Concerning Jason, A Formerly Drowned Woodsman: Friday the 13th Pt. 2


To celebrate Halloween, we’re taking a look back at the second ‘Friday the 13th’ film, as well as all the curious questions the horror sequel raises. Welcome to an examination of  1981’s’Friday the 13th Part 2′

Jason Voorhees. The mere mention of his name actually frightens some, but I’m more stuck on the questions.  Friday the 13th Part 2 is a good place to start.  I know it’s a commercial movie franchise, but sometimes I feel compelled to address it as something serious.

There are indeed countless questions: Who is Jason? What is he? Where does he really come from? What does he want? Does he eat food? If so, does he go to the bathroom? What does he do in his spare time — that is, when he’s not out killing people? Where did he hone his skills as a woodsman and maniacal killer? These are fair logistical questions about the legendary character, and there is speculation on the answers.

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As you surely know, Jason wasn’t the original “star” of Friday the 13th. So these questions largely began with Friday the 13th Part 2, wherein Jason is essentially a fledgling killer, albeit still quite skilled. The movie begins with flashbacks to the first one, and in little time at all we see Jason step outside his natural habitat into a regular neighborhood.

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Why? To stalk and eliminate the woman who killed his mother, of course! Jason does this in a rather strange way, as he alarms Alice Hardy (Adrienne King) by placing his own mother’s severed head in the refrigerator, then sneaks up behind her and stabs her with an ice pick.

This was fairly crafty of Mr. Voorhees, as it suggests he tracked Alice down to her own house, broke in when she was distracted, and planted the head for maximum effect.

Then, at some point, Jason presumably had to travel all the way back to his desolate shack out in the woods (he had to have walked, because Jason doesn’t seem like the hitchhiking type).

But how did he know to find Alice anyway? Did he look her up in a phone book? If so, where did he get it? Did he follow her for a while, and bide his time until that special day? These questions seem to be unanswered. In any case, Jason demonstrates some real skills at tracking people down, which means he’s smarter than typically given credit for.

Jason: “Wait…Did I leave the burner on?” (Photo: Paramount Pictures)

Then there are moments where Jason stalks others and somehow avoids detection. How is this possible?

He would surely stand out like a sore thumb, whether wearing the trademark sack over his head or whether choosing to keep his head and face totally exposed. When I’m out in the woods, just stepping on a twig or even rustling leaves can make plenty of noise. Is Jason usually quiet as a mouse?

On a creepy note, it’s implied that Jason kills a dog named Muffin, and possibly ate portions of it. While some disagree that Jason was responsible, and feel that Muffin really was alive at the end of the movie, there is strong reason to think this is wishful thinking, or an alternate interpretation of events.


That is what so much of this franchise comes down to: Different interpretations of events. Did Jason actually drown as a boy? If not, how come he was hiding away for all those years? Why did he not meet up with his mother, thus preventing all of these deaths? It’s interesting to think of Jason on the proverbial sidelines, watching his mother murder counselors to have revenge, when all he had to do was walk up to her and give her a big ol’ hug. Was he too shy to do this? Did he not understand what was taking place? If he didn’t understand, why would he go through such elaborate lengths for revenge?

If Jason had drowned (which, oddly enough, makes the story more plausible), then Jason is some type of ghost/zombie hybrid, even in Part 2.

A face only a mother could love. (Photo: Paramount Pictures)

What makes this interesting is that, in this movie, Jason is at his most human. He seems to lack super strength here, and gets outwitted and confused. He gets kicked in the testicles and reacts as any normal man would. And, during the end, after Jason gets a machete in the shoulder and finally leaps through a window to attack Ginny (Amy Steel), we see the unmasked Jason as a deformed woodsman of sorts. He does not look like the drowned boy from part one. At some point he grew plenty of hair, donned some clothing other than swim trunks, and decided to go after more counselors.

But could a semi-alive, ghost-like drowning victim not have still intervened to prevent his mother’s descent into madness? Or is it that Jason could have only been called to act through revenge?  That would be the only way to make sense of things, if you ask me.

A shrine to the fallen. Keep those candles burning, Jace. (Photo: Paramount Pictures)

Next: 31 Days of Halloween: 976-EVIL

Check out the trailer for Steve Miner’s Friday the 13th Part 2, courtesy of Paramount Pictures:

As you can see, there are no real answers in Friday the 13th Part 2, no matter how hard one tries to piece together the puzzle. There are pieces missing, and likely always will be. This means that, whether you like the franchise or not, you have to give it credit for such a complicated backstory. A person’s head could explode just trying to understand Jason. Or Jason could simply ram an ice pick through your head, sparing you the trouble.