception of some great lines, namely by cemetery caretaker, Martin, camp counselor goofball, Cort, and a few sarcastic campers (“So, what were you gonna be when you grew up?”). It’s easily the best of the sequels and has always been my favorite. You love it and you know it. Admit it, go ahead, it’s okay, we already know.:)