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Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood

Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood

John Carl Buechler

USA, 1988

Credits

Review by Jenny Jediny

Posted on 30 October 2006

Source Paramount DVD

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A local girl from Crystal Lake endowed with psychokinetic powers accidentally has a hand in her father’s death as a child, drowning him in the lake; flash forward ten years, and teenage Tina has returned to Camp Crystal Lake with her mother and Dr. Crews, a psychiatrist whose treatment of Tina’s condition, which he attributes to a guilt complex, seems to stem from a need to harness it, rather than helping the troubled misfit. Frustrated, Tina takes a walk out by the lake and in her fervent wish to bring her father back, raises Jason from the dead, removing the shackles that Tommy Jarvis used to entrap Jason in the sixth installment of the series. As Jason commences his killing spree in The New Blood, Tina experiences premonitions of the murders and must attempt to stop Jason with her psychic powers.

Opening with a montage summarizing the Friday the 13th series thus far, a narrator reminds us that “no one” can stop Jason, and Jason is indeed in full killing mode in this series installment. The murders are not only gruesome but filmed in unembellished scare mode; as Jason approaches victims from behind, the camera keeps its point of view with Jason as the unknowing victim is often stabbed in the back or suddenly caught off guard as Jason bursts out from underwater, from a Jaws-like angle. The New Blood also incorporates an extended sequence of several teen couples in the throngs of lovemaking while Jason draws near to their cabin, fully exploiting the link that that has been long established between Jason’s violent actions and lustful teen sex. This standard, yet effective approach doesn’t entice any sympathy, as the teenage victims are as gullible and two-dimensional as ever, but certainly elicits a fair amount of eye covering and jumps from its audience as Jason stalks his victims with persistent efficiency.

Tina is an interesting female lead, although her character is obviously a pale imitation of Carrie, her mental powers frightening not only her family but also herself, and rendering her an outsider in her teenage social circle. The freak status Tina achieves not only from her awkward social abilities but also her past treatment at a mental hospital sets up a rivalry with Melissa, a posh camp bitch who envies the attention Tina receives from handsome Nick. The demise of this girl, along with Tina’s money-grubbing doctor, provides a certain amount of audience satisfaction, the latter chased down by Jason with a bushwhacker, while Melissa meets her end with an axe after condescending to Tina for the last time. In the ultimate showdown between Tina and Jason, Tina manages to burn off Jason’s hockey mask, revealing the rotting corpse and his unfathomable malice that sustains his physical body. Despite this unmasking of Jason, The New Blood ends without the implication that Jason is once again undead; after bringing her father back up from the lake (who, amazingly, is fully intact and far from a rotting corpse), he in turn drags Jason back down, and Tina awakens to find Nick alive. The pair rides off in an ambulance, believing Jason has been ultimately destroyed.

→ Continue: Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan

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