And with this addition, perhaps the Friday the 13th franchise ship starts to sink a bit. Having enjoyed all four of its predecessors, I came into this film with high hopes. High hopes that were not met. While each of the previous films continued to develop Jason and attract viewers with new characters, deaths and story lines, this film brought that to a screeching halt. There wasn’t much hope for this film with its bad cast and disconnected villain; perhaps the studio should have waited more than one year to release it.
Friday the 13th: Part 5: A New Beginning takes the character of Tommy Jarvis (from Part 4), who is now much older (and no longer played by Corey Feldman), to a halfway house for teens in the middle of nowhere. Tommy is scarred from his last experience with Jason and is haunted by visions of him. I’ve put up with many a stereotype when it comes to the casts of these films, but this cast was truly terrible. Taking the plot to a looney bin for troubled youth somehow sucked the fun out of the film. Call me crazy, but it’s not as entertaining to watch Jason hack a troubled, stuttering teen to death as it is to watch him spear a couple having sex. I felt disconnected from this cast and it simply wasn’t as entertaining as casts in the past.
Disconnection was a theme for this film; I felt disconnected from the cast, the plot and the villain. I never thought it’d be possible to feel disconnected from Jason, but I did in this film. Many of his deaths involved people not in the core cast and those deaths didn’t seem to matter much since I didn’t even know the people. The film moved at an incredibly slow pace and I struggled to stay engaged. It was even difficult to maintain an interest in Tommy; his character arc stalled out in this film and left me wanting much more. The movie even tossed in a barn, which is always a hit, and even that didn’t excite me like it should have.
Overall, while this film had some gruesome deaths and a few jumps here and there, this wasn’t Jason’s best showing. This movie was boring and slow. The characters were awkward and lacked the usual spunk. It reminded me a bit of Halloween III: Season of the Witch in that it seemed like a misplaced film in the franchise. After four solid films, I expected more from this one and I worry it’s the beginning of a downward slide. Brace yourself, this ship may be about to sink.
If you liked Friday the 13th Part 5, you might also like Friday the 13th Part 6, Friday the 13th Part 7 and Friday the 13th Part 8.