Back to a two film week, but we ain’t slowing down. Let’s get to the details!
What?! Jason is back, Jack! No… wait, not this time. Tommy Jarvis, left mentally unstable after killing Jason, is sent to a halfway house to try to reintegrate into society. No sooner is he there that a slew of new murders land on his doorstep. Will they be able to unmask the latest serial killer and stop the spree before it’s too late? Find out in… Friday the 13th: A New Beginning.
Why?! This is truly a new beginning for the series as we no longer are dealing with Jason as the killer. The motivation is largely the same, though: revenge for the loss of someone close to him at the hands of a bunch of sex-crazed, drug-influenced teens. This time it is revealed that the murderer is [SPOILER ALERT] a local EMT who happened to also be the absentee father of a kid killed at the halfway house. Driven to madness by his loss, he goes ahead and kills everyone he sees. As for Tommy, he’s just trying to put his life back together… and this probably isn’t helping.
How?! The first kill of the film is out of a ordinary as it is very clearly not committed by the murderer. We see the kid killed and the perpetrator arrested. But following his arrest the kills keep piling up, both at the halfway house and extending to the greater halfway house area. We are led to believe that perhaps Tommy is behind the killings (he has a knife, has anger issues, and disappears for half the film), but that is disproven at the end when Tommy rejoins the two surviving denizens of the halfway house to fight off the killer and throw him from the top of a barn to his death. In the end the killer’s identity is revealed, but it is strongly hinted that Tommy is giving into his darkest desires and donning the mask to kill anew… which doesn’t actually happen for Part VI because it’s a terrible idea and they should just bring Jason back to life because this film was lame.
Who?! This film has one of the worst comic relief characters we’ve had in a long time. Junior Hubbard is a redneck caricature that is both offensive and offputting. He’s super dumb, covered in dirt, and can barely function beyond eating and driving around on a motorbike. It is gross. He’s played by Ron Sloan who didn’t appear in much else and now deals art in Hawaii. His character is a good representation of how I felt about this film: it’s really, really, really bad.
Where?! Most everything points to this being set in New Jersey still (although a few places online suggest it’s set in California where it was filmed). The Unger Institute is mentioned, as is Forest Hills, which both seemingly have relevance later in the series. Also the main psychiatrist has degrees from Rutgers and The University of New York. The license plates look generic but could be New Jersey. That’s all we got to go on. It’s like they don’t even care that I try so hard. D.
When?! If we were ever given details I think this could be pieced together. All we know is that we have likely skipped about 5 years into the future. I don’t remember if it’s said for sure that Tommy Jarvis was 12 in Part IV and then 17 in Part V, but that seems to be what fans have settled on, putting this film in 1989. It’s like they’re purposefully trying to make it harder to figure out. D.
‘Ello everyone! Friday the 13th: A New Beginning? Wish they had just stuck with one beginning amirite? Also … wait, hath my favorite horror mega-franchise betrayed me? What’s that smell? It’s all over my face, oh no, dog poo in my face!! Prior to the fifth installment of the series Friday the 13th had been impressing me by wavering between below-average-but-self-aware to shockingly-entertaining. But this … this isn’t the Friday the 13th I know and love. This is a sham! Dog poo in my face, let’s get into it!
- The Good – Nearly nothing. The quality of the filmmaking has improved (to an extent). They finally rid themselves of the, what was certainly going to soon become ludicrous, conceit that each film began where the prior left off. That is it. Seriously.
- The Bad – Let’s go top to bottom. The acting is worse, the make-up (kill) artistry is terrible, the characters have fully morphed into caricatures, the idea that [SPOILER] you can just have a not-Jason running around killing people and people will like the movie is ridiculous, the movie isn’t scary or funny or anything else of interest or importance. This is the Halloween 3 of the franchise I think, it sticks out like a sore thumb because they clearly felt the need to do something different and completely botched the job. I genuinely hated this film and I’m angry it exists. Dog poo in my face.
- The BMT – I would gladly give this a 50 I suppose. Watching with a crowd and just ripping this piece of garbage apart would be pretty fun I bet. The BMT legacy? It is I imagine the turning point in what seems to be a quintessential bad horror franchise. They tried the old copy-cat killer, it didn’t work so … let’s bring Jason back from the dead. And voila, Jason Take Manhattan and Jason X are almost etched into the stars. But like Halloween III: Season of the Witch, it’ll never be more than a guidepost along the Friday the 13th bad movie trail. It can never transcend the limitations brought by being the fifth in a series. A tragedy to be sure.
Let’s Remake this. Why? Well they are thinking of rebooting the franchise again. So let’s imagine a world where they follow the same path and get to this point. They’ve killed Jason. They have a young boy who killed him. What do you do? Personally, roughly the same thing but with a twist. Jump forward ten years. Jason is long dead, and Tommy is a distraught young man haunted by dreams. But the wizened psychologist Dr. Hayes thinks he knows the ticket: an exorcism of Tommy’s demons with a trip to Crystal Lake itself. When they get there, with scientists and other patients in tow, little does Dr. Hayes know that the murders will start again … or does he? Ultimately it is revealed that Hayes is the father of one of the counselors killed in the summer of ‘58 and he is convinced Jason’s power still lurks within Crystal Lake itself. A battle with the possessed Tommy begins with Hayes’ true purpose revealed: eliminate the evil that destroyed his family and the small Lake town once and for all. Friday the 13th: A New Beginning. Getting a little dicey with that lore, but at least it isn’t this am I right?