A Nightmare from Friday to Halloween - Friday the 13th: A New Beginning (1985)
The three most prominent American horror franchises (Halloween, Friday the 13th, and A Nightmare on Elm Street) have influenced American cinema even beyond the horror genre. As of 2021, there are exactly 31 movies across all three franchises, and I am going to attempt to watch all of them, for this Halloween, one per day.
After the welcome break of A Nightmare on Elm Street, we’re back to this nonsense. Watching that movie just made the flaws in New Beginning and this whole franchise even more obvious. There’s a decidedly reactionary streak going throughout this whole franchise, where White middle-class people are victims of enemies that are coded as minorities. This seems quite obvious when the poor White people are screamingly bad redneck stereotypes and even the Black people were written by someone who clearly never met an actual Black person.
The exception might be Reggie (Shavar Ross) who is clearly meant to fill the Corey Feldman role. It’s weird that either Corey Feldman or Shavar Ross were included in the first place because it seems like they’re supposed to be the surrogates for the young boys that might be in the audience, even though this is a gory horror movie ostensibly meant for adults. Then again, most of the adults in this and all the Friday the 13th movies are barely more intelligent than the kids, so maybe the appeal isn’t that baffling. At one point, Reggie literally cheers on someone as she attempts to hack at the killer with a chainsaw. And there’s always a fat person that’s played as the butt of jokes, which is the pinnacle of childishness, and it was tired even back then. Again, I realize that this movie is very much a product of the times, but even if this movie had been good (which it isn’t), it doesn’t mean this movie is blameless in perpetrating stereotypes and, at the very least, damaging the horror genre in the long run with its triteness.