|Freddy vs. Jason
2003 - R - 97 Mins.
|Director: Ronny Yu
|Producer: Sean S. Cunningham
|Written By: Damian Shannon and Mark Swift
|Starring: Robert Englund, Ken Kirzinger, Monica Keena, Jason Ritter and Kelly Rowland
|Review by: Bill King
I watched "Freddy vs. Jason" for one reason, and that was to see how the filmmakers could fulfill the promising notion of pitting Freddy Krueger against Jason Voorhees. I was thoroughly impressed. While there are no scares to be found whatsoever, the movie delivers on its premise. The climactic showdown between the two movie monsters is everything I could have imagined, and more.
This movie completely ignores the fact that Jason was supposedly placed in suspended animation and studied for his regenerative abilities, as we learned in "Jason X." It sort of picks up where "Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday" left off. Freddy Krueger, played once again by Robert Englund, is a forgotten figure in Springwood. A huge cover-up has reduced his status to urban legend, and with not enough people fearing him, Freddy can't invade dreams and kill off teenagers. His solution? Resurrect Jason Voorhees (Ken Kirzinger) from the dead and allow him to begin his reign of terror in Springwood. Rumors of Freddy's return will surface, which will fuel his powers and make him strong enough to make a return.
There's only one problem. Once Jason begins his own brand of slaughter, he kills off the very people Freddy needs to make him stronger. Realizing that Jason has outlived his usefulness, Freddy must dispose of the very being whose services he recruited in the first place. This makes for a very exciting third act, when the two fight in the dream world as well as the real one.
A handful of stock characters is present to uncover Freddy's plot and find a way to get rid of both them both. Lori (Monica Keena of "Crime and Punishment in Suburbia") becomes entwined in the complicated plot. Along with Lori are Will (Jason Ritter), Kia (Kelly Rowland), Gibb (Katharine Isabelle) and Linderman (Chris Marquette), amongst others. They're not too well developed, but the actors bring the right amount of conviction to their roles. They treat this plot seriously, which is all that is required. I did like Monica Keena's performance. She's a strong lead, unlike past actresses who wound up running and screaming at the end of previous "Friday the 13th" movies.
What I really enjoyed about "Freddy vs. Jason" was its fearless display of gore. When done right, a gory horror film can be very enjoyable. Director Ronny Yu doesn't shy away from the bloodletting, and when his two title characters go at it, they slice and hack at each other in a crimson battle. They use every prop within arm's reach, toss each other about and even use each other's preferred weapon. The plot moves along smoothly, has a sense of humor, kids itself and then delivers what fans have been waiting for, and does so in spectacular fashion.