By the fifth Friday the 13th movie, I think the filmmakers realized they really couldn’t (or at least shouldn’t) have the plot be: teenagers move to Camp Crystal Lake as camp counselors, Jason kills teenagers, Jason pretends to die. Making the filmmakers change things up reallyyyyyyyy shows what we we’re working with.
So now we’re following a teenage Tommy (John Shepherd), who, back in Friday the 13th Part IV, presumably killed Jason when he was a kid. Killing Jason had some not-great psychological effects on Tommy, who we find as he’s being moved to a halfway house for teenagers. Except this is by far the most fucked up halfway house ever conceived. It’s literally a bunch of attractive, scantily-clad teenagers that mostly seem to have no mental issues living in a house off Crystal Lake. So the filmmakers thought, “We definitely CAN’T have the teenagers be counselors at a summer camp,” along with, “We definitely CAN have the teenagers live in a halfway house that is essentially a summer camp.” The teenagers act exactly the same way as in the other movies, sex and drugs and all.
To the filmmakers’ credit, they stick to the halfway house thing a little. There is one teenager, Vic, who is not frolicking with the rest and makes you think maybe he actually has some issues. When another teenager, Joey, hounds him over and over again as Vic chops wood (a good activity for a teenager in a halfway house with anger issues), Vic straight up murders him with the ax. But like, weren’t the people in charge sort of expecting that? Maybe not ax murder, but some kind of violence? They also leave Joey’s fucked up corpse on the lawn of the halfway house, in full view of the teenagers, until the paramedics arrive.
Then random people start getting murdered and everyone suspects it’s Jason, even though he’s supposedly dead. As far as the audience can tell, it is Jason because he goes around murdering every teenager he finds while wearing a hockey mask. Eventually, Tommy kills Jason again and it’s revealed that the killer wasn’t Jason, but instead one of the paramedics who was actually Joey’s father. BECAUSE THAT’S SATISFYING AND MAKES SENSE!
Ugh. These movies will continue to be boring and uninteresting until the killer either makes sense or we get any kind of context on the killer. Otherwise, he’s just picking off naked teenagers over and over again.
This was the first Friday the 13th that really took a right turn. There is still murder but it’s more of a mystery because we do not know if the real Jason is doing all this or if it’s another murderer. The story of this film is how Tommy, the kid who killed Jason at the end of Part IV, is now an adult and crazy from that traumatic night. It seems like that up to this point he has been in and out of foster/mental homes and is now on the way to some child recovery farm. Basically it seems to be a place where young adults with drug or mental issues go there right before they are ready to be released back into the world, I guess? So basically it’s the perfect place for people to die, and they do, immediately, without a killer!
Now the story is still weak but at least it’s different! I enjoyed watching this one, same stuff but different context.