It is in writing a review for this film that one realizes just how silly the whole premise is.
Freddy Krueger just is not scary anymore. At least that’s the word on Elm Street. If people are not afraid of him, how is he supposed to enter their dreams and kill them off? This is the problem. To solve it, Freddy summons Jason of Friday the 13th fame to start killing off a few Elm Street delinquents. Everyone will think Freddy did it and will be scared of him again. With that, Freddy can go back to doing what he does best – killing. But things begin to spin out of control as Jason does not feel like leaving Freddy’s turf. This all leads to the main event, as the title suggests.
Apart from the happenings between Freddy and Jason, there are a few subplots involving horny teens, booze, and whacky tobaccy. Those the most involved are Lori (Keena), the mild-mannered virgin who is guaranteed to survive, Kia (Rowland), a wilder, but not completely out of control girl, and Will (Jason Ritter), the hero who has escaped a mental hospital that he was put into because of Freddy’s nightmares. Once people in their circle of friends start getting picked off (the ones who drink and have sex the most), the survivors must find a way to stop Jason’s killing and Freddy’s nightmares.
In the end, this movie definitely has more Nightmare on Elm Street in it than Friday the 13th. Freddy has always had more personality (obviously, since he actually talks), and he is by far more entertaining in this movie. Jason is clearly in it for only one purpose, and that is to fight Freddy in the end.
The teenage characters are cardboard cutouts of stock 80’s teens. It’s fairly easy to predict who will get killed, and in what order. But that is not to be criticized. Freddy Vs. Jason is the first all-out slasher that I have seen in awhile that actually does throwbacks to their 80’s counterparts, and with a smile. No one ever praised the slasher genre for its surprises and revelations, and nothing has changed here.
The teenage performances are entirely what is expected. We have teenagers who can scream and that is about it. Oh, and in true slasher style, they are all good-looking. Robert Englund, however, is still full of energy and is clearly having a blast with this movie. He is even given a few one liners to utter in true Freddy fashion. Ken Kirzinger has replaced Kane Hodder as the role of Jason. Here is my question: Can anyone tell any difference? Diehard Jason fans seem to have loved Hodder, but is playing Jason really that tough? Get a pretty big guy and make sure he can swing a machete. That’s the only qualification I have!
So by now I suppose you are wondering about that final battle. Let’s just say that it’s the reason why I gave this film a B instead of a C or lower. It delivers and then some. Gorehounds and fans of each character (or both) will have a dream come true when they see the final fifteen minutes of this movie. There is enough hacking, slashing, blood, and guts for three more Jason movies in this battle! I don’t dare spoil the end, but it seems to have polarized viewers a bit. I recommend seeing the film and deciding for yourself.
It would be idiotic for me to say we will not see anymore Jason or Freddy in the future. They are true horror icons, and let’s face it: They cannot be killed…EVER!
Studio: New Line Cinema
Length: 97 Minutes
Rating: R for pervasive horror violence/gore, gruesome images, sexuality, drug use, and language.
Theatrical Release: August 15, 2003
Directed by: Ronny Yu
Written by: Damion Shannon & Mark Swift. Characters by Wes Craven & Victor Miller.
Cast: Ken Kirzinger, Robert Englund, Monica Keena, Kelly Rowland, Jason Ritter, Chris Marquette