Originally Posted by Hellbilly
Surprised more people voted for part 2 than the first one. I mean, ok, it had Jason, but other than that Part 2 is just a 1:1 copy of the first. I don't hate it but it is the most unoriginal of the series.
Wholeheartedly disagree with you there, Helly! II brought to the series the whole psychological element with Jason that would be mined in most of the movies since. I think the whole ending with Ginny and the sweater and all that is one of the best and most influential not just in the series but in the evolution of the slasher film in general. Before PART II, if you look at slasher movies like HALLOWEEN, PROM NIGHT, HE KNOWS YOU'RE ALONE, DON'T GO IN THE WOODS, and even the first FRIDAY the Final Girls are all weaker - they're thrust into the situation and they instincitvely fight back and make it out alive, but I don't really think you can call them assertive or clever in the way they handle the killer. In PART II, Ginny manipulates Jason psychologically, taking real charge of the situation, and that was something that was totally fresh. You look at slasher movies since and you have a much more empowering and cerebral approach to dealing with menace by the Final Girls (Nightmare on Elm Street, The Seduction, Psycho II, Curtains, Friday 4, American Nightmare, etc.). The second FRIDAY never gets enough respect for this.
FRIDAY 2 also deserves a lot of credit for the whole "campfire" mythology it imbues into the slasher genre, turning the tale into a legend that transcends just hearsay or traditional plotting. It turns the killer into something grander than just a guy with a knife. MADMAN and THE BURNING came out the same year, but it's pretty common knowledge that they were made knowing already what FRIDAY 2 was bringing to the table (the Panaglide operator on FRIDAY 2 even went on to run camera on THE BURNING weeks after). Jason was a jump scare ripoff of CARRIE in the first film, but in the second he became the legend we all remember today. That's all on the second film, not the first.
You look at how the Final Girl from the first film gets killed off unexpectedly, or how the annoying prankster actually makes it out alive and you see that FRIDAY II also wasn't afraid to subvert the rules and pave its own path. As much as I love the first film, the second has a much more distinctive vision and is a noticeable improvement on most measurable rubrics, like story, pacing, editing, cinematography, acting, etc. And as for originality, I'd actually argue that FRIDAY II is the least derivative of all the films, since it set so many of the conventions we now know for the FRIDAY series. All the sequels are going down II's path, not the first.