Freddy vs. Jason (2003)

freddyvsjasonThe highly anticipated, long awaited, long talked about duel horror fans (including me) have been awaiting has finally come onto the big screen. After many many script changes, and remaining in ten years in movie making limbo, “Freddy Vs. Jason” has come. A new generation of kids have come to Elm Street and Freddy Krueger wants their souls, but his memory has long been extinguished by the parents of the previous years and he no longer has power over their kids’ dreams. Now, desperate to reclaim his power over the children and reincarnate his memory, he tricks the machete wielding, hockey masked killer Jason Voorhees (Ken Kirzinger) into rising from the grave once more to instill horror into the kids, but when Jason becomes too hot to handle, Freddy Krueger decides to take matters into his own hands and kill Jason himself. Who will win the ultimate undead battle? I’m not telling.

Finally, it has arrived! There were many doubts as whether or not this movie would or could be made and here it is. I sat in the empty movie theater anxiously awaiting the movie to start, hoping Jason would win and, thank goodness, I was not disappointed. Why was this such a big deal to me? I’m a huge fan of horror movies and am a huge fan of the “F13” movie series so this basically left me craving some action. Horror Veteran Robert Englund once again reprises the role that made him so famous and he shows audiences he hasn’t aged a bit. He’s in rare form in this movie and once again, Freddy is portrayed as a horrifying dream demon rather than a simple joker he was portrayed as in his previous films. He’s a slimy crafty madman who pulls the strings from the dream world and waits for his chance. The movie is mostly driven upon and relies on the performance by Englund who becomes Krueger. He narrates the opener of the movie and we manage to get a glimpse of him as the child killer before he died and became a demon. Freddy Krueger is a very intimidating presence in this movie and he manages to play off well against many of the cast members. His look is sort of rejuvenated as the make up artists add some black teeth and a more rotted face.

Also, they give the fans something to watch as we see him in true demon form in a certain moment of the movie. Stunt Man Ken Kirzinger is great as Jason Voorhees and gives Jason a great intimidating swagger. Fans wanted Kane Hodder who portrayed Jason in many movies, but Ken was just as good. Kane Hodder always portrayed Jason as a more unstoppable machine, but producers wanted Kirzinger because he was intimidating but less angry. Jason isn’t focused on a lot until the last fifty minutes of the film as we get to see him kill some people brutally, and we watch as he begins his massacre for Freddy. Kirzinger has the right build for Jason Voorhees and really has his stiff robotic movements down to a tee. I voted for Jason throughout the entire film. This isn’t an “F13” film nor is this a “NOES” film, but plays to both fan followings showing Jason kicking Freddy’s butt left and right and showing Freddy tormenting and kicking Jason’s butt left and right. Ronny Yu, director of the stinker “The Bride of Chucky” really keeps this movie in check with the constant flawless mood changes throughout the movie. There’s many feelings of dread and horror when encountered with Freddy Krueger, and Yu manages to give his dream world a true feeling of terror with shades of dark red and blue.

Yu creates a stylish but terrifying horror bonanza that will leave any horror fan foaming at the mouth. Unlike “Bride of Chucky”, this barely has any camp to it and he manages to pay homage to these two horror icons rather than spoofing them; he gives horror fans a lot of meat to chew on including a re-cap of the past “Nightmare” movies in the opener. The downfalls of the film are the moments of camp throughout the story. I cringed at the part where Freddy begins playing pinball with Jason’s body, and scoffed as some of the overacting Keena gave throughout the film. Kelly Rowland’s from R&B group “Destiny’s Child” plays the best friend Kia to Keena’s character and manages to prove not all singers are actors. She’s terrible throughout the film, which is no wonder why she’s not in this a whole lot. The cast are the usual characters we see in the horror films but still manage to be appealing.

Son of John Ritter, newcomer Jason Ritter gives a good supporting performance as Will, who was locked up for experiencing Freddy’s carnage and escapes along with his friend to help Freddy’s victims. Brendan Fletcher plays Will’s friend Mark who has an extensive knowledge of Freddy Krueger and attempts to keep Freddy at bay. The mind-numbingly hot Monica Keena plays the main character Lori Campbell who has a connection with Freddy and discovers his motives, experiencing his terror firsthand. She takes it upon herself to stop Freddy and Jason with great results. Keena is a great actress and gives her a character a vulnerability throughout the film. It was difficult to pay attention to her acting, though, seeing as how incredibly hot she is. There are many incredible scenes and nods to horror fans that director Yu so skillfully composes and manages to invent some scenes that will stay in horror fans’ minds. Who will forget the awesome corn field party massacre scene?

Who didn’t laugh when Kelly Rowland’s was forced to give Jason mouth to mouth? Who will forget the awesome fight scenes between Freddy and Jason? and there’s plenty of them folks. Yu doesn’t gyp horror fans playing more for them as he gives us four three great Freddy/Jason fight scenes including the final showdown at Camp Crystal Lake which manages to last for fifteen minutes and never loses its fun. These are only a few of the many thrilling sequences Ronny Yu gave horror fans. This movie brought to mind the old Universal monster movies where they teamed two of their titans together to duke it out, but this was far more superior. There’s nothing anti-climactic about this film; it seems the studios and writers know what the horror fans wanted for once. Wes Craven and Sean Cunningham would be proud! This is a fun-filled, action packed, horror spectacular that will leave horror fans foaming at the mouth and movie-goers cheering. Critics say these two franchises are dead, but if they manage to keep the movies at this pace, Freddy and Jason will live on to horrify another generation of movie-goers.