24 of 26 people found the following review helpful
Freddy Krueger. Jason Voorhees. Two characters in the American horror film canon that simply refuse to go away. Literally, since both are impervious to lasting physical injury. You can set these guys on fire, stab them, dissect them, blow them up, do just about anything you want to them and they keep coming back for more. How many films have both of them made at this point? Twenty? It feels like a hundred. The combined box office and home rental take of the "Nightmare on Elm Street" and "Friday the 13th" franchises must be close to a billion dollars by now, so when New Line Cinema acquired the rights to make future Jason films they knew they were on to something big. Finally, they thought, they could put together a film containing both Freddy and Jason. New Line spent years developing just the right script for the showdown every horror fan wanted to see. Hence "Freddy vs. Jason" cleaned up big time at the box office last year, making so much money that plans for a sequel should be a foregone conclusion. Until New Line figures out how to make lightening strike twice, content yourself with the DVD version of the film.
"Freddy vs. Jason" reintroduces us to good old Springwood, the home of the late but definitely unlamented Freddy Krueger (Robert Englund). Things have changed in the old neighborhood since Freddy went on his dreamscape rampages back in the 1980s and early 1990s. The adults in the area figured out an excellent way to get rid of the man with the frayed sweater and razorblade gloves forever, or so they hope. They simply removed every reference they could find in newspapers and magazines about Freddy Krueger. Go to the library to do some research on the man, as one of the characters does in the film, and you won't find a darn thing. Why go to all the trouble of a news blackout? Easy. The kids can't dream about Freddy if they don't know he exists. And if they can't dream about him, they can't perish horribly. There are a few kids that know the ghastly secret, like Will Rollins (Jason Ritter), but the authorities have him and the others tucked away in a high security mental hospital under the influence of the powerful anti-dream drug Hypnocil. Before Rollins unceremoniously went to the hospital, he spent a lot of time with his gorgeous girlfriend Lori Campbell (Monica Keena) and her friend Kia Waterson (Kelly Rowland). Lori doesn't learn what happened to him until Freddy decides to come out of retirement.
Krueger, you see, despises the fact that the Elm Street kiddies don't know about him. In order to once again torment the descendants of his oppressors, he resurrects the dreaded Jason Voorhees (Ken Kirzinger) to stir things up in his old neighborhood. Jason does an excellent job of instilling the appropriate amount of doom and gloom in the kids, partly through his beastly appearance and partly through his penchant for imaginative killings. In one case, he folds a kid up in a bed. Hardly disturbing, right? Well, it is when the poor chap's heels are touching the back of his head! Voorhees's antics soon know no bounds. He shows up at a rave in a cornfield just in time to massacre scores of kids in particularly heinous ways. Jason kills so many people, and keeps on killing more, that it puts a serious crimp in Freddy's plans when he shows arrives on the scene. He wants all the children to himself, which means Jason has to go back to hell posthaste. Problem is, the masked maniac isn't going to do it without a little help. The result is the fight, a slam bang, take no prisoners tete a tete that is breathtaking to behold. Neo and Agent Smith can't compare to these two. Freddy and Jason squaring off translates into a lot of blood and a lot of broken bones. Any humans who happen to get in the way are hamburger.
"Freddy vs. Jason" is a massively entertaining film. It's not a traditional slasher film although there are slasher elements in it. It's not a character driven film, either, except for the two killing machines. The entire film exists solely as background for the final showdown. Sure, some of the effects up to this point, including the shadow Freddy and Kelly Rowland's nose flying off, garner a chuckle or two. But the fight scene stands center stage. The best part has to be when Freddy dumps dozens of long pieces of rebar down on an unsuspecting Jason, several pieces of which turn the hockey masked maniac into a giant shish kebob. Or maybe the best scenes include the battle at the lake where Freddy and Jason exchange blows resulting in huge gouts of black gore. Whichever part you like the most, the conclusion to the film won't disappoint. Given the emphasis on the fight, it's sort of disappointing we don't get to spend more time with the always beautiful Monica Keena. She's the sort of young lady I never tire of seeing in a film. I would tune in to watch her sit around in sweat pants and a grungy T-shirt eating breakfast. In "Freddy vs. Jason," though, she's one step above cannon fodder. Pity.
The amount of supplements included with the film stagger the imagination. A commentary track with director Ronny Yu, Robert Englund, and Ken Kirzinger heads the list. You've also got a "jump to a death" option, trailers, an intriguing documentary on the special effects, interviews about the difficulty in bringing the film to fruition, and a lengthy text article from Fangoria magazine about the myriad scripts penned by many writers over the years. I highly recommend this film for those viewers looking for a great way to whittle away a few hours. I'll be watching it again soon.
