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When I was growing up, the neighbor's kid, who was a couple years older than me, was a huge horror film fan. He had posters on the wall for a couple of the Friday the 13th films, and I was completely fascinated by them. From those images and what he told me about the films, I was able to terrify myself. I became a fan of Jason, years before I was able to see the films for myself. Even now the Friday the 13th series remains my favorite horror film series, over Nightmare on Elm Street, Halloween and anything more recent like the Saw films.

Every so often I'll watch through them again. I watched parts 1-4 again before Halloween, and was finally getting around to part 5. I don't know if I'll bother with part 6-9, they start to get pretty intolerable after this one, though I may check out Freddy vs. Jason again, I haven't seen it since it was in the theaters.

I think Part V: A New Beginning is probably the third best in the series, after the original, and The Final Chapter. The film opens with Tommy, played by Corey Feldman, who killed Jason in part IV, seeing him reborn, thanks to a couple of yokels who've decide to dig him up. Smash-cut to a grown-up Tommy on the way to a half-way house for loony-kids. He's become a bit messed-up, since Jason chopped up his mommy and sister, before he himself cut off Jason's head.

The characters here are pretty stock; there's the couple who can't get enough sex, the nerdy guy who wants to get with the slightly less nerdy, but cute girl, the sass-talking-black-kid, an 80's punk-chick, the doctor, the sexy-nurse, the rage-filled-psycho and the clueless-fat-guy. The psycho kills the fat guy with an ax, within about 10 minutes of the Tommy showing up, so he gets to witness another brutal slaying.

Soon the kids are getting bumped off one by one, for most of the film we don't get to see who is doing it, but Tommy keeps seeing Jason everywhere. Leading to the questions; is he just crazy, is he killing these kids, or is Jason really back from the grave? And I think that bit of mystery makes A New Beginning a little more interesting than some of the other films, where Jason magically comes back again and again. In this film, there's an actual real-world explanation for all the murders.

The death scenes in this film are pretty stock for the series, nothing really stands out, but they're not bad. I think fans miss seeing Jason himself do it, so that's why this film may not be held as high. But on the plus side, it contains the best nudity of all the films. If you watch Part 1 through 5, skipping the crappy part 3, you're getting the best of the series, and the bulk of the "important" storyline.

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