The story behind Friday the 13th Part II has never really made any sense, unless this theory about Mrs. Voorhees and Jason is true.
As a standalone story, the original Friday the 13th is perfect. Its plot is pretty clear by the end. Camp Crystal Lake employee Pamela Voorhees went mad after her son Jason drowned in the lake. To prevent camp counselors from letting more children die on their watch, Mrs. Voorhees murders a bunch of new counselors prior to the camp reopening.
When the sequel came out, it required a bit more suspension of disbelief. Somehow, Jason is revealed to have not actually died in the lake at all. Even more baffling, he witnessed his mother’s murder and swore revenge. This means that he’s been living in the woods for years, watching his mother kill people, never thinking to actually speak to her. Or does it?
For the upcoming Friday the 13th: The Game, players can find “The Pamela Tapes” which provide more backstory. The first two tapes are of officers apparently questioning Mrs. Voorhees over her son’s drowning — presumably, they never found the body. You can listen to those below, and note that while the cops refer to Jason in the past tense, Pamela still talks about him as if he’s still alive.
Jason is a wonderful boy? Are you saying he’s still alive?
This potentially plays into a theory which could explain the perplexing opening to Friday the 13th Part 2. What if… Pamela talks about Jason in the present tense because she knows he’s still alive? What if, in fact, Pamela managed to find her little boy on the shore, probably near death? The trauma of the incident could have led to her hiding Jason from the world, telling the police and everyone else he had disappeared into the lake.
After the near-drowning, Jason would have been traumatized as well. It could be what made him go completely mute, never speaking again (until Part 9, at least). So that could explain why Pamela talks to herself in Jason’s voice, doing every single thing for her boy to keep him safe — even literally speaking for him. This kind of coaching on Jason’s fragile and likely brain-damaged mind would also explain why he’s so obsessed with murder. It’s all he knows, as taught to him by mama, and after she’s gone, he’s only continuing her work.
Credit: New Line Cinema / Paramount
Why keep her head if he’s keeping himself hidden from her in the woods all these years?
With the outside world unaware of Jason’s real fate, Pamela feels she could protect him. Jason knows to keep himself hidden from everyone else, which is why nobody sees him in the first movie. And it’s while watching his mother clearing out the camp from the distance that Jason sees her beheading, taking her head to his secret shack. And just as mommy used to hear Jason’s voice in her head, Jason now hears her voice encouraging him to kill, as is the case in the upcoming video game.
So far, I have no confirmation as to whether this theory is legitimate. But going into Part 2 with this mindset does make Jason’s return much more plausible. Was Mrs. Voorhees secretly caring for Jason after faking his death? I say yes, but we’ll see what the Pamela Tapes from the video game ultimately reveal.