Swish_41’s review published on Letterboxd:
"Sex, sex, sex, you guys are getting boring.."
These last few weeks have been such a blur to me that I forgot that I had drunkenly watched this movie this past Friday the 13th. It was only when I paged past it in my movie notebook (yes I keep a physical diary, shut up) that I realized, oh shit, I haven't reviewed it yet. Which is a total shame, cause this movie fucking rocks.
A few Octobers ago I power-watched all of the Friday the 13th films. It was probably not the best way to watch them- their little endearing qualities quickly became tiresome and abrasive. I remember hating a fair number of them. Now, with the benefit of time, increased maturity, and alcohol, I think I've managed to see the brilliance in this particular Friday the 13th sequel.
This is truly the film where Jason becomes Jason. Not many people know this. I found this out when I tried to explain the timeline of the F13 franchise to my friends while I was extremely high. When I explained to them that it wasn't until the 3rd film that Jason (the actual Jason, not Pamela Vorhees) donned the ski mask, they couldn't believe it. People take these things for granted, man. Jason didn't just spring fully formed from the minds of his creators, like Athena from the head of Zeus. It was a process that took years!
In any case, this sequel has so much going for it. For one, Jason is actually competent in this movie. He didn't really exist in the first one, and in the second one he is a bumbling idiot with a burlap sack on his head. But here Jason really enters his element, killing folks in a variety of fun ways. Barring the bizarre implication that Jason may or may not be a sex offender, he begins to resemble the formidable murderer he would become in the later films. The film clearly wanted to capitalize on its 3D format, as well. The movie loves this gimmick, including shots whose only purpose is to show off the technology. It does mean that some of the kills are spectacular, though, and there is just something so endearing about it in general. Like, 3D is so played out now, it is a bit adorable to see a movie really try to utilize the format. Also, the main theme song fucking slaps. Who gave this movie the right to produce such a funky, delightful track?
My favorite thing about this movie, however, has got to be Shelley. Shelley, who looks exactly like Jonah Hill in Superbad , immortalizes perhaps the best side character in any F13 film. He is a proto-Incel, a nerdy type guy who self-sabotages himself by being a massive prankster. It's unfortunate that he existed before YouTube, he would have really found fertile ground for his sense of humor there. Despite the fact that he is a jerk, I like Shelley. I find him sympathetic and fascinating. This 80's character somehow nailed certain aspects of the Incel stereotype we've seen emerge recently. Of course, in the 80's, no one could really conceive of a guy whose entire being revolved around his inability to get laid. Rather Shelley's inability to get laid is entirely because on his nerdiness, his desperate need for attention, his crippling fear of being considered a "nothing." I also love Shelley because he embodies the "red herring" character that is a staple of slashers. He exists solely to take suspicion away from Jason. Any spooky noise, open window, or dead body can be chalked up to Shelley and his antics. Arguably, Shelley is indirectly responsible for many of the deaths in this movie. He's basically Jason's sidekick, allowing Jason to kill most everyone in the film before anyone realizes something is wrong.