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
The youngest generation of Freddy and Jason fans have no idea how long we, the original fans of the Friday the 13th and A Nightmare on Elm Street franchises, waited for this movie to become a reality. We dared to dream of this monster match-up back in the mid-1980s, years before development actually began; that development, as we all know, went through all manner of scripts and writers and producers and directors and basically but the kitchen sink over the course of eleven years. When New Line took over the Friday the 13th franchise, the first sparks of belief were born from the fiery ashes of hope, and the ending of Jason Goes to Hell sent us into tremors of excitement. We waited, and waited some more. New Line also waited - waited for a script that would join these two distinctive storylines in a way acceptable to both the studios and, most importantly, the fans. Freddy vs. Jason, in my opinion, was more than worth the wait, and I thank New Line for caring enough about the characters and their fans to wait until they had a script we could all buy into and respect.
I love this movie. It has everything I would have asked for: gratuitous nudity (well, I might have added a little more of it); an acceptable number of kills and the blood and gore to go with them; insights into the "births" of both Jason and Freddy; a return to basics for Freddy himself, veering him away from his stand-up comedy career of later Elm Street films yet retaining his wickedly sarcastic wit; an interesting cast of characters I enjoyed seeing die one by one; and of course both a home and away match for our two star attractions. It also has plenty of an oftentimes wet Monica Keena, and the fact that she remained clothed throughout the film only made her that much sexier. You've got plenty of action at Crystal Lake as well as Freddy's boiler room turf, and the premise of the film works very well. How to bring Jason and Freddy together? That was always the crux of the matter, and the assorted scriptwriters who worked on the story over the years came up with some ridiculous ideas that would never have worked. Damion Shannon and Mark Swift deserve kudos for discarding all the old ideas that continued to cling to the project and giving us a darn good script. We all know that Freddy draws his power from the fear of his victims, but he has suddenly been forgotten. The adults of Springwood have erased Freddy and his activities from the collective history of the town, and those kids who know Freddy and fear him have all been shipped to an asylum and deprived of the ability to dream via drug therapy. Freddy has been made too weak to come back, and so he selects Jason Voorhees to go to Elm Street and spread fear anew. His plan works, as the authorities let Freddy's name slip out, and with each of Jason's kills, Freddy grows stronger. This leads us to the second critical aspect of the plot: why would Jason and Freddy fight one another? Once Freddy's back, he doesn't take kindly to Jason claiming all of his own would-be victims - obviously, the guy in the hockey mask needs to learn who the boss really is. And so the rumble begins, a fight brought over into the real world thanks to the kids of Elm Street who work things out and intentionally place Jason in Freddy's path.
I thought all of the young actors did a great job, even though a couple of characters were not fleshed out as much as they might have been. Freddy is his old self again, witty but downright vicious, and Jason is his single-minded murdering self. I had a hard time deciding who to pull for, though. I love Freddy because he takes the time to enjoy tormenting his victims before killing them, but you have to admire the one-man killing machine that is Jason Voorhees. I think there was plenty of fighting between the two at the end, and I approved of the ending. You can argue about the victor of the fight, but clearly (whether or not a rematch ever occurs) the fight ain't exactly over just yet.
The DVD is fantastic, filled with all sorts of goodies. I actually started wondering when the featurettes on the making of the film would ever end - there is an amazing amount of material here. Another wonderful addition was the two-part Fangoria article detailing the wild history of this long-awaited film; I could not believe some of the ridiculous ideas espoused by earlier script writers; had New Line made this film earlier than they did, they would very likely have doomed both the Jason and Freddy franchises. The Ill Nino video for "How Can I Live" is fun to watch, although I was disappointed it did not feature any movie clips (and thus no Monica Keena). Best of all, though, you get a number of deleted/alternate scenes as well as an audio commentary of the film by director Ronny Yu, Robert Englund (Freddy), and Ken Kirzinger (Jason) - England sort of dominates the conversation, but his excitement about the film is palpable. Yu was an interesting choice as director, but I think he did a fine job; I was especially fascinated to learn how much of an impact early screenings of the film with test audiences affected the final cut - Yu knew that the fans were more knowledgeable than he was on the subject at hand and rightly deferred to their opinions when they made plain the fact that certain elements of the first cut just would not fly.
