Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood – Film Review

Director: John Car Buechler

Writers: Manuel Fidello and Daryl Haney

Starring: Lar Park Lincoln, Kevin Blair, Susan Blu, Terry Kiser, Susan Jennifer Sullivan, and Kane Hodder

Rating: ★★

At the end of the sixth part of the Friday the 13th series, Jason was back from the dead and left chained up at the bottom of Crystal Lake. Part VII: The New Blood continues the story years later with Jason escaping from the lake to kill more teenagers. At the time the series was making less money at the box office with each release, trailing behind A Nightmare on Elm Street, which was making almost double. An idea was thrown around to join the two franchises together for the seventh Friday the 13th film, but an agreement couldn’t be reached between Paramount and New Line Cinema and the idea was scrapped until 2003 after New Line had bought the rights to Friday the 13th.

Carrying on the crossover idea for the film, it was decided to give Jason a formidable foe in Tina, a teenager with telekinetic powers, dubbed as ‘Jason vs Carrie’ by producer Barbara Sachs when the idea was first pitched. Tina, who is played by Lar Park Lincoln, is a really interesting character. As a child she accidentally caused the death of her father, at Crystal Lake, and is weighed down by her grief. She’s not able to control her powers, and also ends up freeing Jason from the lake. The idea of having someone being able to go toe-to-toe with Jason works really well and Tina vs Jason is a great finale to the film. She feels like a Stephen King character, in the best way possible.

Beyond that final fight, the rest of the film is incredibly boring. It’s the same thing as the previous film but is just mind-numbingly slow and drawn out. The pacing is awful, and it’s just so predictable. There’s no fun in this film to be found anywhere. It drags on, following the formula set in the first film, but without any charm or any entertainment value. For the most part it’s just so tedious to sit through.

The actual film feels quite light on gore, especially when compared to other slasher films from around the time, even earlier entries to the Friday the 13th series. When the film was shot there was a lot more gore and blood, but it was mostly left on the cutting room floor to avoid the dreaded ‘X’ rating. One of the more memorable deaths in the film, where Jason grabs a sleeping bag with someone in it and swings it against a tree originally had Jason hitting the bag against the tree several times, but in the end only one hit is shown. It’s a real shame that the more over-the-top gore wasn’t shown, because it makes everything feel a lot more tame than Part Six.

This is a very humourless film, and that’s a real let down after the comedy and fun tone of the previous film. It takes itself very seriously, but it’s not scary in the slightest. Kane Hodder makes for a  good Jason, with an imposing presence and the effects/make up are all great, but it just doesn’t work. The lack of gore makes the kills dull and the lack of humour is a shame. It’s the seventh film in the a slasher series and really feels like everything has been dragged out to much by this point.

According to co-writer Daryl Haney, at one point the hope was for this Friday the 13th to win an Oscar, following the nominations that Fatal Attraction had received the year before. They wanted to do something the series had never done before. Somehow that plan went very wrong, with this entry being really dull. It has some interesting ideas, but with the lack of fun and gore, it just doesn’t live up to the potential and ends up being one of the worst entries in the entire long-running slasher series.

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About ashleymanningwriter

Young Adult Fiction writer. Horror and fantasy blended together.
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