Homicidal maniac Jason returns from the grave to cause more bloody mayhem. Young Tommy may have escaped from Crystal Lake, but he’s still haunted by the gruesome events that happened there. When gory murders start happening at the secluded halfway house for troubled teens where he now lives, it seems like his nightmarish nemesis, Jason, is back for more sadistic slaughters.
Shares ground with the original _Friday the 13th_ as the only two movies in this 12 film long franchise that play the killer as a mystery. A lot of people don't like that, but just personally, they both work a hundred percent for me. _Final rating:★★★½ - I really liked it. Would strongly recommend you give it your time._
***Heavily criticized, but one of the most entertaining and re-watchable installments*** I find the "Friday the 13th" flicks appealing because they typically involve young adults in a fun camp-type environment in the woods; the presence of a lunatic killer just adds an air of danger and excitement. Although this fourth sequel in the series is maligned by many, it's the installment that turned me on to the long-running franchise. Say what you will but “A New Beginning” ( aka Part V), is one of the most entertaining and re-watchable segments. Released in 1985, the story centers around a halfway house for troubled youths deep in the sticks (filmed in Camarillo, California). Tommy Jarvis, who is still traumatized by the events of the previous film, arrives at the home, now approximately 17 years-old. Murders slowly start mounting up leading to an action-packed climax. Since Jason clearly died in the previous film, who is the killer? Is it Tommy? The first two films in the series were serious murder-mystery horror pictures. Part III added campy elements, which is the case with Part V. Although "A New Beginning" plays it semi-straight, it's filled with black humor (e.g. when the ambulance man kneels over a hacked-up body and makes a hilarious comment to the frightened youths standing nearby), not to mention the OTT goofy mother/son hillbillies. In fact, there are so many laugh-out-loud moments that it's almost a comedy. Which is not to say it's bad; like I said, Part V is one of the most entertaining segments. If the campy hillbillies turn you off just chalk 'em up to side entertainment. The deep woods halfway house for people with emotional problems is an interesting set-up and caught my attention right away; it sets this installment apart from all the others. In addition, Tommy, played by John Shepherd, is an interesting character: He's understandably troubled and there's a mystique about him (is he a hero or a mad killer or maybe both?), not to mention he can kick some arse when he has to. Speaking of which, a critic complained about Tommy's fighting skills being unrealistic, but it makes sense that he would do something like learn martial arts over the past five years to occupy his time and cope with emotional trauma and loss. There's nothing unrealistic about it. The film is also notable for featuring perhaps the best assortment of women in the series: three blondes, a brunette and a redhead, no less. The lead blonde, "Pam," is played by Melanie Kinnaman, the protagonist of the story, who's so striking it's hard to take your eyes off her. What's interesting is that Melanie is one of the few comely females in the cast that is never shown nude or partially nude. She's fully clothed the entire picture (although she has a wet-shirt moment) proving that a woman doesn't have to flaunt her beauty cheaply to get attention or instill awe. ***SPOILER ALERT*** (Don't read this paragraph if you haven't seen the film). Aside from being entertaining like most of the installments, it should be pointed out that Part V does something better than any other film in the series: It shows the long term negative EFFECT Jason (and his mother) can have on people. Jason isn't physically present but his lingering, haunting diabolic presence permeates the atmosphere. So much so that Jason de-creates in his own lunatic image with the killer and Tommy Jarvis donning the mask at the end. In fact, the ending leads one to the conclusion that either Tommy has gone psycho or that he is the new embodiment of Jason (although Part VI implies that it was a dream or Tommy's imagination and not reality). This isn't that outlandish of a theory given that "Jason Goes to Hell" (Part IX) explains that the demonic thing that possesses Jason has body-leaping powers. It may very well be concluded that Roy and, later, Tommy were possessed by the spirit of Jason in this manner. Adding support to this theory is the superhuman strength displayed by the killer throughout. For example, he literally smashes through a door, breaking it to pieces, he hurls an adult man up and through a window, he decapitates a guy with one swipe of a cleaver, etc. No ordinary human being could do these things, unless they were possessed by a malevolent force/entity. ***END SPOILER*** Some of the cussing is a bit overdone. I'm sure the filmmakers threw it in as a comical touch. It goes without saying that if you find overkill cussing offensive you might want to skip this one. BOTTOM LINE: "A New Beginning" is just a fun and entertaining deep woods horror flick with numerous highlights noted above, including black humor and camp. It’s easily the most all-around kinetic movie in the series and one of the few that works as a mystery, like the original. As to the criticisms regarding the absence of a certain character, again, the film does a good job of showing what can ultimately happen to those severely traumatized by Jason. Not to mention the fact that Jason IS present in spirit, literally. So, yes, it's a vital part of the series. The film runs 1 hour, 32 minutes and was shot in Southern Cal (Camarillo, Beverly Hills & Los Angeles). GRADE: B+