Freddy Vs. Jason

2003, Movie, R, 98 mins


It had to happen: Frankenstein faced Dracula, Jesse James met Frankenstein's daughter, and now Freddy and Jason are ready to rumble. Sadly, this NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET/FRIDAY THE 13TH hybrid is a formulaic hodge-podge that trades on a certain demographic's affection for the bogeymen of their formative years. Largely ignoring the chronology of the FRIDAY and ELM STREET films to date, the film opens with nightmare-maker Freddy Krueger (Robert Englund) trapped in some hellish never-never land by the adults of suburban Springwood, where his reign of terror originated. They've purged him from their children's collective consciousness, and without fear on which to feed, Freddy is powerless and it's safe to be sleepy again in small-town Springwood. Unable to re-enter the real world, Freddy instead invades the death dreams of unstoppable killing machine Jason Voorhees (Ken Kirzinger, the latest of several hulking actors to play the role) and persuades him to rise from the grave and resume killing. Jason's first stop: 1428 Elm Street, where nubile teens Lori (Monica Keena), Kia (Kelly Rowland, of Destiny's Child) and Gibb (Katharine Isabelle) are having a slumber party. Gibb's jerky boyfriend (Jesse Hutch) crashes the all-girl get-together, and Jason slices and dices him while Gibb takes the obligatory shower. Needless to say, the surviving kids are plenty scared. Meanwhile Lori's boyfriend, Will (Jason Ritter), and his pal Mark (Brendan Fletcher) are staging a daring escape from the asylum where they've spent years doped up with dream-suppressing drugs for the crime of dreaming of Freddy. Once they get back to town, there's no keeping Freddy's lethal legacy a secret and the razor-fingered dream demon is on the road to wellville. Screenwriters Damian Shannon and Mark Swift appear to have invested all their energy in figuring out how to bring the titans of terror together, and what could have been a clever fusion of late 20th-century horror icons is instead a lengthy lead-in to a cheesy, WWE-style grudge match. First-class Hong Kong martial-arts fabulist Ronny Yu clearly has no affinity for Freddy or Jason, whose spookiness springs not from fairy tales or folk traditions but from stand-alone mythologies rooted in modern American pop-culture anxieties. The gore splatters so ludicrously freely that it's hard not to think of the classic Monty Python skit in which Sam Peckinpah turns the gentle musical revue Salad Days into a comic riot of severed limbs and spurting stumps. leave a comment --Maitland McDonagh

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Freddy Vs. Jason
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