33 of 41 people found the following review helpful
I've been a bigger Friday the 13th fan than a Nightmare on Elm Street fan. The woods simply seem more inherently frightening and dangerous than a suburban street for horny teens. In any event, I feel that both of these series, especially Friday the 13th, have lost their lure in recent years. Trying to find ways to bring back our favorite slashers and attempting to do it in contemporary fashion have fallen short, in my opinion. I've remained a fan through it all, yet when they took Jason out of Camp Crystal Lake and brought him to New York City, he somehow became less imposing and some of the mystery was lost.
Freddy vs. Jason was an idea borne years before this film began pre-production. The premise of the film (Freddy calling on Jason to strike fear back into the children of Elm Street) is decent, but it seemed to me that something was missing...
I enjoyed the movie, especially the dream sequences, but I couldn't put my finger on what was wrong with the film. It just didn't feel like Friday the 13th to me. It felt more like a Nightmare on Elm Street film, but even those movies were scarier. This movie bordered on absurd at times and much of what we had come to know about Freddy and Jason was betrayed in this film by way of contradiction (i.e. Jason suddenly having a phobia of water after he had, on many occassions in the past, pursued people into the water to kill them).
I am glad that this movie was made and I will always remain a fan, but I feel that with all of the time and writing that went into this idea, it could have been a hell of a lot better. The story was not bad, but the movie was simply not scary or suspenseful at all. It's a must see for any fan of either series, if for no other reason than to see what your favorite classic slasher is up to - but don't expect to get that good old feeling you used to get when watching a Friday the 13th or a Nightmare on Elm Street film back in the 80s and 90s.
The bonus material is extensive and quite exhaustive. They cover every aspect of the film, including pre-production, direction, stunts, visual effects, make-up, audio commentary, deleted scenes, storyboards and galleries, etc.... The bonus disc amounts to a few hours of extra viewing, which is actually pretty informative and insightful. With cool, animated menus, this is a great DVD edition for something of a letdown film.
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on September 16, 2003
All my life I've loved watching the Friday the 13th and Nightmare on Elm Street films, and ever since Jason Goes to Hell, I've been (like a lot of people) waiting for the day when Freddy takes on Jason. Thank God - that day has arrived.
I've seen "Freddy vs Jason" twice already so now I feel I can make an honest judgement. This movie is fan-fragin-tastic. Enough said. Now, I'm well aware that the script tends to be a little on the cheesy side and the film is not without it's plot holes, but...c'mon, if you want to go see a movie for it's heart pounding dialogue and life effecting plotline then you wouldn't have gone to see this anyway. This movie is about one thing: FUN. Let's not lose sight of that. And that's exactly what this movie delivers, non-stop fun. I had more fun watching this movie then any other film in the past 2 years - at least.
This movie has everything a good horror movie should. Likeable main characters (Freddy and Jason of course), stupid teens, hot girls, naked girls, comedy and a whole lot of gore. What else in god's name do you need???
My only complaint about this movie is some of the casting choices, Kelly Rowland of Destiny's Child is a TERRIBLE actress. (If you could even call that acting) This woman should be barred from even watching movies - let alone being in one. Also, the actor who plays the good cop (forgot his name) - he was good in "Dead Man on Campus" but I felt he was miscast here and looked a little out of place.
But the real stars of the movie of course, are Freddy and Jason and that's all that matters. Do yourself a favor, forget what the critics said, forget what your neighbor (ya know, the accountant that drives a Volvo) said, and go to see this movie and have a great time. No matter how hard you try and hate it, you will have a good time at this movie, I guarentee it.
In conclusion, 4.5 stars. Outstanding movie, a lot of fun but I take a half a star off for some poor casting choices.
Don't miss this one.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Well, where in the world do you begin in a review like this?
I grew up in the slash 'em up era and the 1st Freddy scared the living snot out of me. Friday the 13th did the same. After about the 2nd in the series of each, they both kind of went downhill. So about 20 years after I saw the first one, I find out that the 2 greatest horror icons of all time are going to duke it out! I couldn't wait. But I also didn't think this flick would be much of anything more than just stupid. Of all the ways they have brought Jason back to life before, and killed him, then back to life again, I just couldn't imagine what this would be like.
To my pleasant surprise, the movie kept to the original humor of the Freddy movies and the sheer slash 'em up of the Friday 13th series.
Freddy has some memorable one liners and Jason has some historic machete kills. And when the two do battle, they keep you on the edge of your seat to figure out which one really one the fight. And that is the point of the movie, not those teenagers that just get in the way.
There is a lot blood (duh) and some nudity (go figure), but hey, if you were a true die hard of the first ones (not so much the 12 that followed) then I think you will enjoy the movie.
