Friday the 13th 5: A New Beginning (1985) Explained

An Average Movie-Goer’s Review

Spoilers! If you don’t want spoilers – check out the Spoiler-Free post

Friday the 13th 5: A New Beginning (1985) Explained poster

I love horror movies and if I’m going to watch them anyway, why not write an entertaining/funny review from the POV of an average movie-goer and not a professional critic.

Today we’re looking at the 5th entry in the Friday the 13th series, 1985’s Friday the 13th Part 5: A New Beginning

Days after Tommy Jarvis, now 17 and suffering from the trauma of killing Jason Voorhees, arrives at the Pinehurst Youth Development Center, people start dying and fear grows that Jason may have returned.

Is Friday the 13th 5: A New Beginning Scary?

Nah, unless gore scares you Friday the 13th Part 5: A New Beginning is not scary at all. There are a few jump scares but they’re all cheap and for the most part, are extremely easy to see coming. There’s also no tension or even attempts to build tension so that makes some scenes leading to a death, kind of boring.

Overall you won’t leave Friday the 13th Part 5: A New Beginning scared of anything unless you’re being forced to watch it again.

All Friday the 13th Explanations/Reviews:

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Friday the 13th 5: A New Beginning Full Plot Summary:

Last we left Jason in Friday the 13th 4: The Final Chapter, Jason returned to Crystal Lake after being presumed dead and did his thing by murdering a lot of people in the surrounding area. After dispatching multiple teens on vacation, he attempted to eliminate the Jarvis family but 12-year-old Tommy Jarvis (played by Corey Feldman) got the better of him and hacked him to death.

Unlike the rest of the sequels in the series thus far, Friday the 13th 5: A New Beginning doesn’t start off with a recap of the previous film so I guess you can say, this is a new beginning. Instead, we start off with 12-year-old Tommy Jarvis walking into a cemetery in the pouring rain and finding Jason’s grave.

Corey Feldman as Tommy Jarvis stands over Jason's grave in Friday the 13th Part 5: A New Beginning
Wait… was Jason short?

Hearing two men approaching, Tommy hides in the nearby trees and watches as the Jason-obsessed men dig up the grave to get a look at the killer. Conveniently Jason was buried with his machete which comes in handy when he comes back to life and murders his fans. Climbing out of the grave he spots Tommy watching him from the trees.

Jason comes back to life and sees Tommy in Friday the 13th Part 5: A New Beginning
“Hold up, is that- Hey Tommy, don’t move! I’ll be right there.”

Tommy, who is completely frozen in fear, watches as Jason approaches him and does nothing as Jason lifts his machete. This is revealed to be a nightmare when a now 17-year-old Tommy Jarvis (played by John Sheppard) wakes up in a van owned by the Unger Institute of Mental Health. 

Title screen!

A short time later the van arrives at Pinehurst, a private youth development center which, if I’m not mistaken, appears to be somewhere near Crystal Lake. Hey, you know what’s a good idea? Taking a traumatized victim of a mass murderer who is still having nightmares to the place where the murders happened… Oh, you mean it’s not a good idea?

At Pinehurst, Tommy meets with Dr. Matthew Letter (played by Richard Young) and Assistant Director Pam Roberts (played by Melanie Kinnaman). Dr. Matt basically describes Pinehurst as the cool uncle of mental institutions saying “There are no guards around man” and “Yea man, we do what we want, it’s like an honor system dude.” I paraphrased he’s more professional about it.

Richard Young as Dr. Matthew Letter, Melanie Kinnaman as Pam Roberts, and John Sheppard as Tommy Jarvis in Friday the 13th Part 5: A New Beginning
“Dude, you look like you’ve been brought to a place of past trauma, chill out man.”

In his room, Tommy places his pocket knife under his bed and is then jump scared by a spider on a string controlled by the young Reggie “The Reckless” (played by Shavar Ross). After Tommy scares him back with his homemade masks, Reggie explains that he, himself is not a patient at Pinehurst but just visiting his grandfather who works as the cook.

The two hear a police car arriving and Reggie rushes downstairs to see what’s up. Outside Sheriff Tucker (played by Marco St. John) arrives and informs Dr. Matt that he and his deputy caught two of the patients having sex near Ethel Hubbard’s farm. Apparently, Ethel isn’t a fan of Pinehurst and wants the place shut down so this isn’t a good look.

