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Thursday, October 24, 2013

31 Days of Halloween 2013 - Day 24




Friday the 13th: A New Beginning
1985
Danny Steinmann

It’s been a few years since the events of The Final Chapter and Tommy (John Shepherd) hasn’t been doing so well since he killed Jason Vorhees. Tommy has continuing hallucinations about the whole thing, and as a result, has been shuffled around to mental institutions. Tommy ends up at a halfway house. There he befriends a few kids, but soon enough, violent murders start happening in and around the place. Is Jason back from the dead? Has Tommy finally snapped? Or has someone else taken up the hockey mask?

A New Beginning gets maligned by fans of the series for being the one with ‘Fake Jason’, but I found that returning to a more traditional slasher element, the mystery of who is doing the killing, to be refreshing. At the very least it is an attempt to breathe life into a stale premise. As is also traditional, the reveal of the killer’s identity is pretty underwhelming, but keeping Tommy in play as a potential victim and murderer keeps things at least mildly interesting.   I also applaud the movie for moving away from the familiar camp grounds and at least initially giving us kids who aren’t out to merely to party. Once again, the MPAA forced most of the violence to end up on the cutting room floor, forcing a film series that is centered around murder set pieces to limp around on its mystery angle. A New Beginning is an experiment that was rejected by the fans, but I think it better than its reputation would have you believe.

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