Some additional features on the DVD would have put me over the top to purchase it.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on January 21, 2004
I'm not big on horror,but I've seen them all,Freddy,Jason do they ever die?Thats what makes them so good to watch and this is there best yet.The plot was great how they showed the past of both charactors, so if you forgot anything it was refreshed in your memory, so watch Freddy battle Jason in this gruesome duel to see who comes out on top. A "heads" up be ready to see another one ,Enjoy!!!!
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on August 30, 2011
"Wait...you mean there is an original entry...with the original Freddy Krueger that was released within the last decade?"
That should have been my first thought upon entering the theatre in the Summer of 2003 to see the horror/pop culture wet dream that was this film. Let us not focus on the cruelty of horror remakes and rather one of the last truly enjoyable original stories in these two horror franchises.....
You all know the storyline by now, so I will not bother to focus on that. However, the story was done so well, these characters were brought together with ease, in a story that actually made sense. Well....as much sense as a horror film can make. Basically what you need to know here is that Freddy is the master and Jason is his puppet. However, what happens when the puppet, cuts the strings and his master loses control? Well, that's when things get interesting and these two icons begin to clash.
I'll be honest, Freddy carries this film, in fact he has to, Jason never speaks and at the end of the day, is an overgrown kid with a lot of mental issues. However, how Freddy uses him and then has to deal with Jasons understanding of how he'd been used, is where this film shines and what leads to a great final conflict. Now, the other cast is rather hit or miss, Kelly from Destiny's Child is a pointless character and her random outburst of over acting totally piss over the scenes she is in. However, all the 80's horror formula is in place, the nerd, the hero, the best friend, the leading woman, the stoner they're all here. However, even if you hate the main cast, Freddy and Jason are enough entertainment to keep you interested. However, the character of Mark dealing with wanting revenge on Freddy for killing his older brother and making it look like a suicide is a wonderful side note. Also, lets face it, it's Freddy, it's Jason under the same roof. Do you really need a review to convince you to watch this film?
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on February 1, 2004
Wow. A lot of people hate this movie, although it was pretty good. The acting wasn't horrible, although there were some that sucked. There were a lot of jumps in this movie, which constitute most of the scares, but that's what Slasher movies are about.
This movie was also very funny! Freddy still has his sarcastic and humorous charm when he is going to kill or is killing someone (or in the case of Jason, trying to kill...). The fight scenes between Freddy and Jason were great, but made the movie seem a bit 'martial artsy.' But it was all good in this film.
I just don't understand how people could get so disappointed. This movie wasn't THAT bad, but it is, however, very entertaining. Just don't go in expecting a grammy-winner!!!!
14 of 18 people found the following review helpful
After taking a hiatus from the dreams of all those little boys and girls, Freddy seems to have developed a tiny little problem. People have forgotten him. They no longer remember "The SpringWood Slasher" and what the dozens of kids he killed, nor do they recall that their parents brutally enacted revenge upon him by burning him alive. They've also forgotten what he did about that and how he came for them all, tasting the fears buried in their dreams as he knifed his way through them one fingerblade at a time, and they've stopped recalling the bodycount that meant. For all the terror he managed to make while rocking Springwood's youth, he has now become something that nobody can recall. Knowing what that means and how that denies him the pleasure of being the beast he's always wanted to be, he comes up with a plan that will let him make the children fear again and make them believe in Freddy. By disguising himself as the mother of another legend lost in time, he calls out and awakens something that has the potential to make people believe. Still, the menace known as Jason isn't the easiest monster to control...
When the rumors first began surfacing in the 1980s abut this movie coming to pass, all my friends and I used to sit around and talk about how great it would be and who we thought would win. I, always partial to Jason after he became something more than a man, argued day in and day again about it, thinking that the superstalker had more in his bag-of-tricks than he got credit for. Regardless of which sid eof the fence you feel on, however, we all knew that this was a match-up we'd wanted ages to see, and one that we thought would never be made because years upon years passed. When I finally found out that this time was "go time" and that I could actually see the end result of decades of pondering, I went and did something I rarely do - going as far as to brave the bipedal disease to see the legends that haunted so many of my childhood dreams. And it was truly worth it.
