- Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
- Video Codec: AVC/MPEG-4
- Audio Codec: English Dolby TrueHD 5.1 (48kHz/24-bit); English Mono (Dolby 2.0); French Mono (Dolby 2.0); Portuguese Mono (Dolby 2.0); Spanish Mono (Dolby Digital 2.0)
- Subtitles: English; English SDH; French; Portuguese; Spanish
- Region: ABC (Region-Free)
- Discs: 1
- Studio: Paramount Home Entertainment
- Release Date: June 16, 2009
- List Price: $29.99
Purchase from CD Universe Overall
Click thumbnails for high-resolution 1920X1080p screen captures
(Screen captures are lightly compressed with lossy JPEG and thus are meant as a general representation of the content and do not fully reveal the capabilities of the Blu-ray format)
The original Friday the 13th was filmed independently on a miserly budget of just over five hundred thousand dollars. Capitalizing on the success of John Carpenter’s Halloween, Friday the 13th director Sean S. Cunningham used much of the same techniques as Halloween to try to create a “rollercoaster ride” of horror and suspense. Introducing the world to a serial killing mother, Mrs. Voorhees, the franchise’s most famous (or infamous) icon, Jason, would not actually enter into the film until the closing scene.
Opening to overwhelmingly negative reviews in 1980, the film would, nonetheless, go on to be a box office success and eventually become one of the most beloved films from the slasher genre. In fact, Friday the 13th’s popularity is such that the film has spawned a franchise of ten films, including a crossover film, Jason Vs. Freddy, with A Nightmare on Elm Street’s villain Freddy Kreuger and a new series reboot, Friday the 13th that was released just this past winter.
Watching Friday the 13th: Part 2, makes one wonder, however, how it is that the series managed to survive beyond this first sequel. Taking basically the same plot from its predecessor, with more young, attractive — and sometimes naked — people and placing them back in Crystal Lake where they are stalked and killed by the blood-thirsty Jason Voorhees, Part 2 is no more than a boring retread that proffers nothing new or shocking.
Friday the 13th: Part 2 is agonizingly slow and lacking in any suspense. So devoid of any true energy or creativity, Friday the 13th: Part 2 can easily put people to sleep rather than keep them on the edges of their seats. The characters seem to be there solely for the purpose of ultimately being killed. Frankly, the dialogue is so banal you may start rooting for the characters to be killed just to stop them from talking. The gags themselves are somewhat original, but their setups become so obvious that it quells even that small spark of originality.
This second installment of this seemingly inextinguishable franchise is no more than an electrotype that has lost the luster of its original.
Friday the 13th: Part 2 comes to Blu-ray in an unremarkable AVC/MPEG-4 1080p/24 high definition encoding from Paramount. I have admittedly never seen this film on any previous home video format, but this Blu-ray version does not look good for a catalogue release by any standard. In fact, it seems like they’ve just slapped the old source on here without much care towards restoration. Grain is soft, heavy, and uneven. Blacks are unstable, with high amounts of noise, and flesh tones aren’t very accurate. Positively, the colors do look vibrant, if a bit oversaturated, and they pop from the screen.
The audio quality of Friday the 13th: Part 2 on Blu-ray is equally lackluster, with a newly remixed English Dolby TrueHD 5.1 (48kHz/24-bit) lossless mix provided alongside the original English Mono (Dolby 2.0) and French, Portuguese, and Spanish Mono (Dolby 2.0) dubbed versions.
The original theatrical mix sounds relatively dynamic and forward, but certainly constrained and bit. The midrange is a little too boosted and boxy sounding, but other than those minor deficits, it is relatively clean with intelligible dialogue.
The new TrueHD 5.1 mix certainly opens the soundstage a bit and lessens the midrange boost, making the entire mix sound a little bit smoother and more balanced. However, the surround channels are nearly silent and really only come into play during the film’s rainstorm, where the atmospheric sounds of rain can clearly be heard coming from the rear channels. Otherwise, the mix is dry and completely lacking in any low frequencies, so I’m not sure where the “.1” comes into play.
Fans of the Friday the 13th franchise may find the supplements on here interesting, if hardly worthy of repeated viewings. They are, thankfully, provided in 1080p/24 high definition, save for one featurette, so praise should go to Paramount for that, at the very least.
The supplements provided on this release are:
- Inside “Crystal Lake Memories” (1.78:1; 1080p/24) — Author Peter Bracke discusses his book about Friday the 13th.
- Friday’s Legacy: Horror Conventions (1.78:1; 1080p/24) — This featurette shows fans at horror conventions discussing Friday the 13th.
- Lost Tales from Camp Blood — Part II (2.35:1; 1080p/24) — Part II of a short film that acts as a continuation of the Friday the 13th saga.
- Jason Forever (1.33:1; 480i/60) — This featurette offers a look at the actors who have played Jason giving a rare interview during a discussion panel at a horror convention.
- Original Theatrical Trailer (1.78:1; 1080p/24)
The Definitive Word
Friday the 13th will probably go on indefinitely with sequels, rehashes, reboots, and adaptations. The name alone prompts instant recognition amongst fans and novices alike of the slasher genre. It seems that the producers of the franchise are well aware of this and will continue to drive this dead horse into the ground. If you really want in on the Friday the 13th franchise, then the first film is probably your best bet.