Directed By: Danny Steinmann
Starring: Melanie Kinnaman, John Shepherd, Shavar Ross
Tag line: "A New Beginning to the first step in terror"
Trivia: Corey Feldman's scenes were shot on his day-off from filming The Goonies
It’s been a while since I last wrote about a Friday the 13th movie (over 3 years, to be precise), and Friday the 13th Part V: A New Beginning is the reason why. From the start, I promised myself that, if I addressed an entire series, I’d do so in sequential order, so, after writing up Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter in Feb. of 2011, A New Beginning was next on the list.
And I hate this damn movie! Hate it!
That’s not a word I’ve used often here, mostly because I take no joy whatsoever in despising a movie. I’m sure there are some out there who relish the chance to really lay into a film, cutting it to shreds with a scathing review, but I’m not one of them. When I love a movie (or at least really like it), the words come easy. If everything about a film rubs me the wrong way, my energy level drops to the point I want to steer clear of it. But seeing as there are later entries in the Friday the 13th series I feel are worth addressing, I knew, sooner or later, I’d have to tackle this stinker.
So here goes…
Haunted by the memory of his encounter with Jason Voorhees, Tommy Jarvis (John Shepherd) has spent years drifting in and out of mental hospitals, none of which have been able to help him. His latest stop is the Pinehurst Halfway House, a facility situated in the middle of the woods that’s owned and operated by Dr. Matt Letter (Richard Young). While a bit of an outcast at first, Tommy soon befriends Pam Roberts (Melanie Kinnamen), Dr. Letter’s assistant; as well as a young boy named Reggie (Shavar Ross), whose grandfather (Vernon Washington) works in the facility’s kitchen. But when one of Tommy’s fellow patients, a mentally slow teen named Joey (Dominick Brascia), is brutally murdered, it leads to a series of killings that suggest Jason Voorhees has returned from the grave.
Nearly everything about A New Beginning gets on my nerves, starting with its cartoonish characters, the most annoying of which are Ethel (Carol Locatell) and her son, Junior (Ron Sloan), the facility’s ornery neighbors who show up from time to time, acting as if they were the wife and son of Yosemite Sam. I cringed whenever these two popped on-screen, and while they were definitely awful, a few of Tommy’s peers at the Halfway House are almost as annoying (Joey, whose murder gets the story underway, is ridiculously over-the-top). Along with the characters, A New Beginning has scenes that left me scratching my head, like when Anita (Jeré Fields) serenades her boyfriend Demon (Miguel A. Nunez Jr.) while he’s in an outhouse, taking a dump. Of course, the absolute worst aspect of A New Beginning is something I can’t really discuss here: the final reveal. Even if the first 90% of the movie doesn’t bother you, the last few minutes will undoubtedly have you seeing red.
I suppose it’s not all bad; the opening scene, a dream sequence featuring a cameo by Corey Feldman, was effective, as were a few of the kills (Tina and Eddie, played by Debi Sue Voorhees and John Robert Dixon, break a cardinal rules by having sex, and pay dearly for their indiscretion). But in the final tally, the weaknesses far outweigh the positives, making A New Beginning the worst entry in the Friday the 13th series, and a strong contender for my least favorite movie of all-time.