Freddy Vs. Jason (2003)
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
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 scares...in 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
|DEAD KEV'S ADVICE
|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
|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)
|Sean S. Cunningham
||Deputy Scott Stubbs
||Mrs. Pamela Voorhees
|COUNTRY OF ORIGIN
|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
|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.
|Winner Kills All : Interviews - DVD File
|Interviews With Ronny Yu - Coming
Soon! & About.com
|Interviews With Robert Englund -Coming
Corner, & UGO
|Interview With Ken Kirzinger - Film Threat
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