Sunday, August 4, 2013

MR Freddy vs Jason

Out of all the modern generation of "monsters", Jason Voorhees' always been my personal favorite. With Freddy Krueger a close second.

If others like Michael Myers could be simply described as a pretty straightforward boogeyman, the embodiment of pure evil, Freddy as a "child molester/killer" was a more personal evil, the one that got after you. While Jason as a kid born with a deformity-turned slasher was a more sympathetic evil, a vengeful one.

When word got out they were crossing over both these pop culture icon back in the day, many of us longtime fans saw the chance to finally get a pretty terrifying horror film that would present us a "best of" the genre...

S L A S H E R S related reviews!

Movie: Freddy vs. Jason
Directed by Ronny Yu
Release date 2003
Genre Slasher/Horror crossover film
Country USA

A dream come true, Freddy vs. Jason is the long awaited crossover every possible horror film fan had been dreaming about at one time or another.

It almost never got made despite the idea being so popular.

New Line and Paramount had been trying to make a Freddy vs. Jason movie for years. They almost got close to it back in 1987 at the height of the B-movie/slasher horror genre. The idea was solid, the problem was getting a compromise that both parties would agree with. Thing is they knew it could work, getting both those franchises come together would make money no matter how the film would turn out to be. But they couldn't agree on a story.

Both companies fought to get the control over the making of the film, but that would leave the other IP in control of the other's film producers.

Finally, Friday the 13th original series creator Sean S. Cunningham was able to get the rights to the Jason Voorhees character. And shortly after joined New Line Cinema.

Another Friday film was produced, Jason Goes to Hell. Basically, that film was only meant to revive the interest in the series and leave the door open to a possible crossover with the A Nightmare on Elm Street film series.

Goes to Hell was never meant to start a new Jason Voorhees series (hence the strange plot) but nevertheless made a profit enough.

Then Wes Craven made another Freddy, New Nightmare, which put this project back on hold for more years.

All this was taking way too much time, so they did end up produced yet another sequel, Jason X. Jason had some success in New York in the past - and he was to end up on Elm Street soon - so they got three birds with a single stone. Jason was put in space to experiment something different with the franchise, which made the cost of the production more modest and the plot sent him to the future to allow the possible Freddy vs Jason to take place in between this one and Goes to Hell.

Anyways. During all this time, New Line received several scripts and went through many, many different ideas for Freddy vs. Jason. All sorts of writers wrote all kinds of crossovers. From having Freddy Krueger as a counselor back at the Camp Crystal Lake in the past, having molested Jason as a child (!), another story had a Freddy cult, etc.

This film is the 8th entry in the Nightmare on Elm Street series (7th episode if you don't count New Nightmare) and the 11th Friday the 13th (10th chronologically).

The movie beings with what I can only describe as a love letter to the Nightmare on Elm Street franchise. A quick recap of the past films.

Freddy Krueger is our narrator throughout the picture.

It has been ten years since we last saw Freddy terrorizing people in their dreams.

Freddy had been banished to Hell for eternity after the last canon entry in his series (Freddy's Dead: The Final Nightmare). That's where he met the serial killer/slasher/zombie Jason Voorhees.

Jason was only momentarily sent to Hell, Jason always finds a way back. Being a real unstoppable force of nature, Jason always return to haunt Camp Crystal Lake.

But not before his mind being hijacked by Freddy impersonating his mother, Ms. Pamela Voorhees (also, apparently Jason sleeps and has dreams). Freddy decides to manipulate Jason for his own purpose.

You see the people of Springwood, Ohio have found a loophole out of Freddy's nightmare. They simply let time pass. Freddy's no more an urban legend. Simply forgotten and out of everyone's mind, he has been erased from memory.

So Freddy has Jason sent to Elm Street, leaving a path of dead bodies behind him. Freddy hopes this will scare people enough to give him back his strength.

The police suspects Freddy might be back. (why doesn't Freddy go after the adults then? because he never did so I suppose...).

We are introduced to Lori Campbell who now lives at the infamous 1428 Elm Street with her family.

Lori gets with a bunch of friends together. They're almost all killed by Jason.

A friend of Lori survives the nightmare but is then sent at Westin Hills Psychiatric Hospital where they give him a high dose of hypnocil to supress his dreams.

