Tuesday, September 16, 2008
FRIDAY THE 13TH 2: EVERYWHERE AT ONCE
With all due apologies to my popcorn bag brethren....
In watching Part 2, I felt like in some ways I was watching the student film version of Part 1. The shots were choppier; the build-up was far less terrifying; the entrapment of the various counselors was way more predictible. Case in point: I never saw Kevin Bacon's demise coming, but when Ralph leaned up against the tree, it was just a waiting game. The fact that Jason is running around with a bag over his head didn't help matters--there's an interesting analysis to be done about why Jason feels compelled to cover his head at all times...but another time perhaps.
In the last set of explorations of FTT, the point was made about the first-person POV of the killer, that it produced the effect of having the audience view the world through the killer's eyes. In this way, the audience was unable to maintain a truly critical distance from the movie; I could never fully pull away from the movie and remind myself, "Yep, there's a camera operater back there, and Jed's probably drinking a beer while holding the boom mike." By giving us the killer's eyes to look through in Part 1, the audience becomes a complicit party to the violence that ensues.
At first glance, I thought the filming was just sloppy with regards to this technique's use in Pt. 2: there are times when it's unmistakably Jason, but there are times when the audience winds up looking through the eyes of Ralph. But then I realized there may be something more going on: the first-person POV is preserved on occasion for Jason, but in truth, other people's gazes become in this film the first-person POV. For example, instead of only entering the picture through our vision, Jason enters the picture and becomes visible to the viewer through reflections on the side of the screen, through the gasps in his victims' recognitions, through glimpses in panes of glass. In other words, the first-person POV becomes everywhere: instead of simply the audience's direction vision being Jason's POV, all directions become Jason's POV. Multiple points of vision in the movie becomes co-opted by Jason, and reveals Jason's power and terror.
I have to confess that this one wasn't nearly as scary for me. I kept thinking of The Elephant Man while watching this, or waiting for Cher to come in and put her arms around Jason and tell him that it really was going to be okay. I'll be eternally grateful to get this hour and half of my life back at some point.
One and a half Oedipal transferrences out of 5.