Freddy Vs. Jason (2003)        

Alan:

San Francisco Examiner:1/2 TV Guide:


I said I wouldn't pay to see this movie but I did want to see it for some reason.  When I decided to watch Seabiscuit the other night I figured I'd make it a horror double feature and sneak into Freddy Vs. Jason as well.  For an explanation as to why I called my evening a "horror double feature" you will have to read my Seabiscuit review.  

I loved the first Nightmare on Elm Street movie.  I though it was terrifying and I've probably seen it about 50 times now.  The sequels got worse and worse until I eventually lost interest and stopped watching them.  I was never a huge fan of the Friday the 13th movies but I watched them when I was a kid until they stopped featuring a topless girl scene.  

The idea of a Freddy Vs. Jason movie has been in development for the last 10 years.  I remember reading about it when I was in my early 20's and thinking it was a fun idea.  And honestly it is!  Both have lost their ability to scare so why not just have them fight it out to the death?  Freddy Vs. Jason is like a live action Celebrity Death Match episode or a special publicity stunt show that the Fox network would air during sweeps week.

The concept for the film is the that children of Elm Street have forgotten about Freddy so he is wallowing in his own little Hell powerless to wreak his signature finger-blade havoc.  The adults of the town have drugged all of the children with dream suppression medication and institutionalized all of the remaining kids who couldn't or wouldn't be sedated.  So Freddy decides he needs to scare up some memories.  He resurrects Jason Voorhees and tricks him into starting a murder spree in Freddy's old neighborhood.  The adults and police think Freddy is back and accidentally let his secret slip to the children who immediately become obsessed with his legend.  This gives Freddy the strength he needs to start his dream play again.  But Jason won't stop killing the kids.  He starts to waste Freddy's kills before Freddy can get to them.  Thus begins the battle between Freddy and Jason.  Two un-killable horror monsters slugging it out for the territorial rights to kill the children of Elm Street.  

If you were a fan of either series you may want to rent this movie some Friday night just for the fun of it.  The special effects are decent.  The splatter fest horror effects have become more realistic as effects techniques have become more elaborate but the movie tries to stay somewhat true to the earlier films that inspired it.  The big fight scene between Freddy and Jason, first in Freddy's dream world and then at Jason's old campground at Crystal Lake, is worth the price of a rental alone.  Freddy slices and gouges with his razor glove while Jason hacks away with his giant machete.  Since both are indestructible the fight just goes on and on and on.  There's some cool Matrix-type wire Kung Fu thrown in as well presumably just to modernize the fight scenes. 

The victims are all typical teen murder fodder.  The guys are jerks or nerds and the girls are snobby cheerleader-types or sexy shy virgin pure.  They all get killed along the way as the formula of the film requires.  Even when some of them make it to the near end of the film they end up getting slaughtered by getting in the way of Freddy and Jason as they are slugging and slashing it out.  

If you want to kill some quality time then rent or, if you're really bored, go to the theatre and see Freddy Vs. Jason.  it's no worse than any of the 17 combined films that came before it and maybe just a little better than the last 14.  At the very least you get 2 topless girl scenes near the beginning of the film and if you're like me 18 years ago then that's all it was ever about anyway.