Freddy is slowly gaining on fear but still to weak to do any damage in the dream world.

Jason finds himself at a rave taking place nearby and kills everyone in sight in the real world.

Jason is starting to get on Freddy's nerves, killing all of the "Dream Master"'s own victims, taking away his kills from him.

Our two famous classic icons of the slasher genre are faced with only one solution.

Duke it out for the title of scariest, most dangerous unstoppable killing machine. Mano-a-mano, near Crystal Lake...

To tale upon this epic confrontation we have Hong Kong director Ronny Yu (Bride of Chucky), no stranger to slasher films. A huge fan of both classic slashers.

With Sean S. Cunningham serving as producer.

Freddy Kreuger was once again portrayed by the fantastic Robert Englund. Which is a relief. He took Freddy back to the Dream Warriors/Dream Master-era. It's a far cry from the original or New Nightmare's Freddy but still not as over-the-top and goofy as the Freddy from the last installments. He still has plenty of one liners and great lines (actually most dialogue from the entire film). Freddy does seem to take center stage story-wise.

Then you have Jason Voorhees, who seems to get most of the slasher-part of this slasher film. Jason takes most of the kills if not all. He's actually used as Freddy's puppet throughout the entire story but ends up taking away Freddy's goals. Which is kinda neat if you think about it. Both get equal screentime and importance. He was portrayed by Ken Kirzinger this time, Ken had done some bits and stunts in Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan.

Actor/stuntman Kane Hodder had offered to reprise the role and even auditioned but was turned down by New Line Cinema. They found him too short for the role facing Robert Englund, but personally I'd have preferred if they had gone with a bulkier Jason facing Freddy...

The dumb teen protagonists are probably some of the dullest I have seen yet in a slasher film. They filled the clichés of the genre and are simply just cannon fodder for both monsters.

It's absolutely not a scary film. At all. Then again, slasher films are rarely about the scares, they're never really that scary anyway.

But there's plenty of gore and special effects to please fans of the genre. Jason does seem to hack his way through this film. Literally.

The musical score comes from mainstream film composer Graeme Revell, who actually does a great job recapturing the tone of both long running franchises. There's enough typical Freddy and Jason cues to make all of it sound both familiar and new.

The film manage to do its job, there's plenty of references to both franchise's past and moments of glory.

Strangely enough, and sadly, both series were since then rebooted, the original films remade for a new generation. I kinda wish they had gotten Kane Hodder for this last episode had they knew so at the time.

Freddy vs Jason is kind of like a last "hurrah" from both series' creators and original producers.

I feel like they should have really gone totally full-on over the top for the occasion, the film doesn't try too much and is pretty simple when you think about it...

Overall, it's a pretty fun entertaining slasher horror film.

It's probably not the best crossover story ever made out there, but easily the best to come to film format in past recent years (meaning, kaijus and classic Hollywood monster films aside).

Sure. It's pretty dumb and far from the best horror film you'll see. But at least there's enough hacking, slashing and plenty o' blood around!

The film is a bit anti-climatic I'd say. Not daring giving the audience a true winner at the end of the day. Several endings were actually imagined and even filmed. The producers originally meant to have Pinhead from the Hellraiser series appear at the end for a possible second crossover.

Another idea that was actually alluded in Jason Goes to Hell was to have Ash Williams from the Evil Dead take on both these characters in what would have been titled Freddy vs. Jason vs. Ash. An entire screenplay had been written by Jeff Katz. But due to some licensing issues if all fall down pretty quick (Evil Dead wasn't at New Line anymore and Sam Raimi didn't like the idea despite Bruce Campbell musing the idea in some interviews, and shortly after Jason would also end up at Anchor Bay due to an imminent reboot).

Anyways, it's a dream come true, despite the sum of its parts being less than stellar.

I give it:
2 / 3 Necronomicons!


  1. I thought this movie.........was super lame, lol

    1. As far as crossovers go.... at least its not AVP! (or worse... AVPR!)

  2. Despite its flaws, it's still the best VS movie existing (again, Frankenstein vs The Wolf Man and kaiju movies aside. Let's hope the new King Kong vs Godzilla will not be shitty).