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Blu-ray Review: Friday the 13th Part 2

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Written by Tío Esqueleto

Released earlier in the year on standard DVD as a Deluxe Edition (and I thought we had lucked out then), Paramount’s Friday the 13th Part 2 now makes its debut on Blu-ray, tying in with New Line’s home-video release of Friday the 13th (2009).

Released in 1981, Sean Cunningham handed director duties over to producer and longtime friend Steve Miner. The film’s prologue opens two months after the horrific events of the original and introduces Jason as he seeks revenge for his mother’s death. The story then jumps ahead five years where he takes over her role terrorizing teenagers in the hands-down scariest installment of the franchise.

The review of the Deluxe Edition DVD can be found here.

Part 2 has a widescreen 1080p presentation is a considerable improvement and even boasts a new aspect ratio at 1.78:1 (all previous releases were 1.85:1). It should be noted that there is still a considerable amount of grain present but this is to be expected with its low-budget production and almost all of its running time taking place in low-lit situations. Newbies to the format, expecting a crystal-clear image, may find this troubling but it’s exactly how the film would have looked in the theaters. With grain comes detail and needless to say, it’s never looked better.

On the audio side, Part 2 boasts a new 5.1 Dolby TrueHD lossless upgrade and, while being an improvement on previous releases, it still could have used a little more work in the rear channels. The dialogue and score come across fine, a significant improvement to anyone that’s only heard it in its original mono form, but the sound FX channels are considerably weak. Again, it was a low-budget film and I’m sure that the intended sound design was little more than “crickets” or “heavy thunder”. With that said, I’d rather have what is here than a soundtrack with stock sound FX added. Other sound options on this Blu-ray are its original English Mono, along with Spanish and French Mono.

Unfortunately, the Blu-ray format brings nothing new to the table as far as extras go. All extras from the standard Deluxe Edition have been carried over and as the only plus, all but one are now presented in HD. These include “Inside Crystal Lake Memories,” “Friday’s Legacy: Horror Conventions,” “Lost Tales from Camp Blood Part 2,” “Jason Forever” (not in HD), and the original theatrical trailer.

Considering the fact that there is nothing new in the name of extras, purchasing this release may seem like double-dipping to some. But if you’re either a fan of the format or just a fan of the franchise, there’s little doubt that the presentation is the best it’s ever looked and therefore a justified purchase. I recommend it without hesitation and consider us extremely lucky that the franchise is getting the Blu-ray treatment this early in the game.

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