Friday the 13th: A New Beginning (1985) Review

In what’s arguably a sad but foreseeable decline in the series, it’s worth noting that Friday the 13th: A New Beginning is the first film that feels truly mindless. It’s a statement that can be said about its predecessors, too, except a lot of that was mindless fun. Here, it’s just evident that this Friday’s filmmakers are more or less unintelligent beings, preoccupied with making a regular box office success for the franchise. And while it did do just that, Friday the 13th: A New Beginning was still a major downturn to its majority of viewers.

The fifth chapter doesn’t truly recognize or acknowledge characters at any given moment. Its protagonist Tommy, is very difficult to like when he is such a mute mess, hardly speaking and abruptly lashing out at anyone who gets in his face, and Pam – who I suppose is the film’s final girl – is hardly given enough screen time for the audience to find something to like about her. A New Beginning switches around so many times with its characters, all for nearly the same reason, which is to kill them. Some are introduced and executed in five minutes. It’s such a baffling and terrible way of storytelling.

Even the kills are underwhelming. I don’t know if what I saw had a better uncut version, but the kills were hardly innovative or entertaining. Perhaps death by flare was the one kill I found amusing, but by far, this the worst array of kills in the franchise. In fact, the first death on screen isn’t by the man behind the mask, but by an enraged mental patient. All I can say is I’m glad he took out the film’s most annoying character.

It’s possible that Friday the 13th: A New Beginning was trying to do something different. After all, it’s the farthest we’ve been from Camp Crystal Lake, and not to mention its main protagonist was a mentally troubled Tommy. But nothing hardly works, thanks to a poor supply of workers behind the camera, and even some in front. For a supposed new start to the series, it appears to be a lackluster fall.

3.5/10

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