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"I told the others, they didn't believe me. You're all doomed. You're all doomed."
Crazy Ralph
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When the first Friday the 13th film proved to be a hit, the studio naturally made plans for a new one, to be released the year after.

The movie starts shortly after the events of the first film, where Mrs. Voorhees stopped the reopening of Camp Crystal Lake by murdering the camp counselors, in revenge for her son, Jason, who 20 years ago drowned while his guardians were having sex.

However, it turns out Jason didn't drown after all. He survived (somehow), and has actually been living in seclusion for the past two decades. After avenging his mother's death by killing the last movie's Final Girl, Alice, in the first 15 minutes of the movie, he resurfaces five years later, when another entrepreneur is preparing to open a new summer camp in the woods next to Crystal Lake...

The film was a success, opening the way to a massive franchise and introducing a character that would eventually become one of the most iconic in horror fiction.

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This film has examples of:

  • The Alleged Car: Ginny's car, which works as a justification for the My Car Hates Me moment later on.
  • All Men Are Perverts: Scott, who hits on Terry by hitting her in the butt with a slingshot and later steals her clothes while she skinny-dips.
  • Ambiguous Ending: The movie seemingly ends with a Not Quite Dead Jason smashing through a window to attack Ginny and Paul again, but just as Jason grabs Ginny, the scene cuts to the next morning with emergency workers carrying an injured Ginny into an ambulance, with no word on Paul's fate or Jason's whereabouts. It's not clear if the attack was a Nightmare Sequence (like Jason's appearance in the first film), and even if it wasn't, it's not clear how Ginny survived, what happened to Paul, or where Jason is. Even the opening of the next movie clears nothing up; it omits Jason's attack from the recap, and doesn't reveal anything further about Ginny and Paul's fates.
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  • Ambiguous Situation: The dead dog Jeff and Sandra find in the woods; is it Muffin, who had previously been seen approaching Jason, or a different dog altogether? Muffin's appearance in the ending doesn't clear anything up, given the Ambiguous Ending above and the dog's absence from the closing scene.
  • Axe Before Entering: When Ginny barricades herself inside Jason's shrine, he starts attacking the door with a mining pick.
  • Bait-and-Switch: Both parts to the ending of the movie: Ginny and Paul make it back to the cabin, trying to regain their bearing after their confrontation with Jason... when the door begins rattling. The two are on edge as Paul slowly moves to open it... only to find Terry's dog being the cause of it. The two are immediately relieved as Ginny gets up — and Jason bursts through the window behind Ginny. After a fade to white, we see Ginny being loaded into an ambulance alive... except Paul is nowhere to be found.
  • Black Dude Dies First: Completely averted. Among the extra six counselors at the camp, one is a black man and another an Asian woman. Not only do they not die first, they don't die at all, as they're away from camp when Jason sets out to kill the counselors that stayed back at camp.
  • Bring My Brown Pants: Ginny wets herself while trying to hide from Jason, not because he might catch her though, but because she saw a rat. According to the director, though, it was the rat who peed (which is a awful lot of urine for a rat).
  • Cat Scare: Random cat scares Alice before Jason "picks" her.
  • The Cavalry Arrives Late: As in the first film, police officers don't arrive at the campgrounds until well after Jason has slaughtered everyone except for the Final Girl and been seen off himself.
  • Caught in a Snare: Scott is caught in a snare and his throat is slashed by Jason while he's hanging upside down.
  • Chainsaw Good: Ginny brandishes a chainsaw briefly to defend herself.
    • Subverted when as soon as the chain makes contact it snags on Jason's sleeve and stalls.
  • Chairman of the Brawl: Ginny breaks a chair over Jason's head. Then she runs away.
  • Chekhov's Gun: The chainsaw is seen early on in the film being put into a closet, which Ginny uses to defend herself from Jason with later on.
  • Chekhov's Skill: Ginny's child psychology studies, which she uses to get the better of Jason after finding his altar to his late mother.
  • Cop Killer: Jason kills Deputy Winslow by sticking a claw hammer in his head.
  • Covers Always Lie: The poster and home video art show Jason's silhouette holding an axe. Jason doesn't use an axe in this movie.
  • Crosscast Role: Jason's legs in the beginning of the movie is that of a Ellen Lutter, the only time in the franchise Jason was played by a woman. It was a wardrobe test that ended up going so well they decided to use the footage instead of re-filming it.
