Sunday, December 15, 2013

Movie Review: Friday The 13th: A New Beginning

Now Just to let  you know that there are going to be some major spoilers in this review, so I advise you to watch the movie before you read this. Even though the final chapter was slated to be the last Friday film, it still made millions at the box office. So why not make another sequel, right? To explain things furthermore, it was supposed to be the final chapter for Jason and A New Beginning for Roy Burns. I don't why they would have a new killer, besides the fact they had Jason in three movies already. But on top of that, this wasn't the issue I had with the film. It was the overall sleaze factor that made me uncomfortable. The unlikeable characters, the unnecessary nudity, and it's also got this weird campy vibe. It wouldn't feel out of place in any exploitation movie. I just feel that that's not the what the Friday the 13th movies are. Yeah, some may see it as pointless slashers but it's the kind of horror movie that's a staple of pop culture and it's way far remembered than any of the imitators that tried to pull it off but came exploitative instead. Which is sadly what this movie felt like. I'm not saying it's bad but it's not great either. Though it does have some shining moments, which makes it stand out more.
Here's the story: Years (I don't know how many) after the events of Final Chapter, Tommy Jarvis, now an emotionally-damaged young man, is sent to a troubled youth center. He is constantly plagued by terrifying visions of Jason, while keeping his sanity intact. Meanwhile, a string of  murders are happening around the campsite. Could it be that Jason has risen from the dead again?

Some of the acting was okay. Some were good, some were sort of bad. It's kind of a 50/50. It was hard for me to catch up with some of the characters since there were so many. So I'm only along for the ones who I think are the most memorable.

First, let's start with John Shepherd as Tommy, who was clearly the strongest actor in the movie. He plays a young man that is clearly tortured by his memories of Jason.

Throughout the film, he seems to be slowly losing his sanity and his grip on his reality. And once he able to face his fears it's too much for him, but suddenly he gains the strength to fight off the monster and get his life back together.

Though again, the haunting memories of Jason is too much and he falls deeper into a darker path.....

John Shepherd was the best part of the movie. It's a shame that it tends to lose focus on him as he was the most interesting, well-developed. Instead we focus on the obnoxious, repulsive characters who meet their end by a would-be killer (which will be discussed later). John Shepherd captured the emotional torture Tommy was going through and brought on a very intense nature to the role. Not to mention, he is quite handsome and an impressive body, too.

Then there's Pam. There's not much to say about Pam, because there's not much focus on her. Yeah, she serves as the film's Final Girl, but she's pretty much in the background for most of the time. There is some development to her character as she has a motherly presence beyond the group of kids. Melanie Kinnaman  did a great job, especially the scenes involving her and the killer.

Pam may not be as memorable as the previous final girls, but she still is badass. The scene where she fights the killer with the chainsaw has got to be the most remembered.

Then there's Reggie The Reckless (I don't know his last name) played by Shavar Ross from Different Strokes. Reggie is sort of a love it or hate it character. Although I did find him annoying at times, he is probably one of the most memorable characters, believe or not.

But one of my favorite characters in this is Violet, the new wave punk girl. It would've been interesting if she survived the movie. She doesn't get much screen time but once she's on screen, she steals the show.

Probably one of the most talked about and most popular scene of the movie, my personal favorite, is Violet's dance. You just have to see it for yourself:

The song is quite catchy, too
And let's not forget the hillbilly mother and son....

A total hoot!


The body count is a whooping 22. Though it's a shame Jason wasn't the one riling them up. The kills are quite creative, but it's quite impossible for a human man to have massive strength like that. Yes, I said human.

Which we'll explain about Roy Burns. It's pretty obvious he is the killer of the movie. Even his introduction is a massive spoiler but since this is a Friday the 13th film and previous films featured Jason, you would never think that.

The start of Roy's rampage, begins when one of the patients, Joey, is murdered by another patient named Vic Morrow. Now when I first saw this, it really put me out of my comfort zone. To have one of the teenagers kill one of their peers, besides Jason, it's pretty jarring yet interesting. And this is what starts the plot...Roy Burns just so happens to be one of the paramedics to pick up his son's (Joey) dead body. Once a Jerkass paramedic makes a harsh comment, that's when Roy's rage takes over.....

Fans weren't exactly thrilled with this twist but I think this was something fresh and new. It threw me off at first, though afterward, I was perfectly okay with it.
Now for some behind the scenes facts. In the original script, the opening dream was different. It opens up as a continuation from the ending of final chapter as the young Tommy Jarvis is taken to the same hospital with Jason and winds up killing the whole staff, trying to get to the body. He finally finds Jason where he rises from the operating table before the teenaged Tommy wakes up on his way to Pinehurst. Honestly, that would've been a stellar opening.

Corey Feldman was originally to have been the star of the movie but due to scheduling conflicts, including his involvement in The Goonies movie, he only did a cameo.

Gina Gershon was one of the actress to play the part of Tina but I guess her agent wasn't all hyped about the nudity for the role, so she turned it down.


Then there's Darcy DeMoss, who would later star in part 6, was given the role since she was actor John Robert Dixon's girlfriend at the time. After many setbacks, the filmmakers put her on delay because she wasn't "endowed" enough (real classy, you guys). So eventually Debbie Sue Voorhees, who was a playboy model, got the part. Having all this trouble to find an actress with a role that involves nudity is pretty ridiculous but since Danny Steinmann was a softcore porn director back in the 70's, I guess it was important to him.

Mark Venturini and Miguel Nunez Jr. would later star in The Return Of The Living Dead. Thom Matthews, who also starred in the movie, would later play Tommy Jarvis in Part 6. Mark Venturi was once considered the role of Tommy Jarvis but decided Vic was more of the role for him.
The film was submitted to the MPAA NINE time before it had a proper release, because of the graphic death scenes and the one sex scene involving Tina and Eddie, which Danny Stienmann wanted to keep but the producers cut it down. I guess the sleaziness of it made them a tad bit uncomfortable.
I really don't think this is the worst of the series. It's actually quite watchable. It's not the best but at least I give it points for doing something different. Although, Jason doesn't appear in the film, it's still is your usual Friday The 13th but what puts me off is the sleaziness of it and some of the characters tend to be rather irritating. And furthermore, I wished they would've focused on Tommy's arc more since he was the most interesting and much more well-developed than in part 6.
Even though, this is the weakest of the series, it's still is entertaining.
My Last Word: Mediocre, but still watchable.

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