Friday The 13th: A New Beginning (1985)

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Overall Rating 55%
Overall Rating
Ranked #2,547
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Connections: Friday The 13th

Still haunted by his past, Tommy Jarvis - who, as a child, killed Jason Voorhees - wonders if the serial killer is connected to a series of brutal murders occurring in and around the secluded halfway house where he now lives. --IMDb
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Review by Chad
Added: May 1, 2005
In the fifth entry in the F13 series, we open things up with Corey Feldman reprising his role as Tommy (remember, that kid from the previous and "final" movie?) Young Tommy is running through the woods, en route to the grave of one Jason Voorhees. When he finally arrives at the grave-site, it doesn't take long for too other men to show up behind him. Tommy hides in the bushes, and watches on in horror as these two men begin digging up Jason's grave to get one last look at the infamous serial killer. When the top of Jason's coffin is ripped open, he comes back to life and kills both men, before spotting Tommy and coming after him. Then, Tommy (John Shepard) wakes up. No longer is he a frightened child watching on as Jason is about to murder him with his trademark machete, but he's now an adult cooped up in the back of a moving van. We soon find out that Tommy has had severe mental problems since he murdered Jason in self-defense in the last entry, and has been bounced around from one mental hospital to the next ever since. He's also currently en route to the next mental hospital that he'll be staying at, and it doesn't take long after his abrupt awakening for him to arrive at his destination.

This "hospital", he discovers, isn't like all of the others. No, this one consists of cabins out in the woods, where the patients basically get free reign over the property. The owners of the place, Pam (Melanie Kinnaman) and Matt Peters (Richard Young) introduce themselves, and they seem like nice enough folks in Tommy's eyes. Tommy also meets the other people living at this place, those being youngster Reggie (Shavar Ross), Victor (Mark Venturini), Joey (Dominick Brascia), Raymond (Sonny Shields), Tina (Deborah Sue Voorhees, how fitting), Eddie (John Dixon), Jake (Jerry Pavlon), Robin (Juliette Cummins), and Violet (Tiffany Helm). As Tommy's getting settled in up in his room, he hears a commotion outside... looking out, he see that one of the patients (Victor) has murdered another (Joey) with an axe. What a great way to start out his stay at this locale, eh? Paramedics Roy (Dick Wieand) and Duke (Caskey Swaim) show up to haul off the body, while the police show up to cart Victor off to jail. All seems fine and dandy now, after everything has calmed down. however, this murder seems to have set off a murdering streak out in these woods as bodies start turning up left and right. Could Jason have returned to finish off Tommy once and for all?

While the core of the movie remains consistent with the themes found in the previous entries, those being stupid teenagers out in the woods, lots of sex, some drug usage, and a whole slew of murders, there's actually some interesting and original ideas to be found here. The neat thing about this movie is that while all of the murders are done in typical Jason-style, we don't know whether or not it's actually Jason until the end of the movie. This lends a certain thriller aspect to the movie, as we're led to believe that the killer could be one of many people, Jason himself included. Fans of the series won't be disappointed, however, as while there are indeed thriller'ish themes in the movie, this is still a slasher film at heart, and quite a gory one at that... by the time the credits roll, we have witnessed twenty-two murders. Not a bad body count there, not at all. Then, we have the grand finale of the movie, a scene which sets us up perfectly for a sequel and leaves us anxiously anticipating the next entry. This, my dear reader, is how a slasher film should be done.

In fact, my only complaint with the film would be the lackluster acting. Now, I would normally dock points for that, but that's pretty much par for the course when it comes to these long-running horror series. If you viewed this one anticipating award-winning performances from any of the cast members involved, you really picked up the wrong film. Everyone that is actually involved with the movie in some capacity (not counting the body-count fodder) does an adequate enough job, and the only reason that I'm even mentioning the acting abilities in a film such as this is because of the storyline. As I mentioned, this isn't just another run-through-the-woods slasher film, though that element is certainly present. This one actually features a storyline, and the storyline that is found here could have been infinitely better has some better casting decisions been made. The exception to this, however, would definitely be the rednecks that run the farm across from the mental facility. Ethel Hubbard (Carol Lacatell) and Junior (Ron Sloan) are, hands down, the best characters in the film. They're there for one reason, and one reason only... comedic relief. Normally, I gripe about comedic relief in horror films, but these two kids were just too good to receive any sort of bitching from yours truly.

Overall, this was definitely one of the better entries in the series. Fans of huge body-counts won't be disappointed, and those wanting a little storyline substance to go with their gore would also be pleased with this one. This has been the best entry in the series thus far, and for that, I'm going to go with an 8/10.
Crispy #1: Crispy - added April 8, 2005 at 7:49pm
that little twist at the end is the only thing that kept me from hitting Perfect
Tristan #2: Tristan - added May 4, 2007 at 1:48am
I found they actually tossed a nice bit of comedy in this one. And oddly enough, I found it pretty funny. The inbred family, or whatever they were, killed me. I usually hate that sort of thing, ie The Last House on the Left, but it really worked here. One of the better entries in the series I'd say. 9/10
Nirrad #3: Nirrad - added January 8, 2008 at 2:09pm
This was the first one that I saw, and wasn't a big fan. I remember watching it at my friends house and almost stopped paying attention because it was boring, and I also didn't understand the "twist" when I watched it. I can't believe you guys think it's one of the better ones. I remember on the Friday the 13th forum(RIP) that almost everyone thought this was the weakest, mainly due to the lack of Jason.
Rest Easy Soul #4: Rest Easy Soul - added January 24, 2010 at 8:26pm
I loved this one, but not as much as 4. Corey Feldman made that movie awesome. I really only enjoy IV-VII of this series but this is the second best IMO.
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