  • Dangerous Windows: Ginny tries to escape by going though a window, but Jason is way ahead of her and tries to grab her through it.
  • Dead Person Impersonation: Ginny impersonates Jason's mother to distract him long enough to strike him with a machete.
  • Death by Sex/Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: Jeff and Sandra get a spear shoved through the both of them during sex.
  • Decoy Protagonist: Alice bites it in the first scene.
    • Jeff and Sandra also seem to be introduced as the protagonists until Ginny is introduced, when the story follows her.
  • Dramatic Irony: When Ginny reaches a shack in the woods, she thinks she's found help. The audience, however, is aware that it's Jason's shack, and Ginny quickly finds this out for herself when a now even angrier Jason chases her inside.
  • Dramatic Thunder: Used when we get the first good look on masked Jason.
  • Drop the Hammer: Jason kills the unnamed officer by hitting him in the head with the sharp end of a claw hammer.
  • Early Installment Weirdness: This is the first appearance of Jason Voorhees, and as such a lot of what's attributed to the character doesn't exist yet. Besides the total lack of his hockey mask, this Jason is still a far cry from the Made of Iron Implacable Man he will become famous for. Justified, as he's still a normal person instead of the later films' supernatural creature.
  • Fade to White: A quick one follows Mark's death.
  • Feet-First Introduction: The film starts with a closeup on some kid's feet, who's jumping in rain puddles. After the kid is called away by her mother, the camera starts following Jason's footsteps as he closes in on Alice's apartment.
  • Final Girl: Ginny for the first half seems like a subversion of the personality types associated with the Final Girl; she's introduced arriving late for work, has a sexual relationship with Paul (admittedly off-screen), goes out for a few beers with the gang and has a slightly snarky personality. But halfway through, she starts empathising with what Jason Voorhees may have gone through, and is ultimately the only female survivor.
  • Flashback Nightmare: The opening shows Alice having nightmares from the first film's events.
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus: In Jason's shack, next to Terry's body and leaning against the shrine is Alice's decayed corpse. The giveaway is the ice pick still embedded in the skull. It only appears in a few brief shots.
  • Ghost Story: The basic outline of Jason and certain elements from both the start of the film and the last film (namely, the death of Mrs. Voorhees and the mysterious disappearance of Alice) are recounted around a campfire as one of these.
  • Gone Swimming, Clothes Stolen: Scott does this to Terry when she goes for a night swim.
  • Guile Hero: Ginny finally gets the better of Jason by posing as his dead mother to manipulate him into docility while she prepares to kill him with a machete. It works until Jason spies his mother's head on the altar behind Ginny.
  • Groin Attack: Ginny kicks Jason in the balls.
  • Hand of Death: The close-up on the spear during the Death by Sex scene.
  • Hand-or-Object Underwear: When Terry comes out of the water for the above mentioned swim and realizes her clothes were missing, she crosses her arms over her chest. Apparently, the fact that her bare groin was out of frame was enough to cover that too.
  • Hostile Weather: It starts raining and thundering around the time when Jason starts killing those who stayed in the camp and didn't go to town.
  • Hotter and Sexier: In addition to being the first installment to feature Jason Voorhees as the killer, this was also the first entry in the franchise to feature explicit nudity (the first film just had a single dimly lit sex scene and a "Strip Monopoly" game that abruptly ended before anybody removed their underwear), which would become a hallmark of later entries. Terry fully strips down to go skinny-dipping in one scene, and gets her backside ogled by the camera while wearing low-cut shorts in another; Sandra was also going to get a full-frontal nude scene, but it was cut when the producers discovered that her actress was underage.
  • Kick the Dog:
    • Jeff and Sandra find a disemboweled dog in the woods, implicitly what became of Muffin after she approached Jason.
    • Jason kills Mark, who, being disabled, is even less of a threat than most of Jason's victims.
    • Before killing Vicky, Jason hides under a bedsheet just to scare her. This stands out, as almost none of Jason's previous victims even saw him coming.
  • Killed Offscreen: We don’t see what happens to Terry.
  • Living Prop: Many counselors have no lines or names.
  • Male Gaze: We get a long camera shot centered on Terry's behind. And later one of Vickie's underwear-glad behind as she rummages through her car.
  • Mr. Fanservice: Mark is a Hunk who gets a Shirtless Scene at the lake, even when he isn't going swimming. All of his scenes involve showing off his muscles.
  • Ms. Fanservice:
    • Terry. Revealing clothing? Check. No bra on cold nights? Check. Gratuitous skinny dipping scene? Ooh, yeah.
