Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood (1988) – John Carl Buechler

Jason Vorhees (Kane Hodder slips on the mask this time out) as the masked killer is resurrected from the depths of Crystal Lake to wreak havoc on a whole new group of twenty-somethings. But this time around he may be confronting a Final Girl unlike any other, and one who is responsible for his return from the lake’s depths.

Tina (Lar Park-Lincoln) is a bit of a Carrie/Firestarter type character, a trope that was pretty popular in the mid 80s. She can’t control it, and holds herself accountable for her father’s death, he was on a dock that collapsed into Crystal Lake, a collapse caused by Tina’s abilities.

Now she has returned to the lake to confront her past, with the help of her mother (Susan Blu) and her doctor, Crews (Terry Kiser) who seems intent on developing her powers.

Of course they aren’t alone at the lake, Tina’s been wishing for her father to return, but her powers rouse Jason instead, and there’s a bunch of party-goers in the next house who are just lining up to be fodder, including the iconic, and infamous, sleeping bag kill.

The physical effects of Tina’s powers are kinda iffy, and pale next to the makeup effects in this outing, though you don’t see as much gore or violence as you think you do, though there are some pretty brutal kills. A lot of it is implied, but the glimpses we do get of the physical effects, are pretty solid.

Tina has a bit of a budding romance with Nick (Kevin Spirtas), one of the party-goers next door. It’s an eclectic mix of characters but they seem to match, and you do get the sense, that at least some of them are friendly with one another.

Again the film lacks any real character development, though you have to admit Hodder brings an undeniable menace and presence as Jason, and it’s no wonder that he’s the fan favourite. Could you imagine though if the film took it’s time to allow you to get to know the characters, that they weren’t just recognisable stereotypes, let you get a little attached to them, and then wipe them out?

But that’s not why these films tell their story. You know going in that almost no one is getting out alive, and you’re there to see how they get it as opposed to whether or not you like the characters. I honestly think that is the thing that is really lacking from this sub-genre of horror, you aren’t given time to care for the characters you just want to see them get it.

And of course, since we’re now in the realm of the supernatural with the character, we shouldn’t be surprised that there’s a paranormal bent to the film’s climax, which sees Jason getting pulled back into the lake to await his next awakening in… Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan!

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