Seeing Robert Englund dawn the glove one more time and do a little backstory with it was nice, and nicer still when you looked at the amount of money that had to have been pumped into the set-up. There were the little things that had been touched up from the last time we saw Freddy hit the big screen, with his face made to look more menacing with subtle refinements, and there were many of the same things we remembered about him from the "good old days." The twisted pieces of humor floating around in the movie, the one liners we have all grow to love; they were all there and they were all thriving. It was like picking up with Freddy, jokes and darkness and all, and having that ball to run with again. Couple that with Jason, the walking campground massacre machine that he was, and add in the fact that they get together and have a lot of fun before having it out, and you have yourself something interesting.
Combined with this was something I had seen in that many horror movies in a while - and especially not in a Jason movie for quite some time - and that was a body count with some horribly violent deaths. Instead of an MPAA piece of bent on the destruction of a franchise, it was an out-an-out horror movie that didn't kid around with what we were about to see. From the beginning, with Jason heaping helping of his machete onto the unwanting and the unwilling, to the end and the fight between Freddy and Jason, there was blood and blood aplenty. Jason did what he is probably best know for, creating an atmosphere and then walking in like a plague that nothing can stop, and Freddy did what he does - playing with the fish he wants to fry. Yeah, it's all good stuff.
Couple into that equation the fact that there are a drove of deleted scenes that complete many parts (the beginning, for one making it better) , that an extra ending is also on the DVD that allows you to have the beast you might want to win, and that there's a lot of other extras and you have yourself a showdown that is worth picking up on DVD. You can listen to R.E. as he talks about the movie, skip to deaths, watch a video, and play around with quite a few other trinkets on your way to the torso hatchery. Its really nice to see another chapter of the nightmare unfold after as long.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on July 25, 2007
I hated Friday the 13th part IX: Jason Goes to Hell and the idea of making a film about Freddy and Jason squaring off was horrible but inevitable after we see Freddy bring Jason's hockey mask to hell with him. Well, I can admit I was somewhat wrong. You see I was under the impression that the inept creators who made these later films would create this one too, but Freddy vs. Jason was in decent or at least very disturbed hands. The film hand picks the truly memorable elements about both stories and touches on all of them. The parts that make them scary and somewhat convincing and the parts that reinforce the characters as legends and horror icons. Freddy vs. Jason celebrates the mythology in an undeniably clever and tongue-in-cheek fashion.
Freddy's legend is brought to an iconic status as we see girls jumping rope singing those Freddy rhymes and him getting burned by the vengeful parents of the Elm street children, they even gave us glimpses of Freddy's greatest moments. He consistently breaks out his puns and bad one-liners in vintage Freddy bravado and in many ways he is the lead character of the film. The movie is actually from his perspective from the start. Jason's legend on the other hand is touched on only half way until later on when the two meet for the first time. We see images of his mother, her head, Jason drowning as a boy and children picking on him mercilessly. We even get a short reference to Jason's potato sack wearing days in Friday the 13th part 2.
Freddy's strength is the fear of the children on Elm Street and to fear him they must know who he is. I don't remember Nancy and Johnny Depp having to know who Freddy is to fear him but where would one of these films be without a plot-hole? So Freddy needs to get something going in reality (cause Freddy exists in dreams). He summons another dark force to bring chaos and fear to the real world Elm Street so the legend of Freddy is hyped-up all over again and he is allowed to flourish in all of the children's fear. Enter Jason Voorhees. But when Jason shows up he spoils all of Freddy's fun by killing everyone he can...and I mean everyone. Freddy can't stand it because everyone on Elm Street now fears Jason just as much as him but Freddy has gained enough power to make a comeback. The stage is set for the modern day King Kong vs. Godzilla. Both opponents are worthy of the other and they do not disappoint in the least.
What really makes the film entertaining is the violence and if you're a fan of these characters. Otherwise you're going to see some brutal deaths that will scare you because most fans are twisted enough to laugh at it and you won't understand why. Freddy vs. Jason contains perhaps more blood than any mainstream film I have ever seen (obviously it can't top Peter Jackson's Dead Alive). Still, the film has blood shooting to and fro in just about every direction in just about every death, and we see a lot of the death. It gets even bloodier when they finally meet in the real world at Camp Crystal Lake for the classic showdown. Freddy's Kung Fu and his wits seem to be the perfect match for Jason's brawn and complete invulnerability to any type of pain or dismemberment.
Anyway, the film has plenty of laughs besides the usually amusing murder sequence. Consider this line after Jason marches through a cornfield toward a small rave party as he is engulfed in flames and kills a handful of people, "Dude that goalie was pissed about something". Rumors still circulate that Michael Myers or Ash (from Evil Dead 2) might get into the mix but nothing has come out of it. Slasher movie fans are a patient lot with lower standards than most but perhaps enough is enough.