Director: Danny Steinmann
Starring: Melanie Kinnaman, John Shepherd, Shavar Ross, Richard Young, Marco St. John
If Jason still haunts you, you’re not alone!
Tommy Jarvis is still traumatized after the events that occurred on Camp Crystal Lake when he was a child. He is now a young adult and is going to be living at a new mental institution that is set out in the woods, not too far away from the legendary camp.
The institution is very free and the kids partake in regular chords. Shortly after Tommy arrives though, another patients attacks and kills another one with an axe. Tommy keeps having hallucinations about Jason and is sure that the evil killer is once again after him and that everyone is in danger.
The original four Friday the 13th movies all felt connected and went for the same type of tone with minor adjustments. The fourth one was supposed to be the final film in this series, but since it ended up doing very good numbers the studio had to find a way to continue the saga. So they tried here to give us a standard slasher film with a twist at the end, which doesn’t work very well. Instead of being fresh like the previous Friday films, this one ends up being just another generic 80’s slasher film that gets by with having the iconic killer to work with.
Tommy Jarvis has grown up since the last time we saw him. He is now played by John Shepherd who doesn’t have any traits of the young Tommy from the previous film. The character doesn’t work here since we only see him as a nervous wreck and don’t get to know any other sides to him. It helps to make your leading role smile at least once in a film if you want the audience to care for him.
The new characters add little to the film and their faces and names will be forgotten shortly after you’ve watched this. The only exception is young Reggie played by Shavar Ross who put in a good effort and brings some energy to the film. I won’t put the blame on the young cast for this though since there is no attempt at developing the characters from the filmmakers whatsoever. One of the girls listens to her Walkman during the entire film and barely says anything. I would have liked to see her survive while enjoying her music without noticing what went on at all. Too bad the makers of this didn’t see the same opportunity for some comedy relief in that.
Barely any of the characters show any signs of mental disorders either, which makes me curious of what they where doing in this institution in the first place. Besides Tommy, the only two teens with real mental trouble went away very fast since one killed the other. Funny how the one with anger problems where set to cut wood with a big and deadly axe. There are also a couple of rednecks that are supposed to be comedic relief that gets more annoying than anything else.
The director of this film was Danny Steinmann who had just done the excellent revenge film Savage Streets the year before. He disappeared after doing this one for some unknown reason. Yeah, this might not be the greatest slasher in the world but it did make money and he should have been able to continue working, regardless of the faults he had on this project.
This entry also started having very random victims that had no relations to the other characters and where simply put in the film to add to the body count, something which would be continued in every Friday film after this. The nudity is also increased from the previous films.
Friday the 13th V: A New Beginning is true to its title. It is the beginning of generic slasher films that are lucky to have the Jason character in them. It also marks the end of the first four Jason films which had more quality and fun than any of the later entries. A New Beginning isn’t a terrible film, it’s just very generic. Slasherfans will still be entertained, but it’s not something I would show to anyone who wants more than a lunatic killer going around cutting people up.