There’s some supernatural element in “Friday the 13th” that doesn’t fully reveal itself until “Jason Lives.” Before that, Jason was more of a mortal superhuman capable of being killed and he is presumably stopped in “The Final Chapter.” In Danny Steinmann’s “A New Beginning,” Jason is definitely dead and Tommy has difficulty moving on as he’s haunted by Jason’s image time and time again. Since the fifth film apparently still takes place in the town of Crystal Lake, Tommy is still facing the trauma of battling Jason, even though it’s established he’s buried.
Although he’s explained as being long buried in the ground, something awakens when Roy Burns’ son Joey is brutally murdered under the care of the Pinehurst Halfway House. Although most of “A New Beginning” focuses solely on Tommy’s mental fall out from fighting Jason, its explored that someone has put on Jason’s mask and his regalia and has proceeded to murder a lot of teenagers and random characters that pop up out of nowhere to create weird red herrings (What was the deal with Raymond?). Although we know Jason is dead, the writers try to fool us in to thinking Jason has inexplicably returned from the grave.
However, it also becomes quickly abandoned when director Steinmann stops trying to fool us and shows us a Jason who is being tossed around and hurt while wincing and cringing in pain. To make the situation ever more complicated, Jason’s mask has blue stripes under the eyes rather than the red eyes. My theory is the specter of Jason still looms over Crystal Lake, and so enraged by the death of his son was he, that Roy sought out Jason’s grave and took his only in tact heirloom: his hockey mask. Said mask possessed somewhat magical qualities that didn’t just fuel Roy’s thirst for bloodshed and vengeance but made him a lot more powerful than a normal serial killer. Sure Roy is powered by vengeance, but his ability to take punishment without breaking limbs or losing consciousness makes him much more than a man with a bone to pick.
It’s curious that Roy doesn’t just use the mask, but that he also mimics Jason’s every move, uses his signature weapons and wears his trademark jumpsuit. And although he has a lot of hatred for the people at Pinehurst, Roy is able to murder the people involved with his son’s death. He even slaughters Dr. Matt Letter and Reggie’s grandfather George off screen. One would assume his thirst for blood would be quenched since he’d murdered just about everyone that couldn’t or wouldn’t help his son. Why else does he target Tommy and Reggie for the finale? They didn’t know who he was until he’d taken the mask off, so he could have just snuck away leaving Reggie and Tommy to hold the bag. Along with digging up Jason and taking his mask, once Roy died, Tommy kept the mask close by with the intent to finally rid the world of Jason Voorhees once and for all.
But not before the big fake out final scene where Tommy gets in to the mind of Jason by donning his mask. This sends him over the edge in to a full on breakdown, sending him from the halfway house in to a home for the criminally insane. This also leads in to “Jason Lives” where Tommy eventually breaks out, mask in tow, to ceremoniously dig up Jason and cremate him in his grave. But as we see in the prologue, the supernatural element is introduced with other plans for Jason Voorhees as a full on undead killing machine.
Hell, it turns the pretty good “A New Beginning” in to a so much better horror film. It also allows the pair of sequels to lock together much more fluidly, creating a smoother journey for Tommy Jarvis, when all is said and done. It’s too bad we never canonically learn how Tommy fared after “Jason Lives.”
What do you think of my non-canonical fan theory? Let me Know in the comments!