Another entry in the Friday The 13th series, this one turns up and quickly reassures viewers that despite the title of the last movie, The Final Chapter, there is no rest for our hockey-masked killer yet.
A New Beginning continues the story of Tommy Jarvis (Corey Feldman’s character in the previous movie, he makes a small appearance here before we see John Shepherd playing the older incarnation) and his many problems. After what he went through in the previous movie it’s no surprise to find that Tommy is a troubled young man. He’s very quiet and prone to outbursts of anger and physical violence. Which is why he’s placed in Pinehurst Halfway House, a place that helps troubled youngsters get themselves better and eventually move back into normal society. But Tommy keeps seeing Jason everywhere. Is it just his imagination or is Jason, once again, back to start carving up locals with his machete?
Directed by Danny Steinmann, the best thing that can be said about this disappointing entry in the series is that it tries to be something a bit different. The screenplay, co-written by Steinmann with Martin Kitrosser and David Cohen, plays up certain ambiguous moments and throws in some interesting psychological issues for Tommy Jarvis. Of course, these things only crop up occasionally and don’t interfere with the standard stalk ‘n’ slash fun, for the most part.
The cast are far from memorable. Shepherd is okay and gets a decent amount of screentime, Melanie Kinnaman is actually slightly annoying as Pam Roberts, Shavar Ross is full of energy as “Reckless” Reggie and Dominick Brascia has to play one of the most annoying characters ever for his short time onscreen. Miguel A. Nunez Jr. also gets a small role, and is always someone I enjoy watching in horror fare.
The death scenes are okay, though far from the best of the series, and the movie sticks to the template of a scare or kill every so often with other time taken up sketching out thin characters you may or may not want to see survive and throwing in some occasional gratuitous nudity (at one point provided by the aptly-named Debi Sue Voorhees).
The movie, for reasons I won’t explain here, could have led to a very different direction for the whole series but things didn’t work out as everyone had hoped and so the next instalment was very much a return to what the fans wanted.
DIRECTOR: DANNY STEINMANN
STARS: JOHN SHEPHERD, MELANIE KINNAMAN, SHAVAR ROSS, RICHARD YOUNG, MARCO ST. JOHN, CAROL LOCATELL
RUNTIME: 92 MINS APPROX