This was the first, in what turned out to be several, Friday the 13th sequels. The original idea was to attach the Friday the 13th moniker to a Horror movie every year, without the movies having any continuity to the original film. The "Halloween" franchise actually practiced this idea, when they released, "Halloween III: Season of the Witch". The 1983 release entirely distanced itself from the main antagonist of the series, Michael Myers. It also went on to bore audiences to tears, on it's way to bombing at the box office. Five years later Michael Myers returned. Wisely, Paramount prevented the folly of straying from an established brand, and insisted that Jason Voorhees take over as the villain in the series, and millions of dollars later, the rest is history.
Stylistically, the film is nearly identical to the original. The direction of the film borrows heavily from the Italian slasher films that came before it. In this case, borrowed heavily is a gross understatement. Steve Miner, the film's director, went on to lift scenes directly from Mario Bava's, "Twitch of the Death Nerve". The most notable example is when Jason drives a spear through a pair of lovers. The scene is a shot-for-shot ripoff of the one that originated in the Bava film a decade earlier.
Plagiarism aside, there are plenty of other things in the movie that annoy me. The body count rises so it doesn't seem quite as slow as it's predecessor. Still, it's downright brutal watching the counselors, literally killing time, in between meaningful scenes. In "Friday the 13th: Part 2", we get to see counselors playing chess, arm wrestling, and screwing around with vintage handheld video games. All the while, engaging in tediously forced dialogue.
The plot holes that became a staple of the franchise are also very evident here. What's always bothered me, is how Jason ended up discovering the "Alice" character from the previous movie. I don't understand, did he just look her up in the phone book, or what? Well, he must have, because she received a creepy phone call, just minutes before her life was ended with an ice-pick. But that would have meant that Jason called her from within her own house, right? Or, maybe she had another deranged stalker. You'd think she would have explored some witness protection options. I don't know why I'm trying to apply logic here.
Speaking of Jason, he was far from perfected at this point. Watching the character run is awkward. While watching him struggle to overtake the "Paul" character in a wrestling match is shameful. Aside from that, when Jason's on camera, he is no more intimidating than any other inebriated imbecile with a pair of overalls and a bag over his head.
In case you haven't already figured it out, I'm not a very big fan of this chapter. I suppose it's taken on some sort of cult following, but that doesn't mean it's good. If you're set on watching all of the "Friday's", I suppose this is a necessity. If you just want to see a good slasher film, might I suggest, "Twitch of the Death Nerve". The makers of this film sure must've enjoyed it.