As if the rights holders of the “Friday the 13th” franchise” were embarrassed after part 6 to have put out a movie that was good, funny, and people enjoyed, we’re right back down in the garbage for part 7. Tommy, the kid who made it through the last three, is gone (the title, “The New Blood”, was a clue to fans that we’re back to Jason being front and centre, doing what he does best) and although this shows the same indifference to plot, character and common sense as its justifiably feted predecessor, what it doesn’t have is a sense of humour, or indeed any spark that might come from people who cared.
Copying part 5, we start off with someone in their early 20s waking from a dream where they were a child – in this case, Tina, who it turns out is psychic. Not one specific sort, but the whole range – she can see the future, but more importantly is telekinetic, and it’s that extremely powerful ability which she accidentally uses at age 10 to kill her Dad, drowning him in the same lake Jason is chained to a rock at the bottom of. Bernie, from “Weekend At Bernie’s”, is a psychiatrist who for staggeringly irresponsible reasons is taking the grown-up Tina and her mother back to the site of this traumatic experience.
Is this a big thing in psychiatry? “Sleepaway Camp 4” and one of the Halloweens (I think) have similar plot devices, and it feels like something which is way more common in the movies than it is in actual sensible late 20th century mental health practice. What’s even more common in horror movies, though, is the house full of partying young adults, so to join Tina, her mother, and Dr Bernie, are a gang of beer, weed and casual sex enthusiasts, there to celebrate a birthday party. The smell of cannon fodder is strong with this group! As is the smell of lazy writing – does Tina’s mother own the house on the lake (it seems full of their stuff, after all)? They’ve not been back there for many years, and they don’t seem rich enough to own multiple properties.
As I’m sure you’re bored of even thinking about by part 7, this area must be pretty desperate for lake-front property. The opening voiceover pitches Jason as a legend, despite him having murdered a heck of a lot of people (although, judging by the two “I was a kid dreaming about the last movie, now I’m an adult” openings in this series, part 7 – filmed in 1987 – must be set around 2010). If I was in a group of people going somewhere for a party, I’d at least consider going somewhere else than Crystal Lake, what with the dozens and dozens of unsolved murders in the exact property I’m renting out. Or is the real crime of the dead people, the message of these movies, “check the history of properties you’re renting out”? Layers, man!
Jason is disturbed from his lake-bottom slumber by Tina, who psychically snaps his chains for some reason. Then we’re just waiting around for Jason to chop, hack and punch his way through the rest of the teens! Most of the cannon fodder isn’t worth dignifying with a description, but the arc of one girl is interesting. She’s the nerdy girl, and as she’s upset at her friend going to get high and have sex with the boy she likes, goes to give herself a makeover. So, a hairstyling and makeup session later, she goes outside to try and win the man of her dreams…and Jason just murders her. Thanks, movie! Re: all those deaths, there’s very very little blood or gore, which sort of renders a slasher movie pointless, unless you were super-invested in the story of the invulnerable spree-killer murdering a group of people for absolutely no reason whatsoever.
Talking of motivation, the only fun to be had from this movie is from trying to give Jason some. After he gets out of the lake, rather than heading the 20 yards to the house full of people, he wanders off into the woods where he fortunately runs into the birthday boy, late to his own party. It makes no sense, unless you think “well, Jason’s spent 10 years or so at the bottom of the lake, he’s probably a bit rusty. These are like his Spring Training murders”. He can literally punch your heart out, so when he grabs his old favourite, a machete, it must be a security blanket of some sort (he doesn’t need it, and really doesn’t use it much for the rest of the movie).
There are nude ladies, of course, but when a guy jumps out of bed, after being in the middle of sex, he’s wearing underwear. The pathetic fear of male nudity, but desperate desire to crowbar female nudity in as often as possible, is one of the many reasons that when someone tells you “slasher movies aren’t sexist” they’re either deluded or trying to sell you something. Blah blah blah.
The ending is moderately enjoyable, if only because the first hour is so dull. Tina psychically attacks Jason, he shrugs it off (due to him being, as has been stated, an invulnerable, indestructible killing machine) and then the movie gives us a sort of throwback to part 1 with one of the weirdest twist endings I can remember. Next up, even though this one gives us nothing in the “hey, he might still be alive” stakes, Jason goes to Manhattan, then Hell, then space. I hope those ones are a bit better than this! Or at least more interesting to look at.
Rating: thumbs down