    • Sandra to a lesser degree. She also wears no bra, but her breasts are larger, so we also get some nice Gainaxing. She also has a lengthy scene in just a bikini top and short shorts. She originally had a full frontal scene, just like Terry, but then the film makers found out Marta Kober was 16 and naturally cut the scene out.
    • To an even lesser degree, Vickie gets this. She shows her underwear and then shows some lower frontal nudity for some extra Fanservice.
  • Mummies at the Dinner Table: Jason keeps his mother's severed head around and lays the remains of both Alice and Terry around it.
  • Negated Moment of Awesome: Ginny goes after Jason with a chainsaw, but it runs out of gas and becomes useless.
  • Next Sunday A.D.: Released in 1981, it takes place five years after the original, placing it in 1984.
  • Novelization: By Simon Hawke.
  • Out with a Bang: Jeff and Sandra are impaled while in the middle of sex.
  • Peek-a-Boo Corpse: Ginny finds Crazy Ralph's corpse in a closet.
  • The Peeping Tom: Crazy Ralph while watching Ginny and Paul.
  • Powerful Pick: Jason's very first kill in the second movie is Alice, the Final Girl of the first movie, whom he kills with an ice pick. His third kill is with a mining pick, when the nameless officer foolishly chases him all the way to his own cabin. Finally, as mentioned above, Jason tries to use a mining pick to break through to kill Ginny.
  • Precision F-Strike: "Paul there's someone in this fucking room!"
  • Previously on…: The film opens with Alice having a nightmare about the climax of the previous film. The flashback sequence lasts six-and-a-half minutes.
  • Real Life Writes the Plot: Alice's role is so small because Adrienne King was suffering trouble from a Loony Fan who was stalking her, prompting her to abandon her acting career.
  • Revenge: Jason's motive for killing Alice, and especially notable as one of the very few times Jason ever leaves Crystal Lake of his own volition, and one of his rare targeted killings, as he usually only kills people in Crystal Lake who encroach on his territory.
  • Sackhead Slasher: When Jason first took up the machete he wore a sack with a single eyehole tied around his neck with a bit of rope to hide his monstrous deformity. It wasn't until the next movie, Friday the 13th Part III, that he would receive his iconic hockey mask.
  • Slashers Prefer Blondes: Inverted! While Alice from the first film is Killed Off for Real, the rest of the film's victims are dark haired. Ginny is the only confirmed survivor, and she's blonde.
  • Stalker Shrine: Jason has one for his mother, which also doubles as his Trophy Room.
  • Stock Slasher: This film is what firmly established Jason as one, as well as helping to establish the trope itself.
  • Sudden Sequel Death Syndrome: The two surviving characters from the first movie (Alice and Crazy Ralph) are Jason's victims number one and two.
  • Surprisingly Realistic Outcome: Jason tries to ambush Ginny by standing on a small wooden chair, where she can't see him from her hiding place under the bed. As Jason is a very large man, the chair ends up breaking under his weight as soon as he moves.
  • Summer Campy: The movie takes place at a training session for camp counselors. The trainees act as irresponsibly as the little children they'll be taking care of.
  • Super Window Jump: Jason performs it in the end. Or does he?
  • Surprise Checkmate: Paul Holt and Ginny Field are playing chess. Paul takes one of her pieces, puts her in check and tells her that he thinks he's got her. She takes the piece that he just moved (cancelling the check) and checkmates him. How did he fail to notice not only that (a) she had a piece that could take his but (b) she could checkmate him by doing so?
  • Sympathy for the Devil: Subverted; while hypothetically discussing Jason, Ginny shows some pity for him with her psychological analysis, but when she actually encounters him, she's justifiably terrified and uses her insight on his mental state to try and kill him.
  • Take Our Word for It: Subverted; when Ginny unmasks the seemingly dead Jason, all the audience sees is her and Paul's horrified reaction to his appearance, which seems to be all we can expect... until the Jump Scare at the end, which shows Jason's ugly mug in all it's glory.
  • Token Minority: One black dude and a Asian lady (who have no lines) can be seen among the counselors.
  • Too Dumb to Live: Vicky gets "cornered" by Jason, the door is right next to her, then Jason starts walking really slow towards her. What does she do? Stare at him.
  • Tuckerization: Ginny Field is named after the film's production designer Virginia Field, who also worked on the first film.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: The exact fate of Paul. It largely depends on whether or not the final Jump Scare at the end was real, or a Dream Sequence.

 
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Jeff and Sandra Shiskabobed

In one of his most infamous murders, Jason Voorhees performs a double kill by skewering lovers Jeff and Sandra (along with their bed) with a spear.

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