61 Days of Halloween: Friday the 13th: A New Beginning

Most holidays worth their while encompass entire seasons, such as Christmas, for example. However, as you may have noticed there is a corporate push every year for us to think about the next holiday even sooner. While this has many negative side effects I figure I may as well embrace it.

Since Labor Day is really only good for college football and movie marathons cinematically it is as significant as Arbor Day, which means the next big day on the calendar is Halloween and we can start looking toward it starting now.

Daily I will be viewing films in the horror genre between now and then and sharing the wealth. Many, as is usually the case, will not be worth it so for every disappointment so I will try and suggest something worth while as well.

Friday the 13th: A New Beginning

As per usual this installment started with scenes of the previous films spliced in, here however they finally get creative with it and have it be more montage style and less blatant exposition as it also shows several memorable kills right off the bat to get the audience’s appetite whetted for what’s to come.

The film also picks up immediately with the paramedics and police clearing the scene of the latest massacre. In a very nice touch the film actually takes a breath once the camp is empty anew and lets us realize that this was just the scene of chaos and now it’s as if nothing happened, all we hear are the crickets. It’s perhaps the best of the few masterful strokes this film has. It’s a film that eventually trips itself but that was a great moment.

The dialogue throughout most of the film is nothing short of a train wreck. Couple that with much overacting and it’s difficult to have sympathy for many of the characters who Jason is about to slay.

There are too many characters in the equation in this film, especially considering how it ends. You meet the Jarvis family, then a group of teens going to a cabin in the woods (cue the score from Evil Dead: The Musical) and the twins they meet and then a Jason hunter. Now I am well aware that this is a body count franchise but the time could’ve been alloted differently. Shorter teen & twins intro, shorter canoodling sequence, get them killed build the Jarvis family and the “Jason hunter” who will factor greatly in the film.

There are, in the end, too many balls in the air that don’t really have any bearing on the end of the film or the main thrust of the film. Again these things can still happen but they were either too long or repetitive. There is some bad random 80s dancing, randomly found silent porn which is watched for too long, a lot of cattiness both of the male and the female variety that can all be avoided.

While the end with Jason being fooled by Tommy and Tommy’s turn are wonderful truly masterful strokes there is prior stupidity that undercuts its effectiveness. The main sticking point is this: Trish is frantic when she finds out Jason’s loose and has to get home to protect Tommy. She returns home in a panic to confirm he’s fine. She is informed their mom is missing. Even though “The Hunter” insists she stays home while he finds her and Jason she insists on going…which leaves Tommy, who she was just so panicked about, alone again…come on man! It’s the simplest fix in the world and it wasn’t fixed and just took me out of the moment. Suspension of disbelief, gone.

The end does manage to be effective. If you like the series and are a completist definitely view it but it was hanging on by thread to liking it but that lapse in logic lost me.

4/10

61 Days of Halloween- Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers

Most holidays worth their while encompass entire seasons, such as Christmas, for example. However, as you may have noticed there is a corporate push every year for us to think about the next holiday even sooner. While this has many negative side effects I figure I may as well embrace it.

Since Labor Day is really only good for college football and movie marathons cinematically it is as significant as Arbor Day, which means the next big day on the calendar is Halloween and we can start looking toward it starting now.

Daily I will be viewing films in the horror genre between now and then and sharing the wealth. Many, as is usually the case, will not be worth it so for every disappointment so I will try and suggest something worth while as well.

Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers

Danielle Harris in Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers (Universal)

This installment immediately starts off on the wrong foot with a pulled punch. We back track and see what Jamie really did do and it lightens the blow severely and nearly retroactively damages the previous film.

This film suffers from lulls. Michael is quite absent and when he appears he is all too visible. Many of the kills occur offscreen and corpses are discovered later.

The corpse shock scene, where our hero discovers Michael’s victims after their death, is a staple of this series but this installment goes to the well one too many times, at least.

This film is less of a slasher film than the others in the series and while that change is welcome and perhaps even necessary, the drama and traditional horror we are left with need to be equally as compelling and it is not.

Jamie’s symbiosis with Michael never fully gets addressed or explained yet in this installment it gets amplified. In a film like E.T. that sort of explanation isn’t necessary as we are dealing with extraterrestrial life. Here a theory or even a guess would’ve been welcome.

There are also several protracted bogus scares in this film which are a complete and utter waste of time and are not an adequate substitute for a lack of involvement by Michael himself in the film.

This film even goes so far as to include a car chase which is so far removed from what makes this series work that it’s not even funny. This just exemplifies some of the screenplay issues that this particular installment was faced with.

One thing this film does have going for it is that it isn’t replete with people you’d like to see die so there is a minimal investment in the film in that way but there are so many problems that you’re almost surprised they didn’t break Michael’s connection to Halloween and have him show up in mid-November instead.

Near the end he actually does shed the tears that he shouldn’t be able to. Part II handled it right with a bullet to the head forcing blood out his mask’s eyeholes.

To close it up the penultimate showdown between Michael and Jamie is in a laundry chute. It was as uncomfortable to watch as I’m sure it was to shoot and then of course you have the end.

The ending is a cop out where there is yet another explosion but that’s all. Again somewhat like Part II only nowhere near as effective. You see nothing. Just flames and we end. It’s no wonder that no one wanted to pick up and run with this series immediately following that point, it was not a high. Not at all.

1/10