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Freddy Vs. Jason (2003)

Winner Kills All

Freddy Vs. Jason
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It was a question that many of us growing up in the 80s pondered among friends. In a fight, who would win...Freddy Krueger or Jason Voorhees? Surrounded by the worldwide successes of the Friday the 13th and Nightmare on Elm Street franchises as a youth, it seemed inevitable that we'd soon see a battle to end all battles on the big screen. The "soon" part never happened...but "inevitable" did.

I don't know why it took so long to get Jason and Freddy together, but thank the horror gods it was worth the long wait. It had better have been worth the wait. I might just forgive them for the suffering that the two of them put me through over the years. I had to sit and watch while Jason took Manhattan, went to hell, and oddly enough...terrorized space-goers. Not only that, but I also had to agonize through Freddy's dream child, his final nightmare, and then a whole new nightmare. Shouldn't the "new nightmare" come before the "final nightmare"? Not in the world of a moneymaking horror franchises. Freddy's not alone in overstaying his welcome, Jason ended up going 6 more chapters after his supposed "Final Chapter".

It seems that Freddy's been forgotten by the kids of Springdale. Forgotten and no longer feared. Freddy has a plan to jog their memories and create some new nightmares on Elm Street. His problem: he needs to be feared again to build up his strength. He needs someone to stir things up a bit and put fear into the residents once again. Who better to do that than Jason Voorhees? Freddy resurrects 'ole hack-and-slash and Jason does his usual thing, and he does it well. Slash, hack, stab. Pants are pissed, beers are spilled, crops are burned, blood is squirted (a lot), and big breasts are revealed. What a bloody mess! And what a bloody good time!

Surprisingly enough, the story behind Freddy and Jason eventually going rounds was actually creative, interesting, and I know it's hard to believe...but it made sense. Imagine my surprise, since I'm so accustomed to the mostly less-than-creative storylines in the slasher genre. On first viewing, I couldn't even find any "glaring" plot holes, just a few minor things like the, "I never knew that Elm Street and Crystal Lake were so close to each other" kinda stuff.

Once Freddy's regains his strength, playtime for Jason is over. He's had all the fun so far, but now his services are no longer required. And as such, Freddy hesitates little in trying to take out his new competition. Friends Lori, Kia, Gibb, Will, Mark, and Charlie are stuck in the middle. The battle ensues both in the subconscious and conscious realms and it's at this point in the movie that director Ronny Yu really excels. The epic fight for superiority is very well choreographed and has that special "Yu" feel to it. I won't give away the finale, but I will say that it's a no holds barred, knockdown, drag out fight that will have you wondering who will be the next to gain the upper hand.

Jason's in rare form in Freddy Vs. Jason, and appears to be aging well despite the wear and tear his revived corpse has taken over the many years (and sequels). Freddy's also at the top of his game, and Robert Englund really puts the film on his back and carries it to the finish line. Without his witty repartee, it would have been nowhere near as satisfying.

If I was forced to point out flaws, I suppose I could mention the acting and the occasional rediculous piece of dialogue. It was, however, nowhere near the basement level I was led to believe it was from the early reviews. As such, I was pleasantly surprised. It's not Van Gogh, but it was much better than I had hoped for and far superior to most of the previous sequels. Englund excelled, as expected, and Katharine Isabelle (Ginger Snaps) was a fine, in more ways than one, addition and added some legitimacy to an otherwise average cast. Brendan Fletcher, who plays Mark, also stands out among the teens. New Line scored big by choosing Ronny Yu to direct. As he did with Bride of Chucky, his vision of these horror icons was fresh and inventive in a way I thought impossible. His direction, combined with some excellent cinematography, created some very cool, and very memorable scenes.

If you love to be scared, like I do, you'll be sorely disappointed. There are virtually no scares to be found, but taking its place is an abundance of well placed humor. It's odd when you think about it, that more laughs and action are present than a horror movie. But if fun can be quantified by squirting blood and disembowlment, then Freddy Vs. Jason's high on the leader board. The blood and special effects were all done very well, with a few exceptions. The exceptions were a couple of scenes that looked liked holdouts from the 80s, and sacrificed a little realism compared to the rest of the effects. Overall though, a thumbs up.

Now that Freddy vs. Jason has redeemed both of them for their past failings, I can only hope the studios don't drag their good names through the mud yet again, dirtying them up and watering them down for future generations. As far as I'm concerned, they're both at the top now, the kings of their domain. I don't want to see them dethroned by reverting to the same old, uninspired franchise entries simply looking to make a quick buck. If they're going to be dethroned, at least give them a fighting chance.


(Out of 5)
August 15 2003
September 2 2003

Even if you're not a big fan of either franchise, this movie's worth seeing. A great popcorn movie, full of action, some good laughs, and Jason and Freddy at the top of their game!
1. Hypnocil is the drug of choice when trying to avoid serial killers who attack you in your dreams.
2. Throwing a pitcher of alcohol in an undead serial killer's fact will just piss him off. So will flicking a cigarette butt at him.
-"He may get the blood, but I'll get the glory."
-"I don't do checkers. I'm an UNO guy."
-"Somebody please wake me up!"
-"Your eyes say no, no. But my mouth says yes, yes."

Ronny Yu (Bride of Chucky)
Damian Shannon
Mark Swift
Stokely Chaffin
Sean S. Cunningham
Douglas Curtis
Robert Shaye
Robert Englund Freddy Krueger
Ken Kirzinger Jason Voorhees
Monica Keena Lori Campbell
Jason Ritter Will Rollins
Kelly Rowland Kia
Katharine Isabelle Gibb
Chris Marquette Charlie Linderman
Brendan Fletcher Mark Davis
Tom Butler Dr. Campbell
Lochlyn Munro Deputy Scott Stubbs
Kyle Labine Freeburg
Zack Ward Bobby Davis
Gary Chalk Sheriff Williams
Paula Shaw Mrs. Pamela Voorhees
New Line Cinema
New Line Cinema
United States
98 mins R

The goat that appears early in Blake's nightmare scene is a reference to Tina's nightmare involving a goat in the original A Nightmare On Elm Street (1984).
During early test and advance screenings, the ending was omitted from the film. Replacing it was a black screen stating, "See the conclusion of who wins on August 15th, the release of the film theatrically."
Jason Voorhees drowned at Camp Crystal Lake in 1957 at the age of 11 while camp counselors were...not paying attention <ahem>.
New Line originally attempted to team up with Paramount Pictures to get Jason and Freddy together in 1987. It was going to be Friday the 13th VII, but the plans never came to fruition.
Ken Kirzinger played a New York cook and was the stunt coordinator in Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan (1989).
This is Freddy Krueger's first screen appearance since Wes Craven's New Nightmare in 1994.
Official Trailers
Winner Kills All : Interviews - DVD File
Interviews With Ronny Yu - Coming Soon! &
Interviews With Robert Englund -Coming Soon!, Cinema Confidential, Creature Corner, & UGO
Interview With Ken Kirzinger - Film Threat


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