Friday the 13th: A New Beginning (1985) Review: A Messy Plot
“If Jason still haunts you, you’re not alone!”
Synopsis: 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.
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This installment in the Friday the 13th series is sort of a mess, but the end result is still kind of entertaining. Ten years after the events in The Final Chapter, Jason has been reduced to a town legend and joke for those who never met him.
A New Beginning is the consequences chapter of this franchise (and we all know how I love those). Corey Feldman‘s character Tommy from The Final Chapter (played as an adult by John Shepherd) is once again the star. Now, though, he’s so damaged by his experience as a child that he’s unable to function and shuffled from place to place, finally ending up in an experimental free range mental health clinic surrounded by farms. Here he meets kindly staff and local officials, and a colorful cast of characters… but the idyll is broken almost immediately when one patient murders another.
Instead of things settling back down after the murder, things naturally get worse… and more murdery. Though the local sheriff (Marco St. John) suspects Jason is the culprit, no one else believes him. Meanwhile, Tommy is having a hard time keeping a grip on reality as his nightmares seem to be coming true.
A New Beginning is a weird mix of serious mental health issues and standard slasher fodder. There are several story threads that are dropped and never picked up again, and a number of pointless characters receive way too much screen-time for simply being murder victims. (I do love me some Miguel Núñez, but his character serves absolutely no purpose.) Despite the mental health angle, most of the characters don’t have much in the way of personality or backstory. Though there are a few nods to The Final Chapter and some fun situations, this isn’t a particularly well-loved film for franchise fans and doesn’t have a ton to offer for the rest of us, either.
Calamity Brains’ Rating: C+
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