Unfortunately, Ethel Hubbard (played by Carol Locatell) and her son Junior (played by Ron Sloan) show up on a motorbike and cause a commotion. Before she leaves, Ethel threatens to kill anyone else who shows up on her farm uninvited. Since most of the characters appear in this scene, it’s a good time to introduce them. 

On the screenshots below from left to right we have, George Winter (played by Vernon Washington), Reggie Winter, stutterer Jake (played by Jerry Pavlon), the obviously goth Violet (played by Tiffany Helm), Robin (played by Juliette Cummins), Joey (played by Dominick Brascia), couple Eddie and Tina (played by John Robert Dixon and Debi Sue Voorhees respectively), and finally Ethel and Junior.

Later Joey attempts to help Violet and Robin with laundry but is holding a chocolate candy bar and dirties the clothes. After getting yelled at, Joey attempts to help another patient, Vic (played by Mark Venturini) who is chopping wood. Either everyone hates Joey or Vic is a dick because Vic immediately tells him to get lost and refuses his help.

Joey offers Vic a chocolate bar as a peace offering but Vic immediately chops it in half. Angry, Joey yells at Vic telling him he’s out of line which is really not insulting at all so it’s surprising when Vic takes it personally. How personally? Well, he attacks Joey with the axe and kills him and that squarely cements Vic in the “totally a dick” category.

We cut to a short time later with police and paramedics on the scene. Vic is quickly arrested and we learn from Dr. Matt that Joey was an orphan, his mother died during childbirth and his father was never seen again. Meanwhile, two paramedics walk over to Joey’s body which is covered with a sheet. 

Before they place him on a gurney, one of the paramedics, Duke (played by William Caskey Swaim) pulls the sheet down to observe the body and is a real dick about it, laughing when the others are shocked at the scene. The other paramedic Roy (played by Dick Wieand) is a bit too shocked at the scene and the camera lingers on his reaction for a little too long which always means there’s some secret yet to be revealed.

Dick Wieand as Roy in Friday the 13th Part 5: A New Beginning
Ignore the fact we’re doing this long dramatic pause on a random character we just introduced

That night the car of two guys straight out of Grease breaks down. As Vinnie (because of course he’s named Vinnie) attempts to fix the car, Pete goes to take a shit in the woods. A few minutes later someone lights a flare directly behind Vinnie and he naturally assumes it’s Pete. Demanding he stops, Vinnie learns it’s not Pete specifically when the stranger puts the flare into Vinnie’s mouth, killing him.

Later, Pete returns to the car but since Vinnie’s body is slumped over the engine, he assumes he’s still working on it. Pete gets into the car and starts it but is grabbed by someone in the backseat and killed. During both kills, we never see the killer except for his hands so I can’t call him Jason… yet.

Pete is killed in Friday the 13th Part 5: A New Beginning
Damn, Grease has a dark alternate ending.

Back at Pinehurst, Tommy has auditory hallucinations of the night he killed Jason. After taking his medication, he sees a hallucination of Jason wielding an axe behind him but it disappears. The next morning at breakfast Dr. Matt asks Tommy to run upstairs and get Eddie for breakfast but as soon as he tries to walk out, Eddie appears wearing a mask in an attempt to jump scare the group.

Seeing as Tommy isn’t a fan of random monsters appearing, he doesn’t laugh which causes Eddie to tease him. Tommy shows he also isn’t a fan of teasing because he flips Eddie over and begins pummeling him until Dr. Matt breaks them up. Don’t fuck with Tommy, got it.

Meanwhile, at Ethel’s farm, a stranger (played by Sonny Shields) shows up and offers to do some work in return for some food. Ethel reluctantly agrees and orders him to clean the chicken coup.

A stranger offers to work for Ethel in Friday the 13th Part 5: A New Beginning
“Me? I’m not dangerous, just want some food. And I definitely didn’t kill those Grease rejects… I mean what?

That night Billy, a worker of the Unger Institute of Mental Health and one of the transporters who brought Tommy to Pinehurst, drives up to a closed diner to pick up his waitress girlfriend Lana. 

While Lana gets changed inside the diner, Billy treats himself to some cocaine in his car and then opens the door, despite his windows being rolled down, to call out for Lana. I guess cocaine makes you believe yelling from an open door makes you somehow louder. This proves to be a bad decision because it puts him in the perfect spot to get an axe in the head, courtesy of our unseen killer. 

A few minutes later, Lana exits the diner and notices the cocaine Billy has spilled on the driver’s side floor. As she picks it up she notices a pool of blood just outside the door and, more alarmingly, a man holding a bloody axe. Lana attempts to escape but gets an axe to the stomach the moment she leaves the car.

