Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood (1987) by #JohnCarlBuechler
Jason Voorhees is accidentally freed from his watery prison by a telekinetic teenager.
”On Friday the 13th, Jason is Back… But this time… He’s Met His Match!”
I remember when Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood (1987) first came out, I actually thought it looked kind of cool. I had hated part five (as most fans did at the time, but as I wrote a while back, it’s really grown on me over the years). I was also annoyed by part six (basically because I didn’t think that Jason should come back after being destroyed at the end of part four), so I actually didn’t watch it for years (but when I finally did, I loved it). When Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood came out, I hadn’t been excited to see a new Friday the 13th movie since part four – but this movie changed that (at least a little).
I liked the fact that they were trying something new, while still remaining true to the series. I am, of course, referring to the fact that Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood features a teenage girl with telekinetic powers. The TV commercial showed her causing things to collapse on Jason and smash into his head. This made it sort of seem like a cross between Carrie (1974) and, well, any Friday the 13th movie except parts one and five.
I enjoyed it back then, but I don’t think it would have displaced any of the first four movies if I had made a Top 4 Friday the 13th movies list. Watching it again now, shortly after watching part four in preparation for a podcast discussion with my friend Seán Weathers (coming soon, keep your eyes peeled for news here or on Twitter), I couldn’t help but notice a couple of things…
First of all, the two movies have a very similar set-up: Two houses, side by side, on Crystal lake; one house rented by teenagers who are there to party, the other occupied by a mother, her teenage daughter, and either her younger son (part four) or the daughter’s psychiatrist (part seven).
Secondly, in spite of the similarities (and as much as I like part seven), there is really no comparison between the two movies. Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood is simply not as good as part four.
Perhaps this is a tad unfair. Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter (1984) is one of the most revered movies in the series. Many people cite it as their favourite, or “the best” Friday the 13th movie. Not everyone, of course. Speaking for myself, I only owned two Friday the 13th movies on VHS back in the day; the first one, and The Final Chapter. So I have always been partial to part four. Last week was the first time I have ever watched part seven so immediately after part four – and I was surprised by my reaction to it.
Don’t get me wrong. I still enjoyed The New Blood. Just not as much as I might have, if I hadn’t just watched The Final Chapter.
I still loved the climactic battle between telekinetic Tina and Jason. And I love the fact that they dared to bring a fresh idea like that into the series.
Incidentally, The Final Chapter is the movie that introduced Kane Hodder as Jason (and he’s pretty much acknowledged to be the best Jason). This alone makes it an essential entry in the Friday the 13th franchise.
To me, Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood (1987) will always be the movie that breathed a little bit of fresh life into the Friday the 13th series. It may not be the best of the movies. It may not even be in the top five. But it stands up as a unique entry, and it delivers enough classic (and #NotQuiteClassicCinema) Friday the 13th action to make it a worthy addition to any #FridayThe13thAtTheHomeDriveIn.
— Angus Kohm (@AngusKohm) January 14, 2023