Friday the 13th: A New Beginning (Danny Steinmann, 1985, USA)

Arriving very soon on the heels of Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter, which was supposed to have been the final installment in the Friday the 13th franchise, Friday the 13th Part V: A New Beginning was meant to represent a new turn for the franchise, wherein Jason would no longer play the main role of the villain. Disappointing returns on the film led the producers to reintroduce Jason again in later films. Danny Steinmann's directorial entry into the franchise is the weakest thus far. While the idea of another person imitating Jason to get away with murder is an interesting premise, the film doesn't do much with it.

Let's get it out of the way first: Friday the 13th Part V has some of the most bizarre and memorable scenes in the franchise. The opening scene, wherein one of the characters is brutally murdered by another character (not Jason) for offering him a chocolate bar, is one of the craziest moments in the franchise. Likewise, there are several memorable scenes, later on, involving the 80s-girl doing the robot dance in her room. However, unlike with previous entries, Part V somehow lacks any characters to identify with even most slightly. Even Tommy Jarvis (played by Corey Feldman in Part IV), who seems as though he should be the central character, is not featured so prominently. The other weakness of the film is the lack of creativity. As censorship was growing amid a backlash against slasher films, the filmmakers and producers were being more conservative in their approach to violence to appease the MPAA. This leads to most of the murders being offscreen. Finally, the four-times false ending is one of the most disappointing in the franchise so far. Hopefully, later franchise entries learned from this misstep and rediscovered what made the franchise entertaining. 


5/10

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