Freddy vs. Jason (2003)

If you were a child of the 80’s, chances are you were scared one or more times by either Freddy Krueger, or Jason Vorhees. Twenty years later, these two masters of the blades have given us another chance to cry — for all the wrong reasons, this time around.

Freddy Vs. Jason is quite possibly the dumbest film of both the Friday the 13th and Nightmare on Elm Street series — and that’s saying a lot for two series which have seen some pretty low lows over the years. Despite sending Jason to both Manhatten and outer space and that whole thing with Freddy’s dream child, Freddy Vs. Jason manages to hit an entirely new low while desecrating both characters’ history in the process.

After three of minutes of exposition which tell Freddy’s entire back story, we get to see Freddy “wake up” Jason from death by simply telling him to wake up. Wow, that was simple. Freddy’s got a problem. It seems the children on Elm Street have somehow forgotten about him. His plan seems simple enough. Call in Jason to commit some murders, and have the kids think it’s Freddy. Once they begin to fear him, Freddy will move back into town and continue doing what he does so well.

Cut to Elm Street, home to over acting, cookie-cutter characters, and breast implants. Despite the fact that literally hundreds of people have been killed on Elm Street over the years, none of the kids have heard about it.

Fortunately, both the killers and the kids are enabled throughout the movie by bumbling cops who can’t get anything right. They’re not portrayed as such, but there’s no other way to explain the huge plot holes throughout the film. For starters, two veteran teens from Elm Street (who would give Beavis and Butthead a run for their money) are able to stroll out of a high security mental hospital, show up at the local high school, drive around town unnoticed in a 70’s van with a huge Dungeons and Dragons mural on the side, and talk with all the major characters. This is the same mental hospital that, despite housing hundreds of teen inmates, has no alarm, no backup power, and one night security guard who doesn’t call for help or backup when half a dozen kids break in, only to be followed by Jason.

Eventually kids begin dying in completely gruesome ways. Gore that was only hinted at in previous films is shown in great detail and focused on. Again, our police rule one kids death which is described as “being gutted like a fish with a machette” as a “suicide”. It’s quite the talk at school, because as we all know, when three of four kids from a high school get killed, everyone goes to school the following days. Even though the cops are clueless, the kids start doing their own research and begin digging … ON MICROFICHE AT THE LIBRARY. Hello? Internet? I’m 30 years old and I’m not sure I could figure out how to do microfiche. What high school library still has microfiche? Simply Google for Elm Street and Murder and I’m sure you’ll turn up some hits, kids!

Things really begin heating up when the kids decide to throw a rave to mourn for their dead buddies. Of course Freddy and Jason both show up in their own ways, and both make a mess. Unfortunately, none of the hundreds of kids attending the rave brought a cell phone. In fact, they all agree not to not even tell the cops.

Even if you go into Freddy Vs. Jason not knowing a thing about the film, you’ll definitely know the plot which is hammered into us through poor exposition at least three different times. If it’s not Freddy explaining to us what’s going on, it’s the Scooby-Gang like kids figuring out what’s going on. And while the main plot is beat into us mercilessly over and over, there are several subplots that don’t go anywhere and will leave you scratching your head if you think about it too hard.

The entire third act of the movie is Freddy Vs. Jason, first in Freddy’s home turf of dreamland, and secondly in Camp Crystal Lake, Jason’s old stomping grounds (which coincidently, are located 15 minutes away by van — who knew?) For close to half an hour we’re treated to the bashing, smashing and slashing of our two anti-villans, who take breaks in between battling each other to be sure and saw up anyone who has drank, smoked, done drugs or had sex throughout the film.

Does Jason win? Does Freddy win? Who cares. It’s all about who loses here, and that’s the fans of the series. With totally new facts thrown in that completely disregard both characters histories, the whole thing is obviously just an attempt to cash in one last time on both franchises. Any intelligence either of these series once possessed has been replaced by CGI and bumbling idiots. The movie ended with me wishing I’d been one of their victims somewhere the beginning of this bloody mess. Both of these characters have well established their own “universes” where their rules apply. Throw that out the window this time around, with Jason now being afraid of water and Freddy being afraid of fire. These are the same people who have been killed umpteed million times, shot, stabbed, blown up, drowned, buried alive, struck by lightning, dismembered, buried in hallowed ground … but now water scares Jason. What the hell?

I went into Freddy Vs. Jason really wanting to like this movie, but unfortunately the entire film is an insult to fans of both sets of films. If ever there was a time for both of these characters to die, it was … well, right before this movie started.

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