Now if you thought that there was something missing in the A Nightmare on Elm Street and Friday the 13th reviews, then that’s right, as there’s still Freddy vs. Jason by Ronny Yu, a face-off that quite nicely fits in the middle of our Halloween movie week.
Freddy vs. Jason
(USA 2003, director: Ronny Yu)
Child murderer Freddy tries to get back into the dreams of the Elm Street kids by resurrecting Crystal Lake terror Jason, and a group of kids suddenly has two real nightmares to face.
Sometimes horror movies take a life of their own when it comes to iconic villains who become part of popular culture. So it was only a matter of time until silent Crystal Lake killer Jason Vorhees and wise-cracking nightmare slasher Freddy Krueger face each other and battle it out. As silly as the concept sounds, it miraculously works.
Having Krueger use Voorhees to make the kids of Elm Street believe in him again is a pretty cool idea, and when things don’t turn out the way the dream killer wants them to be, the tongue-in-cheek and sick way of how they fight over their victims (or at least Freddy does) is refreshingly innovative. The typically long introduction of characters is cut short, so that there’s an emphasis on dark atmosphere and building up tension. It’s also great to see that the cornerstones of each franchise are kept intact, e.g. Jason killing teenagers who behave indecently (which of course all do) and Freddy using some of his nightmare traps to get into people’s heads (and intestines).
There might not be much of a story and even less of character development, but as a straight slasher flick with lots of blood and a high bodycount, one can’t go wrong with this one. Even alternative metal rock music during fights of the two villains isn’t out of place if the whole thing is taken as a fun ride with people dying like flies. It has all the clichés with stoner kids, nerds, a whiny heroine becoming strong and an old boyfriend helping her. But this is why them movie is so much fun to watch. It knows exactly what it is without doing any psycho analysis on the characters. It’s fan service done right.
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