Friday, May 18, 2012

One-Year Anniversary Review-athon: "Freddy Vs Jason"

    What better way to celebrate Cinema Won's birthday than with a pair of homicidal serial killers. This is Freddy Vs Jason!

    Freddy Vs Jason is a 2003 film that crossed-over the two famed horror icons from their respective series into one big monster mash. It follows Freddy (Robert Englund) as he uses Jason (Ken Kirzinger) to bring fear back into Elm Street so he can return to haunt teen's nightmares. However, when Jason won't stop killing, Freddy and him face off.
    This film is of course a crossover between the previously reviewed Jason X and A Nightmare on Elm Street. The idea had long been in "Development Hell" and that was mostly due to the struggle to find a script that worked for both characters. Previous drafts included one with a Freddy-loving cult Jason is unleashed on and another where Freddy is revealed to be one of the Camp Crystal Lake counselors when Jason drowned. The biggest problem with bringing these two together can be summed up fairly easily: Jason's in the real world, Freddy's in the dream world. They occupy two different realms and as such bringing the two together is very difficult, especially when you factor in the fact that Jason doesn't sleep. However, this film actually does do a nice job bringing the two together.

"No Ma, we're just playin'!"
    The film is, naturally, most effective in the scenes where Freddy actually fights with Jason. The two have several fight scenes and they all are brutal, funny and live up to the title's promised battles. However, rather unfortunately for Freddy, who the plot mostly revolves around, Jason is the true star of the film. In all honesty, this is one of the more middle of the road Nightmare movies and one of the best Friday the 13th movies. Jason's kills, which include crushing someone in a bed and twisting a teen's head 180 degrees, are awesome and hilarious. Freddy's just lacking in this movie. Englund seems a little bored and Freddy doesn't even do much. By the end of the movie, Jason kills 17 people. Freddy only kills one. 
    The teen cast are pretty weak overall and they take up way too much of the film. This stems from another problem with bringing the two killers together. Jason is sorta the anti-hero in his films. He's the one we root for (And I rooted for in this film). We don't ever get involved with the teen characters he's killing because we don't have to. Freddy usually is the villain in his movies. We get to know the teens in his films because we're rooting for them to beat Freddy (Or at least we're supposed to). So here, the teens are sorta stuck in the middle. We know them enough to want to see them beat Freddy, yet not enough to root against Jason. The lack of connection with these characters make their scenes all the more boring.
    Plus, I won't get into the ending too much, and while I don't think anyone couldn't (Or hasn't already) figured out what happens, Spoiler Alert anyway. Jason and Freddy both live. Neither of them wins. They aren't in the best shape at the end (It could be argued that Jason really won), but they are still alive at the end. This ending is of course been done not to upset fans of either series. However, minutes before the reveal that they are both alive, they both are seemingly killed by each other with their own weapons. It's a much more satisfying and interesting ending then the one we are given and calls into question why it wasn't just left at that.

One of these actors is a famous singer. Guess which one. 
    Freddy Vs Jason is a culmination of two different series with many films spanning nearly two decades into one big battle royale. But is it good? Sure, why not. I mean, yes, the teens have way to much plot, the ending is kinda a letdown and Freddy is disappointingly tame. And sure, there is nothing done here that hasn't been done before. However, Jason is still as fun to watch as ever and his fights with Freddy more that make the film worth seeing for fans of the two series. Freddy Vs Jason is actually pretty good. Well, at least the Jason part is. Freddy Vs Jason gets 4 and a half stars out of 6.

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