REVIEW: Freddy vs. Jason (2003)



Freddy vs. Jason: C-

Welcome to a movie that attempts to take the famous chemistry from the Godzilla vs. films and transfer it to the 11th installment in the Friday the 13th (or 8th Nightmare on Elm Street) series. If you sit down expecting to see something revolutionary that doesn’t shamelessly cash in on ideas from the past 25 years, you will be very disappointed.

I remember salivating over the marketing for this film; two of my favorite horror characters were going to face off in mortal combat. It was a horror version of Santa vs. the Easter Bunny. This was when I was really into WWE, so I was basically destined to see this in the theater. The director manages to cram everything Freddy/Jason fans love about Freddy/Jason movies into 95 minutes and the results are anti-climactic. Think about it: Just because I like avocado, toffee, and roast beef, doesn’t mean dumping them down the chute of a juicer is going to make nectar. If you are like me and are a fan of both franchises, you’ll suck it down and believe you love it no matter what while others will be understandably perplexed and bored.

There are plenty of decent looking teenagers misbehaving before they are killed, foggy boiler room dream-murders, “chh-chh, chaa-chaa” Jason noises, and a plot that you could read the newspaper through. There isn’t a minute of this movie that goes out on a limb that isn’t immediately rendered as CGI and lopped off.

At the beginning of the film, fans are already all riled up from the dick-tease ending of Jason Goes to Hell. Freddy is trapped in Dream World because parents of Elm Street have gone to near-Orwellian pains to remove his killing sprees from the newspaper archives and minds of the town. Apparently, Freddy requires mass paranoia and terror in order to operate, both of which have been abolished by the town’s seemingly well-meaning helicopter parents; no sniveling, horrified teens means Freddy has no power. Freddy resurrects Jason and sets him loose on Elm Street, knowing that his murders will result in a renaissance of Freddy-fear, allowing Freddy to kill, kill, kill.

Just like Greek mythology, logical questions about the story have no place here. While some “rules” are set in stone, others are made of Silly Putty. Freddy is weak and can’t kill kids in their dreams, but he can summon dead people from Hell. How can Freddy go to Hell, but not Earth? He is confined to the dream world except when convenient for particular scenes. How is Jason, after so many decades, still so damn quiet and why is his machete five feet long?

The “vs.” part of the film comes in when the movie has about 15 minutes left; a rejuvenated Freddy attempts to eliminate Jason so he can have all the carnage to himself. I won’t ruin it for you, but the fight scenes are what a toddler playing with action figures probably imagines, full of flying jump-kicks, projectiles, and one-liners. Imagine Freddy and Jason as Power Ranger villains and you’ll have the aesthetic of the film correctly pictured.

Objectively, the movie is terrible. But you know what? It is the only movie I have ever seen twice in the theater on the same day. Maybe that means I’m a loser, but maybe it means fuck you, I’m not a loser: C-!