The next day, presumably the Mayor visits the sheriff, and in an over-the-top Italianesque stereotype, hand movements and all, the Mayor demands the sheriff find the killer. The Sheriff says he knows who the killer is and claims it’s Jason Voorhees. Shocked, the Mayor refutes the accusations and says Jason was cremated years ago.

Back at Pinehurst, Eddie convinces Tina to follow him into the woods and have sex. Unbeknownst to them, they’re being watched by the stranger who is working for Ethel, and unbeknownst to the stranger, he’s being watched by the killer. The stranger finds out when he’s stabbed in the stomach and killed.

Several feet away, Eddie and Tina finish having sex and Eddie leaves to wash up in a nearby pond. Despite it being pretty close, Eddie doesn’t hear Tina’s screams as the killer uses garden shears to cut out her eyes. Eddie returns minutes later and jumps back against a tree when he discovers Tina’s body.

The killer wraps a leather belt around Eddie’s head and the tree and tightens it until it crushes Eddie’s head, killing him.

Eddie has his head crushed with a leather belt in Friday the 13th Part 5: A New Beginning
Well, I’m throwing all my belts away now

Later that evening, at Pinehurst, Pat prepares to take Reggie to a nearby trailer park to visit his brother Demon, I assume that’s a nickname. Dr. Matt, who’s concerned over Eddie and Tina’s disappearance, suggests Pat take Tommy with them and Tommy reluctantly agrees. 

At the trailer park, Pam and Reggie meet with Demon and his girlfriend Anita while Tommy waits at the entrance. As Tommy stares at the neon lights of the trailer park sign, he starts to experience auditory hallucinations but it’s interrupted when Junior rides up on his motorcycle. 

Realizing Tommy is from Pinehurst, Junior threatens him and takes a swing. Unfortunately for Junior, Tommy appears to be a black belt in kicking ass because he easily dodges and beats the shit out of him including kicking him in the dick. 

Hearing the commotion, Pam yells out to Tommy causing him to stop his assault. Shocked at what he’s done, Tommy runs into the woods.

Pam stops Tommy from beating Junior in Friday the 13th Part 5: A New Beginning
“Listen, I know this looks bad but excuse me while I run into the woods.”

Pam quickly gathers Reggie and the two drive off to search for Tommy. After they leave, Demon has to take a hellish shit due to some enchiladas he ate earlier and runs to the outhouse. Anita pranks him by shaking the outhouse and the two share a laugh, ah good times. 

The two then sing to each other which is the last thing I’d want to do while taking a shit but everyone has their couple goals. Anita suddenly stops singing and the outhouse starts shaking again. Assuming it’s Anita, Demon pulls up his pants (we didn’t see him wipe) and opens the door but is shocked to see Anita’s dead body blocking the door.

Demon recoils back into the outhouse and narrowly avoids the killer stabbing a sharp metal spear through the wall. After cowering to the other side of the outhouse, Demon is stabbed in the leg when the killer jams the spear through the wall again. Crying out in pain, Demon basically gives away his exact location and is stabbed through the stomach with the metal spear, killing him.

MIguel A Nunez Jr as Demon is killed in Friday the 13th Part 5: A New Beginning
Man didn’t even get to wipe his own ass

Arriving back at Pinehurst without Tommy, Pam and Reggie learn that George and Dr. Matt are missing although Robin says Dr. Matt went out to search for Tina and Eddie. Pam puts Jake in charge and tells Reggie to go to bed while she goes out to search for Tommy, Dr. Matt, George, Tina, and Eddie… basically most of the cast.

Pam leaves Jake in charge of Violet, Robin, and Reggie as she goes to search for the others in Friday the 13th Part 5: A New Beginning
“Guys, we’re totally fucked right?”

At Ethel’s farm, Junior has a temper tantrum due to getting beat up and rides his motorcycle crazily around the outside of the house. As he rounds a tree, the killer sticks out a meat cleaver causing Junior to get his head chopped off. 

Inside the house, Ethel is preparing a stew in front of the kitchen window as she calls out for Junior. The killer then jams the meat cleaver through the window and stabs Ethel in the face. What the hell is that meat cleaver made out of, adamantium?

We cut to Pam driving around searching for the missing cast when her car suddenly breaks down, so things are going great. Back at Pinehurst Jake and Robin are watching a movie when Jake admits to Robin that he has a crush on her. Thinking he’s joking Robin laughs causing Jake to angrily head upstairs.

