Freddy vs. Jason (2003) – Ronny Yu

After the mess that was Jason X, Freddy vs. Jason, the film that horror fans had been waiting for, ends up being pretty damned entertaining, despite some inconsistencies in tone, effects, and in-universe continuity.

Freddy Krueger (Robert Englund) has been forgotten, so he seeks a way to bring fear back to the young people of Elm St., he searches hell and finds Jason Voorhees (Ken Kirzinger) and restores him to life so that he can stalk the twenty-somethings of the town stirring fear in them, and allowing Freddy to return.

Lori (Monica Keena) is the first to start having the nightmares again, even as Jason begins laying waste to her friends and social life, and she realises that there isn’t one killer but two, and if they can get to Camp Crystal Lake then Jason may have a home field advantage as they try to find a way to stop both killers.

The film tries to play up Jason’s fear of water, but seeing as he’s been submerged in water in how many films, I think he may be over his fear of drowning…

It’s very cool to see these two horror icons go tete a tete (though it would have been better if Kane Hodder had been allowed to play Jason in this one), and the film actually makes solid use of the dream state something that has been iffy in some of the other Nightmare films (which I’ll have to explore soon).

This film is worlds above the two previous entries, and has the budget to back it up. But is far from perfect. It’s fairly entertaining though, and features a number of familiar faces including Katherine Isabelle, Kelly Rowland, Jason Ritter, and Chris Marquette.

Englund always seems to slip easily into Krueger’s character, and I quite like the fact that the film reminds us what a horrible creature Freddy is, and not the comic character that later installments in his series elevated him to.

There’s tons of blood, some solid kills, though none of the stand out as exemplary, or overly memorable, because everyone who went to see this film only went to see it for one reason… to see Freddy and Jason duke it out. And they both get to land some punches, and the film ends a little ambiguously about who really won, but, the suggestion is that they are in the dream land of hell, and Freddy is aware again, so maybe him?

It’s a pretty fun ride, and washes the aftertaste of the previous films away, and instead of gearing up for a sequel to this film, the series went ahead with another Friday the 13th, which would serve as a reboot, remake and reset. But that’s next week.

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