Having watched the Friday the 13th remake, my wife and I decided to revisit a favorite of ours, Freddy vs Jason. We originally saw the movie in theatres when it came out in the late Summer of 2003, and quite honestly loved it. We knew it wasn’t going to be Pulp Fiction or anything but we got exactly what we expected and that was satisfying enough. Re-watching the movie on DVD almost eight years later was still enjoyable, but at least for me, the flaws I once chose to ignore (even for a cheese ball Slasher movie like this) seemed more apparent this time. Let’s hack and slash through this monster.
The story starts with Freddy Krueger, trapped in hell, plotting a way to come back to life once again. Freddy needs people to fear him to become more powerful; however people have begun to forget him. So he tricks Jason Voorhees into rising from his own grave and sends him to Elm Street to slaughter some teens, the plan being to make the town think Freddy himself has returned. They get scared, Freddy gets more powerful, he starts entering their dreams, yadda yadda yadda. Sounds simple, right? Well it seems this Jason chap has a taste for blood and starts killing more than his share, including Freddy’s own handpicked victims. This leads to a series of clashes and a final showdown between Freddy and Jason, usually with the teenage heroes caught in the middle.
Yes, the plot is ridiculous. But as a means to an end, it works. Even working in ways to get fights between Freddy and Jason in both the real and dream world was fine by me. What I found myself cringing at was the dialogue, in particular what the teenagers have to say. It’s pretty bad, even for a campy horror movie.
“Freddy was created from fire… Jason from water… guys how can we USE that?”
Before anyone starts, I know that bad dialogue should be no surprise. I entirely understand that the campy horror quotient was turned up to eleven for this movie, and so it should be bad. But in the theatre I know that I paid little to no attention to the dialogue, I wanted to see Freddy and Jason go at it. With the repeat viewing I guess more details come into focus and the dialogue is a doozy.
The makeup and special effects are not the best 2003 had to offer, the blemishes perhaps amplified by high definition on a big screen TV, but it gets the job done. Surprisingly there wasn’t a “whole lot” of gore throughout; most of the blood letting was from Freddy and Jason themselves toward the end. Made the movie feel a little less brutal since they are the villains, I suppose. Sound is also a bit lacking, but again, it suffices.
Apparently some horror enthusiasts have a problem with Freddy’s tiny victim count. Jason must kill at least twenty or thirty people, but Freddy only gets one. Doesn’t bother me, but I guess fans like to see the devil get his due. Also, this Jason is the lumbering, slow moving killer of old. Having just watched the Friday the 13th remake, where Jason is leaner and much, much faster, it made this Jason initially seem even more lethargic than usual. It’s like trying to drive in a residential zone just after being on the highway for several hours. Just took some readjustment.
Freddy vs Jason is a bad movie but in a good way. If you are a fan of the genre and especially the two long-running series of movies then you’re going to come away pretty satisfied. It’s silly and bloody with delinquent teens getting what’s coming to them as they are caught in the crossfire of horror’s two most recognizable characters. Sure you’ll cringe at the dialogue, but hopefully you’ll have some fun in the process. Despite the problems I may have with the film, I still wish the proposed sequel, Freddy vs Jason vs Ash had happened. At least they made the comic of that story.
And yes, I shall review them!