Happy Friday the 13th everybody! It’s me, Slick Dungeon, back to review the meetup of two titans of horror, Freddy Krueger and Jason Voorhees in a film quite obviously titled Freddy vs. Jason. If spoilers are what gives you nightmares, be warned I’ll be slashing my way through my thoughts on the movie. So, if you haven’t seen it, run through a cornfield and hope not to meet a flaming Jason on the way and watch the movie. Then come on back here to read the review.
For years horror fans had clamored to see a couple of the biggest names in horror meet up. We’d even seen a tease of it years before this famous crossover came out. But due to lots of behind the scenes copyright issues and negotiations it was delayed so much that both Freddy and Jason ended up having movies set far in the future before this one actually takes place. Who would win, and deliver more fear, between the machete wielding, hockey mask wearing, un-killable lunatic, and the man who has a burned face, knives for fingers, and can invade your nightmares? Surely this would be an epic battle and one of the scariest movies of all time right? Meh. Not so much.
Both Freddy and Jason have gone to hell at this point. Freddy is having a bit of trouble because Springwood doesn’t seem to remember him. And if no one remembers him, no one is scared of him. If no one is scared of him, Freddy has no power. Good thing for Freddy, Jason is an unstoppable killing machine. So Freddy decides to let Jason loose in Springwood, assuming correctly that people there would think it was Freddy doing the killing. Freddy’s legend would grow again and he can terrorize teenagers once more. At least, that’s how he wanted it to work.
What the movie results in here is more of a… clip show? Yeah. One of the biggest problems with this movie which was made for fans who already love both franchises is that the film makers seemed to feel the need to rehash a whole bunch of what we’ve already seen to explain who Freddy and Jason are. They recreate some of the famous scenes from both franchises and those are somehow the most interesting part here.
That’s not to say there is no good stuff in this movie. It is definitely fun to watch Freddy and Jason fight. Freddy wins in the humorous quip department because, well, Jason doesn’t ever talk. But Jason is also quite the workhorse and he’s pretty hard to stop. They also bring back Jason’s mother for a few scenes and that’s always a good touch.
Once Freddy gets Jason out in the real world, Jason starts killing teens as all of us might expect. Said teens don’t know about Freddy or Jason but the police who are trying to do everything they can to cover up the existence of Freddy Krueger say the name Freddy Krueger right in front of the teenagers.
The teens fall asleep and Freddy visits them but he’s still not strong enough to get them so he lets Jason run wild for a bit. More teens die but now they have a person in a hockey mask to blame. Some people seem to know this is Jason because… well there was a cop from Crystal Lake but for no other reason.
When you are threatened with death and you are a teenager what do you do? Throw a huge party in a cornfield of course! At the party, Jason picks off a few more victims but one of them happens to be sleeping. Freddy ain’t too happy about that.
Eventually there is a bit of exposition about both Freddy and Jason and the teens come up with a plan. They want to put Jason to sleep so Freddy will fight him and then drop Jason off at Crystal Lake and high tail it outta there figuring Jason will be home and won’t leave the camp. Either way their odds are better if one of them dies.
We get to see Freddy toss Jason around in the dream world and then we get to see Jason shred up Freddy in the real world. Epic battle ensues. And of course you kill Freddy with fire and you drown Jason to stop them. We get a stinger at the end which implies Jason won the fight but Freddy is never going to be gone for good.
Is this the most enjoyable film of either franchise? No. Is it the worst movie in either franchise? Again, no. I do feel like if they had spent less time telling us and showing us stuff we already knew, this could have come off a little better. Freddy seems funny but menacing for most of this and Jason is certainly the juggernaut he’s become. But at times the film dips into a bit of the ridiculous and it seems like our final teens figure out how to stop Jason and Freddy way, way, way too easily. Not that they don’t have a lot of friends die first.
One issue I have with this is pretty simple. Jason is an undead, unstoppable killing machine. Does he even dream? I mean why would he? That’s never addressed, it’s just assumed he does. Still, that’s kind of a small issue. Also, the teens assume Jason wouldn’t come after them if they leave him in Crystal Lake but did they not notice Jason when he was in the middle of Times Square? Seems like the dude can leave when he wants to.
While the movie does retread a lot of old material, I still only recommend this if you have seen at least some of both franchises. It’s more fun that way. Just don’t expect it to have the intensity of some of the better movies in both franchises. There are still some fun and inventive kills here and they do the best they can with the story here, it just could never quite live up to the hype and build up of what was expected. If you’ve seen all the rest of these movies, give this one a watch.
And I also hope this movie acts as a lesson for horror franchises looking to do a crossover in the future. Make it early, while the buzz is going, but take the time to develop a good story that makes sense. And yes, I am staring directly at your murderous child doll eyes, M3GAN and Chucky!