So Jason is dead right? I mean the last film was called ‘The Final Chapter’ and ended up with young Tommy going to town on Jason. The last film ended with some serious *wink, wink* about Tommy enjoying what he did to Jason & potentially going a bit crazy, pretty much setting up a sequel.
A New Beginning opens with the young Tommy visiting Jason’s grave on a dark & stormy night. He witnesses 2 men digging Jason up for a laugh. My suspicion meter went sky-high when it is revealed Jason was buried with his mask & machete. Sure enough, Jason wakes up & kills the pair before advancing on Tommy who wakes up just before Jason gets to him.
These movies sure love dream sequences…
Tommy is now 17, 5 years older & looking completely different to how he did as a child. He’s been in & out of mental institutions since the events of Part 4 & is now being moved to a half-way house for troubled teens. Clearly he is not ok appearing moody & withdrawn.
The halfway house is filled with one of the more wacky casts I’ve seen in a Friday movie so far whose personalities are paper thin. We have the horny pair, the Goth, the angry guy, the shy guy & the fat annoying guy who is not long for this world after pushing the angry guy’s buttons. He murders him with an axe in front of everyone & is promptly arrested.
It’s a nice & gory sequence especially when the two paramedics show up & check the body. Seemingly minor characters, they have a more important role then you might first think with one in particular being quite upset by his fellow paramedic’s blasé attitude to the body.
That night murders begin in earnest but by whom, we don’t know. A couple of punks are killed with a flare to the mouth & machete to the throat. The body count begins to rise & each death seems to have little reasoning behind it. Is it Jason or is it something more? The local sheriff thinks it is him but all signs point towards a potential Tommy going off the deep end especially as he continues to hallucinate about Jason.
The body count rises high in this movie, there are lot of people to kill some with barely any screen time at all before they are dispatched by the killer.
It’s not long before it is revealed to be Jason slaughtering his way through the local population & the half-way house kids. This makes little sense as this is no-where near Camp Crystal Lake & the lack of screen time for Tommy has you believing that he is being positioned as the killer.
The final third throws a spanner in the works as Jason corners the last survivors in a barn & then Tommy turns up. Fuck knows where he has been all this time but together they get the upper hand & knock Jason off the top floor onto a bed of spikes below. The mask comes off & we see that it wasn’t Jason all along but rather…aha, I’ll leave that spoiler out of this review. It won’t make much sense particularly when you consider the difference in size of both this killer & Jason.
The New Blood returns to the format that worked for most of the original, keeping you guessing on the killer’s identity but being nowhere as interesting. In fact this is the first of the series where I genuinely felt bored most of the way through. It says a lot that my most exciting moment was the arrival of the actor Miguel A. Núñez Jr who plays Demon here but I know him best for his portrayal of Spider in the Return of the Living Dead movie. Hs role is minor & he is killed off quickly but he lights up the screen by not being one big cliché!
The rest of the cast are unmemorable with the older Tommy being particularly bad. The finale in the hospital is incredibly wooden & an attempt to sequel-bait kind of embarrassing thanks to his acting.
Death scenes come to quick & fast for any to really make an impact (except the very first one). While gory, the randomness of it all doesn’t sit well & far too many are done off-screen only for bodies to be found later. This is a running theme throughout most of the movies but it’s really badly done here.
It’s disappointing to see the movies take a big step-back considering up to this point there hasn’t actually been a bad one. It’s interesting to know that this was supposed to start a new series of movies with Tommy as the new killer but the lack of success meant we would see Jason return in the next.
Friday the 13th - Part V: A New Beginning