Friday the 13th, Part V: A New Beginning (1985)

Review

The reboot — Hollywood’s answer to reviving a franchise that was given the commercial kiss-off previously. It’s the go-to move when money mandates you give a series a second chance. In the case of Friday the 13th, Paramount had already promised that The Final Chapter would be the last installment in the Voorhees family legacy. Such a stance led to a really exceptional scare installment. But the cash created by the finale suggested there was still life in the old slasher stuff yet. So they reopened the mythos and tried to take it in an entirely new (but still familiar) direction. The results, labeled A New Beginning, were indeed a revamp for slice and dice cinema.

After hacking Jason Voorhees to death, Tommy Jarvis (Corey Feldman, and later John Shepherd) continues to be haunted by visions of the notorious killer. Said hallucinations have landed him in a number of institutions, the latest being a nature-themed community center called Pinehurst. There he meets the staff as well as the rest of the troubled teens needing managed mental care. When one of the kids is axed to death, the sullen Sheriff Tucker (Marco St. John) starts to fear that Tommy is turning into his old nemesis. As more bodies start turning up, the whole area grows wary, including Ethel (Carol Locatell), an irascible white trash mother and her bumbling, blubbery son Junior (Ron Sloan). They’ve hated Pinehurst ever since it moved in next to their property, and now with the rash of killings, their redneck anger is amplified even more.

There’s nothing wrong with trying to turn Friday the 13th‘s iconic killer from a supernatural slayer to a more human-oriented horror. After all, with his skull split open and his guts spilling out, Jason’s no longer much good at being the bad guy. But it is surprising that they took Tommy, the only clear hero in all the slasher series’ mythology, and turned him into our latest variation on the villain.