Jake attempts to talk to Violet about the rejection but Violet is too busy listening to music, dancing, and reading a magazine and that’s already too many tasks so she sends him away. 

Violet refuses to talk to Jake about his rejection at the hands of Robin in Friday the 13th Part 5: A New Beginning
“I’m just really busy here, we’ll talk tomorrow it’s not like this is our last night alive, amirite?”

Closing her door, Jake takes a few steps and is met with a meat cleaver to the face. How did the killer sneak into the house without anyone noticing? How was he able to stand in the hallway without Jake seeing him for several seconds? Is this killer, presumably Jason, a ghost now?

A short time later, Reggie has fallen asleep on the couch and after failing to get him upstairs, Robin heads up to her room for bed. Laying down on the top bunk of the bunkbeds, Robin turns to see Jake’s dead body laying next to her. Before she can do anything, the killer stabs her with a machete from the bottom bunk.

The killer next enters Violet’s room who is busy doing dances that I can only assume would be huge hits on Tik Tok these days. Upon turning around, Violet sees the killer and before she can say “comment, like, subscribe”, the killer pins her to the wall and stabs her in the stomach.

Downstairs, Reggie wakes up and decides to check if Tommy has returned. He checks on Tommy first despite his own flesh and blood grandfather also missing. Entering Tommy’s room, Reggie discovers the dead bodies of Jake, Robin, and Violet and runs out of the room. Pam arrives, questions what is going on, and Reggie tells her to check Tommy’s room. 

Upon discovering the bodies the two-run downstairs. Wait… were we, the audience, supposed to think Tommy was the killer because if so, the movie does a really poor job at setting that up. Downstairs, Reggie trips near the backdoor and Jason busts through the backdoor in a dramatic entrance.

Jason appears with a new mask in Friday the 13th Part 5: A New Beginning
It would have been real embarrassing if Reggie and Pam hadn’t been right by the door to see this

Reggie and Pam run out the front door and make it to the nearby road where they find a parked paramedic van. Pam opens the door and Duke’s dead body falls out while Jason appears in another dramatic entrance behind the van. Seeing this, Reggie takes off without Pam in an unintentionally funny moment. 

Now separated, the two run through the woods looking for each and Pam stumbles upon Dr. Matt’s dead body pinned to a tree. Returning back to the Pinehurst house, Pam continues to search for Reggie when George’s dead body is thrown through the window. Hey, looks like Pam found everyone! Well, except for Tommy.

Pam runs out of the house and towards the barn as Jason approaches. Of course, Pam trips because everyone is tripping in these movies and Jason raises his machete to strike her. Before he does, Reggie breaks through the barn door riding a tractor, and heads toward Jason. It takes him several seconds to reach him and Jason just stands there like an idiot instead of moving a few feet over. 

Jason stands there as Reggie slowly drives a tractor toward him in Friday the 13th Part 5: A New Beginning
“Is that… is that a fucking tractor heading right for me?”

Unsurprisingly Reggie rams into Jason throwing him several feet back and knocking him out. Since this was before the widely known “double tap” rule, Reggie and Pam approach Jason’s body and are shocked when he gets back up. The two run into the barn and hide as Jason acts like he’s been hit by a tractor and slowly gets back up.

Entering the barn, Jason hears sounds coming from a closet and approaches it only to be met with Pam wielding a chainsaw. As Reggie watches on from the second level, Pam and Jason have a chainsaw machete battle with Pam able to cut at Jason’s arm. 

Pam attacks Jason with a chainsaw in Friday the 13th Part 5: A New Beginning
Bah god! It’s Pam with the chainsaw!

As she goes in for the kill, the chainsaw stops which is just some comedically horrible timing. Jason attempts to swipe at Pam but she defends herself because even though it’s not on, it’s still a damn chainsaw. Pam then throws the chainsaw at Jason, knocking him back as she climbs up to the second level of the barn.

Jason attempts to go after them but is distracted when Tommy freaking Jarvis appears at the barn entrance. Unfortunately, Tommy is too frozen to do anything and Jason swipes at him with the machete, slashing his chest. This is your hero?  

Jason goes in for the kill but Tommy pulls out his pocket knife and stabs Jason in the inner thigh causing him to fall back. Tommy then climbs up to the second level where Pam and Reggie are waiting. Jason climbs up after them and only finds Tommy’s unconscious body. Instead of killing him, he searches for Pam and Reggie.

