‘Jason Voorhees is dead! His body was cremated. He’s nothing but a handful of ash…’
What better time to watch a Friday the 13th movie than on Friday the 13th? Except this movie doesn’t take place on Friday the 13th, technically doesn’t even feature Jason Vorhees, and is just terrible in absolutely every conceivable way…
An indeterminable amount of time has passed since Tommy Jarvis (John Shepherd) shaved his head to trick Jason and subsequently hoisted the iconic killer with his own machete. Tommy is understandably perplexed by this event, so much so that he is no longer Corey Feldman as he was in part IV, but an all together blander, less interesting actor. Elsewhere, there is a pair of hillbillies roaming around the woods eating stew and yelling, while a subplot with a barely glimpsed ambulance driver inexplicably returns with bells on during the film’s baffling conclusion. For a man who loves horror movie sequels, I can confidently say that this one is a total piece of shit.
As with some of the later Hellraiser installments, A New Beginning can barely claim to belong to the franchise of which it is supposedly representing. We learn nothing about Jason Vorhees here. We don’t even learn anything about Tommy Jarvis. Instead, we get a bland retread of concepts and ideas that we have seen many, many times before. The only thing being convincingly murdered here is the slasher genre.
Friday the 13th has always lagged behind both Halloween and A Nightmare on Elm Street in terms of sequels, but this marks the moment when things really took a turn for the worst. The frightening thing (indeed the only frightening thing to come out of this debacle – despite the fact it is supposedly a horror film) is that this is arguably not even the nadir of the franchise. Jason is still four years and three movies away from taking Manhattan at this point.
Even in the context of being the fifth entry in a franchise that was never really that well thought of to start with, Friday the 13th: A New Beginning utterly fails in every single horror movie sequel remit. Quite simply, one of the worst films ever made.