Friday, 20th October 2017. 3:51:24pm ET
Reviews Movie Reviews Freddy vs. Jason

 


Movie: Freddy vs. Jason
Company: New Line
Format: VHS
Reviewer: Joshua Heinrich
Date: 8/24/04

Well, it finally happened. In a move that's been in the works for somewhere around a decade and has probably been anticipated by slasher fans longer than that, New Line has finally managed to combine two of the most popular horror franchises in history. Taking the age-old commercial competition between the two significantly different takes on the slasher film genre and translating that into an epic battle between the series' two stars, Freddy vs Jason combines elements of both while also creatively intertwining them.

The overall story is actually rather clever. Kids have long since forgotten about Freddy Krueger, and the source of Freddy's power, their fear, has effectively dried up. Hence, Freddy cleverly manages to sneak into Jason's dreams, revive him, and send him to Elm Street in an attempt to make people think he has returned. Unfortunately, Freddy can't shut him off, and something of a turf battle erupts once Freddy's strength has returned, leading to the main "versus" premise of the story.

Of course, most of the film is far less intelligent and made up of the pure slasher schlock we've come to expect. The first real scene in the film gets right to the nudity and gore. Yes, the first half of the movie is basically Jason offing a bunch of teenagers, usually while they're having sex or drinking. The second half largely involves teens trying to stay awake while Freddy kills some of them off with Jason often interfering. I don't really think I've spoiled anything by saying that. It's pretty much what anyone familiar with either series would expect, and it's just as predictable as it sounds. The film does have its clever moments, including an interesting premise built around an apparent police conspiracy that unfolds as the film builds momentum, but it's about 90% mindless gore and nudity obviously aimed at fans of the series.

The movie, of course, culminates in an all-out battle between Freddy and Jason (again, no real spoiler there). Unfortunately, it's so over the top it often approaches cartoon slapstick. Yes, watching the final battle between two of the most lauded horror villains of the last 2 or 3 decades felt like watching Bugs Bunny duke it out with Elmer Fudd. I suppose it makes sense. Freddy has always had something of a cartoonish sense of humor, and Jason has never really had much of a sense of anything. At times, though, it reached outlandish proportions of cheese that had me rolling my eyes far more than laughing.

In the end, it's certainly not great cinema and is, sometimes if not often, simply dumb, but it's mindlessly entertaining. Fans of the two series will probably want to at least check it out if they haven't already. Those that dislike former installments in either series probably won't find anything here that will change their minds. It's not nearly as interesting or intelligent as the original Nightmare on Elm Street or Wes Craven's New Nightmare, and it's only a few steps above the average mindless Friday the 13th flick. It's a bit of comedic slasher fun that will likely please genre and series fans but is ultimately little more than slasher schlock that falls somewhere around par for the genre.


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