freddy vs jason

New Line
2003
R

“What’s wrong, Lori?  Miss your wake-up call?”

It’s been nearly ten years since Freddy Krueger terrorized people in their dreams, and the towns folk want to keep him erased from their memory.  Freddy still has one more plan on getting back on Elm Street.  He resurrects Jason Voorhees and sends him off to kill.  The more bodies which fall to the ground, the stronger in which Freddy becomes.  That is, until Freddy realizes that Jason isn’t going to step aside easy, and must be taken down himself.

Yes, I watched this movie when it came out in theaters.  Opening day, as a matter of fact.  Yes, I anticipated this thing since the rumors began at the end of Jason Goes To Hell.  Yes, I followed the production of this long-anticipated fanboy dream closely.  And when I finally sat down and took in this finally-realized throwdown between two of horrordom’s beloved icons, by the time the end credits rolled I was one happy and contented fiend.

Yes, I enjoyed Freddy Vs. Jason immensely.  And I don’t understand why there’s been so much bellyaching about this movie to begin with.  I mean, what’s there to be complaining about?  What’s the problem?  Why does it seem that, every time I read or hear someone talk about this movie, it’s never good, always disparaging?  What were they expecting, exactly?  I don’t know.

All I know is that Freddy Vs. Jason wasn’t just a means to a quick buck on two sadly stagnated classic franchises.  There’s a decent plot here, having the Stalker of All Your Nightmares recruit the help of the Unstoppable Menace of Crystal Lake to bring fear back to the people of Elm Street, because they’re not afraid of Freddy anymore, and thus he’s weak.  But, Jason’s power doesn’t depend on anyone being afraid of him – he’s more a force of nature than a legendary boogie-man.  So, when he starts encroaching too much on Freddy’s territory, he decides to take Jason out, resulting in a knock-down, drag-out fight that takes place not only in the real world, but also in Jason’s dream realm, which is a rather dark and scary place in and of itself.

Really, this movie is just fun to watch.  I went in merely expecting an entertaining mash-up of two of my favorite modern Horror Icons, and that’s exactly what I got.  Robert Englund is in top form as Freddy, as he brings his tasty blend of menacing merriment to the role that he made iconic.  And Jason…okay, this time around he wasn’t played by fan favorite Kane Hodder (and reports that the director was trying to find an actor that would give Jason “sad poetic eyes”, which has been a long-time running joke in my pantheon of quotes, didn’t help much in that respect), but really, when it comes down to it, it doesn’t take much to make Jason what he is.  And here, Jason is definitely Jason, to a “t”.  As far as the kill-fodder cast goes, they filled the roles nicely and were a bit more engaging than the usual spate of slasher horror actors.  Everyone’s having fun here, and the final stand-off between Freddy and Jason did NOT disappoint.  The ending was actually rather satisfying, if not a bit pandering.

Overall, I would view Freddy Vs. Jason as a satisfying capper to two classic franchise runs.  Go forth, rent this one, and enjoy the ride.  And no, that isn’t Jason Mews, so stop asking.

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