This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.
Dave Jackson’s review published on Letterboxd:
This review may contain spoilers.
I went into this viewing with a positive vibe. A vibe that perhaps led to this being quite the disappointment. Of all the Friday films, this, A New Beginning, is the one I watched the least as a bloodthirsty teen. I think this is purely thanks to the fact that my local video store didn't carry it. I think I've seen it twice. Maybe even just once. I remember when I first saw it, I went in with rock bottom expectations, knowing this to be infamously the shittest Jason film, and ended up kind of enjoying it. I felt that it had an unreasonably bad rap due purely to the fact that Jason isn't the killer. Watching it this time, after re-visiting the first four films, fuck, yeah, this is pretty shitty and well-deserving of its terrible rep. It's not just the fact that it's not Jason (though ROY! wtf worst twist ever) as the killer, but also because it's quite the piss weak slasher. All the murders are joyless and vanilla after the utter gore-drenched carnage of The Final Chapter. The whole setup feels pointless. It spends so long trying to convince us Tommy is the killer before pulling a braindead switcheroo, only then giving us another dumb twist at the end. Ultimately, it's just a mess. A stumble along the path to the joy that is zombie Jason of the brilliant Jason Lives. This is a series at a crossroads, totally unsure of where to go next. But that's also what I kind of enjoy about it. Ultimately, this is what the Friday the 13th series is: a mess. A franchise that didn't plan to be a franchise. Each movie a confused step forward. Or backward. Or sideways. This film sucks, but it's a piece of dumb slasher history that nonetheless entertains.