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Review: Freddy vs. Jason (2003)

Freddy vs. Jason (2003)

Directed by: Ronny Yu

Premise: Trapped in hell and forgotten, Freddy Krueger (Robert Englund) resurrects Jason Voorhees (Ken Kirzinger) to stir up fear in the town of Springwood and rejuvenate his powers. When Jason won’t stop killing, the villains go toe-to-toe in a fight over who is allowed to kill the teens of Springwood.

What Works: Freddy vs. Jason delivers on its promise, respecting the mythologies of both characters and using the best elements of both franchises to bridge their stories together. Where Freddy’s Dead managed to trip over every mistake of the franchise, Freddy vs. Jason capitalizes on the strengths. Freddy vs. Jason returns Freddy to the darkness of the original installments but the film also includes the fun of Dream Warriors but without the smugness that ruined later installments. There are plenty of special effects but the violence stays grounded in the biological and the blood and gore keep the film primal and somewhat scary. Director Ronny Yu has a talent for staging action and the editing and cinematography of Freddy vs. Jason gives the film and its aging icons a much-needed shot of adrenaline.

What Doesn’t: Obviously anyone who did not like the Nightmare on Elm Street series or the Friday the 13th series will not like this film either. It plays more like an action film than a horror film and it does get cartoonish in places. There is a sense that these characters, who were once very frightening personifications of contemporary evil, have become cartoon versions of themselves.

DVD extras: Audio commentaries, featurettes, trailers, storyboards, and a press conference featuring Freddy and Jason.

Bottom Line: Freddy vs. Jason follows in the tradition of Frankenstein Meets the Wolfman and is successful as a hybrid of the horror and action genres. While the film abandons any deeper meaning that Freddy and Jason might have possessed in previous incarnations, it is a great deal of fun to watch.

Episode: #73 (October 30, 2005)