Friday the 13th: A New Beginning

By Brett Mullins

Released: 1985

Directed by Danny Steinmann

In the first four entries in the Friday the 13th series, I've taken issue with the incredible amount of filler that hinders an otherwise interesting story about a deformed, deranged man hell-bent on revenge. On one hand, Part V overcomes these worries with an interesting murder mystery that largely parallels the first film; on the other hand, the audience is disappointed by the lack of character development.

A handful of years following his gruesome encounter with Jason, Tommy Jarvis is shuffled around to a rural treatment center, a funny farm so to speak. Though Jason is supposedly dead, just as Tommy arrives, the murders begin.

This entry is largely focused on Tommy's psychological health which, as one can guess, is not too good. This is an interesting angle and breathes a bit of life into a formulaic series in which the audience passively wonders "which underdeveloped character will Jason butcher next?" While this film features its fair share of death sequences, there is an element of mystery and surprise present. The audience is somewhat kept in the dark, and a good bit of suspense builds as a result.

The film's undoing results from an anticlimactic resolution. Perhaps Chris Rock had this film in mind when he asked "What ever happened to crazy?" Despite its acknowledgment by fans and critics alike as the 'blacksheep' of the series, A New Beginning is an interesting attempt to do something different and is far from the worst film in the series.

Rating: 5/10

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