Like any ongoing franchise, the “Friday the 13th” series was beginning to fall into a repetitive narrative. The filmmakers behind “Friday the 13th part V: A New Beginning” seemed to noticed this as they went for a different take on the slasher. Instead of solely focusing on a killer with no remorse we get to see the aftermath in a much rarer fashion.
It’s been 5 years since Tommy Jarvis put an end to Jason’s killing spree with a machete to the head. Now a late teen, Tommy is still feeling the horrors of that dreadful encounter with Jason. We get a brief cameo of Corey Feldman who witnesses Jason emerge from his grave. The scene’s imagery is spot on with the darkness that underlines the film. It quickly revealed that this is a nightmare of Tommy- one of many. As he begins to settle into Pinehurst, a youth development center. It’s quite evident that the terror is consuming him as he remains quiet and shy to other teens and staff. This fear evolves into a form of PTSD, which is done relatively well for the most part. John Shepherd does a great job of portraying the insanity and strife that fills the character of Tommy. On the surface, Tommy just seems like he has gone mad, but there’s enough material to chew on that supports the difficulties of PTSD. unfortunately, the other aspects of the film are held to this standard.
Nearly all other characters have little to no importance to the storyline. On top of the hollow dialogue, the side characters meet their demise very quickly; making their existence merely be bodies for the staggering kill count. “Friday the 13th Part V: A New Beginning” does have the highest thus far in the series, the majority of the kills are the tamest of the franchise. You hear the scream and impact, but the footage is masked by edits. This was a direct response to the MPAA’s list of requests in order to keep the film from going to “X”(Today’s equivalent to NC-17) It’s a shame no doubt. Several kills had some truly gruesome events occur but had to be dialed back a few notches for the theatrical release. Some footage can be found online if you are interested in what they might have looked like.
With Jason deceased, the film attempts to mirror the original by not showcasing who the killer is until the climax of the film. It’s a little humorous that the highest body count is done by an imposter and not Jason himself.
The compelling story arc of Tommy is greatly overshadowed by the lack of care in creating the supporting characters as well as the hindrance of the MPAA. It does a decent job continuing the story, but much like “Halloween III: Season of the Witch”, “A New Beginning” it was not what audiences expected, thus becoming a major disappointment.