Tommy passes out from his wounds in Friday the 13th Part 5: A New Beginning
“I could kill you but that kid hit me with a tractor and she cut me with a chainsaw, you’re not really a threat here.”

After Jason finds Reggie, Pam distracts him by hitting him with a pipe. Jason easily snatches it from her and Pam backs up nearly falling out of the barn opening. As she looks down, we see a tractor harrow which is basically just an iron spike trap and I’ll be disappointed if someone is not impaled on it.

Pam spots iron spikes below the barn in Friday the 13th Part 5: A New Beginning
You don’t place metal spikes out like that unless you want someone to fall on them

Jason lifts his machete to strike Pam but because he does this so slowly for dramatic effect, it gives Reggie enough time to push Jason out of the barn. Pam and Reggie look out of the opening and Jason is revealed to be hanging off the ledge. Before they can do anything, Jason grabs Reggie’s leg and attempts to pull him down. 

As Pam and Jason play tug-o-war with Reggie as the rope, Tommy wakes up, grabs Jason’s machete, and chops off Jason’s hand causing Jason to fall onto the spikes below. The three look over the edge and we see Jason dead but we also discover it’s not the original Jason. 

Under the mask, it’s revealed to be Roy, the paramedic that we lingered on a bit too long on after Joey’s death at the start of the film.

Roy is revealed to have been wearing a Jason mask in Friday the 13th Part 5: A New Beginning
I’m sure this reveal went over well with audiences

Later at the hospital, the sheriff arrives and tells Pam they discovered Joey was Roy’s son. Roy blamed Joey’s death on Pinehurst and since Roy had an obsession with the Jason murders, he took on the persona and set out to kill everyone at Pinehurst as revenge. Sure, we might as well add some out-of-left-field exposition to make it all make sense.

After learning all of this, Pam visits Tommy in his room but he reveals a machete and stabs her in the stomach. This is revealed to be a nightmare when Tommy wakes up in his hospital bed. As he lays back down, a hallucination of Jason appears but this time Tommy stares him down causing the hallucination to disappear.

Tommy gets up, looks in the nearby drawer, and finds the mask Roy used as Jason. Why would anyone put this in Tommy’s room? I mean, I guess it’s not that bad, what’s the worst that could happen? 

Outside Pam approaches Tommy’s room and runs in when she hears glass breaking. Upon entering she sees the window shattered and Tommy gone. The door closes behind her and Tommy, now wearing the hockey mask, appears raising a butcher knife as the film ends.

Tommy wears the Jason mask as he gets ready to attack Pam in Friday the 13th Part 5: A New Beginning
The worst that could happen

Friday the 13th Part 5: A New Beginning Spoiler Review:

Friday the 13th Part 5: A New Beginning is not good even if you’re a fan of the Friday the 13th series. The acting is okay at times but other times is over-the-top mainly from Ethel and Junior. The dialogue was probably the only thing that was good, in the sense that it felt real except for Ethel and Junior. Although Ethel was probably the best character if you accept that she’s going to be hamming it up every scene. The plot and story could have been good but it feels like the film was fighting itself on how to present the story.

Did it want to be a mystery slasher where you don’t know who the killer is? Maybe but then it doesn’t try to make you believe the killer is anyone else besides Jason, the ending twist proves that. You could switch out Roy for the Sheriff and have a different cop tell Pam that the Sheriff was Joey’s father in the end and the “twist” still works. You can do this with any of the other older characters that appeared in the film, the deputy, Duke the paramedic, Junior, Dr. Matt, etc.

Maybe the movie wanted to convince you that the trauma of killing Jason has turned Tommy into a killer but it does a horrible job of that. Not a single character ever points the finger at Tommy and he never acts suspicious. Maybe the movie wanted you to think Jason was back but then every kill is done by an unseen killer. If Roy is wearing the Jason mask, just show him killing people while wearing it. There’s no point in making him an unseen killer if he’s wearing a mask.

Basically while trying to juggle these three possible outcomes, the movie fails at being entertaining and consistent. Apart from that, Friday the 13th Part 5: A New Beginning is kind of boring. There are no tense scenes, no interesting characters, and no character development (maybe a little for Tommy).

Overall I don’t recommend Friday the 13th Part 5: A New Beginning even if you’re a fan of the Friday the 13th series.


Stuff to Ignore

Rotten Tomatoes – 18%

Metacritic – 16

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