After years of legal disputes and fans’ wailing, two of the horror genres most loved bad guys finally got the chance to meet and fight. Managing to mix the trademarks of both the Elm street and Friday 13th franchises, Freddy vs Jason knows exactly what it is, and delivers- gory, violent fun with the right balance between scares and jokes. Ronny Yu gives the fans what they want to see, buckets of teenage blood from elaborate deaths, and of course Krueger and Voorhees facing off.
The hideous past of Elm street has been forgotten, pasted over by the current council and the old folks in charge. Along the kids who died have been put in the past as if they never existed, as well as the creature who killed them- Freddy. Scientists created some new drug which stops kids from dreaming, therefore preventing Krueger from ever coming back-if no-one knows about him he cannot hurt anyone. Those kids who remember though are locked up in a local asylum so that they cannot infect the rest of their town. Freddy though still exists, waiting in Hell for his chance. He finally comes up with a cunning plan involving another notorious teen killer, Jason who has issues with his mother. Freddy, in the guise of Mrs Voorhees wakens Jason and tells him he needs to escape from Hell because their are a new bunch of naughty kids at Crystal Lake who need to be taught a lesson they’ll never forget, or remember. Freddy thinks that once Jason is let loose on Elm Street and starts killing, the teens will get scared giving Freddy power, and that they will eventually find out who Freddy was, giving him the power to return as they will think he is causing the deaths. This goes according to plan at first with Jason killing anyone in sight, but Freddy begins to get annoyed that Jason is having all the fun and doesn’t appreciate being sidelined. So he plans to take down Jason himself leading to a final confrontation. Meanwhile, the kids of Elm street are trying to destroy both maniacs, trying to find their weaknesses and exploit the fact that they are fighting each other.
To mix two films was always going to be a difficult process, so the writers must be greatly commended for coming up with a good idea and good script. Admittedly once the premise is established all that is left is the usual-kids try to find out who is killing them, and find a way to stop them. There are plenty of homages to past entries in both series, and more importantly there is a lot of blood and plenty of inventive deaths. The films moves at a great pace, doesn’t, to its credit, try to be clever by over-complicating matters. Englund is very good again, and Kirzinger is OK as Jason, and the rest of the cast of teens are fine, as most of them are there to be killed. Keena is likable as the heroine, but is nothing like the strong figure of Nancy. Ritter as the hero locked away because of his past with Freddy is also good, and the obligatory love story between them does not slow down the plot or killings. The more interesting relationship is between Kia and Linderman, the feisty friend of the heroine, and the nerd who falls for her. Its always good to see a Destiny’s Child reject get slaughtered on film, though to her credit she is good in the role. For violent, silly horror movies, this is definitely one of the best recent efforts as it does not take itself seriously and features some good death scenes and plenty of gore and excitement.
This DVD is well worth the money as there are lots of extra features. The deleted scenes and alternativ endings are good, the two commentaries are funnny, and the documentaries are interesting.
As always, feel free to share your thoughts on the movie- did this crossover pay off, or would it have been better during the peak of both series?