Written by Damian Shannon, Mark Swift
Running Time: 1:37
as Freddy Krueger
POSTERS FOR SALE
The undisputed kings of horror face off as the gloved one, Freddy Krueger, goes mano y mano with everyone's favorite goalie, Jason Voorhees. While the movie suffers any time the other actors are on screen, when the horror icons are front and center, the movie rocks.
Freddy's getting restless. In the town of Springwood, his old haunting grounds, the parents of the town figured out that if you're not afraid of Freddy, he can't haunt you. So they get rid of anyone and anything that has had a relation with Freddy. Old records are destroyed, people are put into mental institutions, you get the idea. Needless to say, Freddy is itching for a killing, so he goes to the depths of hell and brings Jason back to life, unleashing him on Springwood. Freddy figures that the town will blame him enough so that the children will start fearing him again, allowing him to come back to power. But Jason doesn't know when enough is enough, and keeps killing the kids that Freddy wants for himself. So the two of them go head to head for horror supremacy... which one will survive their epic encounter?
As many of you who read my reviews on a regular basis already know, I'm a big horror film fan. Then on top of that throw in my all time favorite horror character, Freddy Krueger, and then on top of that, throw in the character I've dreamt of playing since I was in junior high school and well, I'm already sold. I was of course worried what they would do to the characters, whether they'd change their back stories to suit the new one, or whether the characters would change in today's more cerebral horror film world. But to my happiness, they gave a recap of the old backstories, of how Freddy murdered children then was burned alive by the town, and how Jason drowned at Camp Crystal Lake because the counselors weren't paying attention. That was good for those unfamiliar with the history of the characters. In the current day story, you have a bunch of teenagers hanging out as usual, one of whom lives at the same house as as past Krueger victim. Jason attacks them first and then as they learn more about Freddy's past and give him the fear that he needs to return, he also starts to kill.
The acting of the teenagers (and the cops and parents) was kind of lame. Other than Monica Keena, the rest of the cast wore on me pretty quickly. I'm not sure who thought Kelly Rowland could act, but she should really stick to singing. Any time she spoke it sounded like she was reading off a cue card... very slowly. The cops and parents played their typical let's-not-talk-about-anything roles, while the kids all thought they knew better than the adults. Pretty straight forward horror film stuff actually. But while the story was good, acting was wooden and took away from the movie. That being said, any time Jason and/or Freddy were on screen, the movie took on an entirely different vibe. It was like seeing old friends on screen. Old friends who enjoy killing people in brutal and efficient ways. Jason with his brute strength and always handy machete, and Freddy with his razor sharp glove and quick wit. And when the two of them finally go head to head, it's like watching Tyson vs. Ali, had they both been around and in their prime at the same time. You're never really sure until the very end which one will end up the winner, but this being horror film land, in essence, it really doesn't matter. As well as this film is going to do, there will inevitably be a sequel. I even heard the owner of the Michael Myers character from Halloween is in talks with New Line to add him to the sequel. How cool would that be? Add in Leatherface from the Texas Chainsaw Massacre and you've got the horror/comedy my friends and I made in high school all those years ago. But I digress...
I guess the biggest problem with the story was how it was continually explained over and over again. I felt that the actions on screen were enough for people to understand that Jason wouldn't leave and Freddy wanted his domain to himself, but at least 3 or 4 different times that was stated, either by a Freddy voiceover or by one of the characters. But how can you not love a movie that contains two classic horror characters - the skinny dipping girl and the girl in the shower? There was the ever present druggie character and of course the nerd. There was the insane character who no one believed, and a newcomer to horror films, the minority character who likes to taunt the homicidal maniac. And of course the young girl who somehow manages to survive while all of her friends die. You really can't go wrong when you use the classics.
Obviously the best parts of the movie were when Freddy and Jason went head to head. First they started in Freddy's world, then they traveled to Jason's world. Each place the bad asses from beyond went after each other tooth and nail (and hand and face). Jason playing to his strengths, his inability to feel pain and his brute strength, and Freddy playing to his strengths, quickness, a fast tongue and his gloved hand. Both gave as well as they got and it was nice to see neither one with a big advantage over the other. I was worried that the producers would play favorites and make on dominant, but they really made them equals (although in my heart Freddy will always rule). And the ending, which I won't divulge here, was satisfying, I think, for everyone.
THE BOTTOM LINE
So overall, there wasn't much question I was going to like Freddy vs. Jason. Anyone who was a fan of either of the two will probably also like it, and if you're a fan of slasher films at all, you'll like this. Some good nudity, gallons of blood, some gruesome effects, and two of the all time great horror characters on screen together... not much more you could ask for.
The Nightmare on Elm Street Collection
Friday the 13th Series
Texas Chainsaw Massacre Series
© 2003 Wolfpack Productions