Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Freddy Vs. Jason (2003)

Freddy Vs. Jason

Written by Damian Shannon & Mark Swift
Directed by Ronny Yu

Freddy Krueger...Robert Englund
Jason Voorhees...Ken Kirzinger
Loria Campbell...Monica Keena
Will Rollins...Jason Ritter

Thanks to a city-wide cover up, selectively deleted public records, dream-suppressing drugs and the forced institutionalizing of any kid who knows about Freddy Krueger, the people of Springwood have found a way to keep the killer at bay. No knowledge means no fear, no fear means no dreams, and no dreams means no Freddy. Not ready to be licked just yet, Freddy reaches into the bowels of hell and comes up with the one, the only…Jason Voorhees.

Freddy disguises himself as Mrs. Voorhees and tricks Jason into putting the fear back into Elm Street. Jason travels to Springwood and crashes a lame little beer bash at the old Thompson house, full of the sex and juvenile debauchery that he hates so badly. One of the young sinners winds up dead, of course, and the investigating officer mistakenly makes mention of Freddy Krueger, a name which hasn't been uttered in years. Even this is enough to get the ball rolling and it's not long before the fear of Freddy has spread throughout town like the deadly Moutaba Virus, giving Freddy the strength he needs to return.

But Freddy finds soon enough that turning Jason, his personal killing machine, off isn't nearly as easy as turning him on. Freddy's ego and Jason's instinctual desire to destroy anyone willing to tarnish his mother's name lead to a full-on battle, taking place in both the dream world and the real world. The surviving kids--safe neither awake nor asleep--band together to find a way to stop them both.

Although it seemed a bit ridiculous how quickly the kids figured out what was going on, not to mention how close Springwood and Crystal Lake apparently are to each other, I suppose such sacrifices of logic are necessary to keep the pace of the film. My major qualm is the inclusion of the “elemental fears” that they instilled in the villains. If Jason is so afraid of water, why has he lived in a lake for the past 30 years? And if Freddy is afraid of fire, why does he hang out in a fiery boiler room? These fears were superfluous at best and did nothing to further the story.

On the positive side of things, this movie has it all: insane anti-heroes, creative deaths, wicked action, and even a nipple or two. The flashbacks to Jason's childhood were excellent and we actually get to see the little freak drown all those years ago. I have to say that I damn near applauded when Kia was killed in return for mocking Freddy. I mean, come on. Is nothing sacred anymore?

Certainly not a great horror film, but an awful lot of fun.  The bottom line is this: In the tradition of Frankenstein Vs. The Wolfman, Freddy Vs. Jason is a hell of a fun ride thanks to Englund's dynamic performance (which hasn't been this good since the original Nightmare on Elm Street) and the brilliant direction of Ronny Yu, who is also responsible for breathing new life into the Child's Play series. Freddy Vs. Jason stands out as more fun that many of the other entries in either of the respective franchises.

In the wise words of my friend Nate, upon the appearance of female breasts during the first 2 minutes of the film: “Damn! I like this movie!”

And no, I'm not going to tell you who wins.

Rated R
97 Minutes
United States


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