Retro Review: Freddy vs. Jason

The clash of titans, the rumble of heavyweights, thunder of the monsters?

During the 1980s and early 1990s, two undead box-office titans carried along two of the most successful horror film franchises of all time. The first is a child-murderer who was burned alive by the parents of his victims only to rise again to haunt them in their dreams. He is Freddy Krueger (Robert Englund). The second is a drowning victim of some negligent camp-counselors who returns from the murky depths to punish the campers of Crystal Lake. He is Jason Voorhees (Ken Kirzinger).

In 1993s “Jason Goes to Hell:The Final Friday”, fans drooled with excitement after they witnessed the clawed hand of Freddy drag down Jason’s hockey mask beneath the earth at the conclusion of the film. This one moment has sparked theory and speculation to if and when the clash of the infamous undead would occur.

After that event we saw a couple more entries in Jason’s series and one more in Freddy’s but no more signs of the final confrontation. Now fourteen years later after that small event, we have the movie that was promised.

In the film that finally finds the horrific titans facing-off, Freddy Krueger decides he has one last master plan on how to once again raise terror and destroy the people of Elm Street. Freddy invades the dreams of serial killer Jason Voorhees and uses Jason’s unstoppable body to slay the victims of Elm Street. Freddy’s master plan doesn’t go smooth as he becomes jealous of Jason’s power and that some Elm Street kids (Monica Keena, Katharine Isabelle and Kelly Rowland) begin fighting back against Jason. Can Freddy control Jason long enough to exact his revenge? If not how will the battle play out? Who will reign supreme?

Freddy vs. Jason” is full of slasher clichés, ridiculous gore, outrageous stunts, and laughter-induced legacy speeches. But all these elements are what these two horror fiends have been delivering for over 20 years. Believe it or not, it has been 23 years since Jason rose from Crystal Lake in 1980. Did we also forget that New Line Cinema is infamously known as “The House that Freddy Built”? What else could one expect when you bring these two characters together?

Gore fans will love the heavyweight fight that concludes the film. There are a lot of scenes that will make fans cheer as they are brought back to previous entries in each series. There are a lot of things to like in this film for slasher fans.

As for Freddy-purists who cherish “A Nightmare on Elm Street” and “Wes Craven’s New Nightmare” this seems like a step back for Robert Englund who finished off his horror franchise back in 1994 with “New Nightmare”.

Monica Keena, Katherine Isabelle & Kelly Rowland

That film was a great swansong for Englund and the classic character of Freddy it seems such a shame to bring him back for this brainless camp. Of all the horror characters, Freddy was least likely to be misunderstood. There was no gray area on his character; he was evil to the core. I guess in some ways I am a Freddy purist. He was always my favorite horror heavyweight.

The sad part for me was watching actresses Katharine Isabelle and Monica Keena play such rudimentary roles. They are better actresses than these characters. This isn’t the first horror film for both actresses but the first time where they seem wasted. Does any actress in Hollywood want to be the typical-cliched nude co-ed in a Jason movie?

This film is purely for gore-fans and horror-geeks but for people looking for a great scare it might be wise to wait for “Jeepers Creepers 2” or the remake of “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre”. This is just one Freddy-fans opinion.

2 out of 5

So Says the Soothsayer.

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