I’m a huge fan of the Friday the 13th series of films so when I see them pop up on my cable schedule I just have to watch them. I’d planned on reviewing them in order for the site here but I ran across A New Beginning the other night and was compelled to watch it.
Friday The 13th: A New Beginning was released in 1985 and is the 5th installment in the series. It’s often referred to as Friday The 13th Part V or Friday The 13th Part V: A New Beginning though those technically aren’t the names of the film.
SPOILER ALERT: I will cover plot topics here and this one does have a “twist” to it. If you don’t want to know it, and you’ve somehow missed this one over the last two decades go watch it and return after you’ve seen it. Still here? Onward.
While a plot summary in a Friday film is typically pretty laughable, this one is notable in that, just like the original, the killer isn’t Jason Voorhees. In the beginning of the film, we see a young Tommy Jarvis (Corey Feldman) stumbling across the grave of Jason as two teens dig him up. Jason naturally kills them and comes toward Tommy as he awakes from a dream. Tommy (now a teenager) is on his way to a mental “camp”. He’s been having visions of Jason since the events of the previous film. The camp is made up of several teens with varying degrees of mental issues. Vic (the bad ass) kills Joey (the slightly retarded, chocolate bar eating one) and the paramedics show up. One of the EMTs is essentially joking about the death while the other Roy is visibly shaken.
The next night, murders begin occurring and it appears that Jason is back up to his old tricks. There are several inventive kills here which eventually lead to the final three survivors (Tommy, Pam & Reggie) taking on Jason in a barn near the camp. Reggie manages to ram Jason with a bulldozer, but this naturally doesn’t kill him. Pam fights him off with a chainsaw briefly until it runs out of gas and stalls. Jason appears to kill Tommy with a machete slash down the chest. However Tommy makes a Jason-ish resurrection himself and manages to stab Jason in the leg. The end comes when Tommy pushes Jason off the ledge of the second story of the barn down onto some farm implement with a bunch of spikes impaling and killing Jason. However it’s revealed that it wasn’t in fact Jason, but Roy the paramedic all along.
In a post battle scene, it’s explained that Roy was Joey’s (the slow chocolate eater who was killed earlier in the film) father but no one knew it. Pam comes to the hospital to check on Tommy who is recovering but he wakes and stabs her with a knife. THIS is also a dream. When Pam actually comes into the room, she sees the window broken and it appears Tommy has escaped. The film ends when the audience is shown what’s behind Pam… Tommy standing there in a hockey mask.
This isn’t a great horror movie. But that’s OK because we’re essentially told that right up front with the title screen that looks like an intro to a poor school project. It’s definitely not a great entry into the Friday The 13th franchise. I will give it props for carrying forward the Tommy Jarvis continuity which I admit was kind of a nice touch. In fact, as shown at the end of this film, the Tommy Jarvis character was supposed to be the killer of the franchise moving forward. Due to the universal hatred for this entry at the time, Jason is back and better than ever in the next entry.
Watching this one again I guess we really are supposed to know that this ISN’T Jason Voorhees. After all, the hockey mask worn by the killer in this film has blue stripes on it and Jason’s has red stripes. I always just figured the prop guys lost the original mask and had to come up with a replacement. What really irks me about this one is Roy (the killer). He ACTS just like Jason. And no… I don’t mean he walks and stalks his prey like Mr. Voorhees. I mean he takes a beating and keeps on coming back just like all horror movie villains do. This guy is HUMAN. He simply shouldn’t be able to do these things. He gets run over by a fucking bulldozer… a BULLDOZER! And gets right back up with no ill effects. I realize that I’m suppose to suspend disbelief when watching a horror movie but stuff like that is a bit ridiculous.
I have to make a special note about the Roy reveal here. This is truly a WTF moment because it really does break the rules of horror movies. With the exception of one scene earlier in the movie where we meet Roy, there’s really no way that we could have known the killer was Roy. Oh that’s right… the blue stripes on the hockey mask were supposed to give it away. I can remember seeing this reveal and STILL not understanding what the hell was going on. I always wondered why Jason was wearing a mask of some dude. * shrugs *
If you’re a fan of Friday The 13th you’ve probably already seen this one. But if not I can’t recommend that you should. After all… this isn’t a Jason Voorhees slasher movie. It’s a Roy the paramedic slasher movie. Roy the FUCKING PARAMEDIC!!! I will say that there’s quite a bit of gratuitous tits and ass in here and some very inventive kills, but the fact that I saw this several times before I even figured out who the hell Roy was even after they TOLD us who he was in the epilogue makes this a non-recommendable film. All of that being said, I also can’t say that I didn’t enjoy re-watching it. How’s that for a wishy washy review?
So what do you think… too harsh? Not harsh enough?