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TAC Reviews...Freddy Vs Jason

A blood bath crossover in which Friday 13th Meets Nightmare on Elm Street. Two of the titans of the slasher genre are about to clash as Freddy Kruger from Nightmare on Elm Street resurrects serial killer Jason Voorhees from Friday the 13th. Caught in the middle are a group of pretty and naturally expendable teens who aren’t safe regardless of if they are asleep or awake.

 

Freddy Vs Jason

 

Over the years I have probably seen all the Nightmare on Elm Street films as well as most, if not all of the Friday the 13th movies. Now I cannot be sure because they are all basically the same, teens have sex, get killed, some fight back and the villain is seemingly destroyed only to be shown to be alive (or undead or whatever) right before or just after the closing credits making the struggles of the film’s cast rather pointless. In Jason Takes Manhattan a teen was able to fight Jason back with only his bare fists, yes, his fists were bloody by the end and yes, he was too exhausted to land a final blow knocking Jason off a building but he went toe-to-toe with him and did not immediately get overwhelmed. In this incarnation Jason is a huge, muscle bound powerhouse that can punch through metal doors like they are paper and Freddy Kruger…well, he’s pretty much the same as he is in his own franchise.

 

Now with a title as obvious as Freddy Vs Jason the question of what the plot is about seems rather mute but we’ll have a look anyway…

 

Freddy Kruger (Robert Englund) reprising the character from the Nightmare on Elm Street franchise is trapped in Hell after the children of Springwood have forgotten about him, which prevents him from entering their dreams because they aren’t afraid anymore. Whilst in Hell he resurrects the serial killer Jason Voorhees (Ken Kirzinger) and uses the disguise of his mother (because she was the only one he ever listened to) to send him away from Camp Crystal Lake and to Springwood to put the fear back into the children.

 

Jason kills several people in short order and the residents begin to think that Freddy is back once again. Initially their fear is not strong enough to allow Freddy to kill any of them, so he allows Jason to have some fun killing who he wants.

 

However, as Freddy gets stronger he begins to target the children only for them to be murdered by Jason infuriating Freddy who has been unable to kill anyone. Within the dream universe Freddy works to destroy Jason but their final confrontation takes place in the real world.

 

The pair engages in several battles in both the dream and real worlds with the dumbfounded teenagers caught in the middle.

 

There have been a few “Vs” films recently but this was the first attempt, and like the Alien Vs Predator films when an alien skull was glimpsed on the wall of the Predator’s trophy cabinet in Predator 2 a crossover featuring Freddy and Jason has been in works since Freddy’s gloved hand was glimpsed grabbing Jason’s mask in one of the later Friday the 13th films.

 

Freddy Vs Jason was an attempt to unite two horror icons and basically allow them to have a massive fight over a group of dumbass teens. The young cast are made up of several beautiful and clichéd people. The main screaming hereon is Lori Campbell (Monica Keener), her friends, the vain girl, Kia Waterson (Kelly Rowland) and the slutty stoner, Gibb (Katharine Isabelle), Lori’s lost true love Will Rollins (Jason Ritter) and the geeky kid Charlie Linderman (Chris Marquette).

 

There are other members of the cast, including the thoroughly unpleasant boyfriend of Gibb who essentially treats her like dirt but not surprisingly she can’t wait to part her thighs for him (and also not surprisingly he meets a grisly end after having sex with her) and his friend Blake who is interested in Lori.

 

Essentially everyone in the film serves as the meat for Freddy or Jason. The pair hack and slash their way through the majority of the teens with the audience left to wonder who of them (if any) will survive until the credits role. Typically the adults want to keep everything quiet and whilst there is a single adult in authority (a cop who wasn’t around when Freddy was killing before) that does believe them he gets axed off relatively quickly leaving the kids to find a way to defeat Freddy and Jason alone.

 

The title of the film is Freddy Vs Jason; however, the fights between the two don’t happen until later on. The film follows two tracks with the first following Jason as he slices his way through the youth of Springwood and Freddy as he lurks in his dream world growing stronger and increasingly angry at Jason’s inability to stop killing the teens that he is wanting to torment and kill in their sleep.

 

Freddy Kruger is a killer that makes jokes as he stalks his victims, he is very tongue-in-cheek, not at all scary but is never-the-less very entertaining, and was the only reason to watch the later films in the Nightmare on Elm Street series. Jason is huge and invulnerable, he walks slowly and ominously as he stalks his victims, and is able to smash through metal doors with ease. He doesn’t say anything, and so is the typical unstoppable powerhouse hunting down his victims. Yet for someone invulnerable, who cannot die, he does spend a fair amount of time hiding, I mean, if I was a mass-murderer who could not be killed, I’d you know kill people regardless of whether it was day or night.

 

Fans of either or both genres will be entertained to see the two together. The title could have been Freddy and Jason in a film and fight later on, which admittedly is not as catchy but it would let the audience know exactly what they are in for. There is nothing new on offer here, the invincible serial killer Jason still hacks his way mercilessly through anyone in his path and Freddy lurks in the dream world ready to dispatch anyone unfortunate enough to have fallen asleep.

 

In addition the ending is what we have come to expect, the villains are seemingly destroyed, then it is confirmed that they are not. I heard that at one point in the ending Pinhead from the Hellraiser films was going to appear as Freddy and Jason were fighting, and tell them that they could do a lot more damage if the three were to team up, at which point Freddy and Jason stop fighting and all three walk together towards the camera. That ending would have kicked ass but unfortunately it did not happen and we get the typical Jason is still alive and Freddy’s laugh as the screen goes black.

 

I suppose you can ask, what do you expect from a film called Freddy Vs Jason and that is true. This is a popcorn movie. It is clichéd, the cast get picked off one after another, but it is quite good fun. So check your brain at the door and sit back to watch as teens are hacked apart before there are a couple of decent fights between Freddy and Jason.

 

Yes, the film is stupid, yes, the characters are just lambs to the slaughter, yes, there is nothing original here. But do you know what?? The film is fun. Robert Englund is clearly enjoying himself, and this was his last big screen outing as Freddy before his franchise recieved a reboot in 2010.

 

It is never going to win any awards but then it was never supposed to, even though it is an average film that receives only an average rating from me, my Thumb is still Up because it knows what it is trying to do and does not try to be anything else.

 

 

5/10 - Even though I have given it a Thumbs Up, I cannot rate it any higher than average becaue it is a film that does what is says on the tin, Freddy fights Jason; fans of both or either franchise will enjoy seeing the two icons battling one another but it could have been better.

 

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© Chris Sharman