Freddy vs. Jason (2003)


Dave’s 3-Word Review:
An epic battle.

Crossovers are always fun to see in television or film. For the most part, they are sparsely found in film, but television uses this technique often enough to notice. As for film, the most notable entry for crossovers was undoubtedly Marvel’s The Avengers, bringing together an impressive cast from four different films. Now, Freddy vs. Jason wasn’t exactly like that, but in a way it was even more impressive. A Nightmare on Elm Street and Friday the 13th were competing franchises. It’s like Sonic and Mario…then again…Sonic and Mario have been in games together as well. So with that in mind, we come to one of the most epic and memorable battles in horror history.

Freddy Krueger and Jason Vorhees are long dead…but are they really? After searching through all of Hell, Freddy found Jason, a creature known to come back to life and kill people in the real world, which is a real treat for Freddy. So Freddy, acting as Jason’s mother, orders him to come back to life and go to Elm Street, where the children are being very bad. So Jason comes back to life and goes to Elm Street as ordered. What he basically does here is kill people, and the people living there remember and fear Freddy, giving him more power in order to really return. However, when Jason starts killing every kid, Freddy gets a bit jealous and wants to end Jason. It is up to an unlucky group of survivors to kill both Freddy and Jason before time runs out.

It should be noted that this film isn’t really canon to the Nightmare series. I wouldn’t even say canon to Friday the 13th, but it was hinted at in one of Jason’s films, so I’m leaning towards saying this is more of a Friday film. Even so, both films got a lot of respect and homage. Enough to have the audience really wonder who will win? If you’re smart though, before coming into the film, you know exactly “who will win”. Still, horror fans watching this film is like sports fans watching the Superbowl, it’s really intense, and honestly anything can happen.

Even though this was released after the tenth Friday the 13th film, it was hinted in the 9th and it’s pretty much general knowledge that this film was intended first, and is made in chronological order as well. They just didn’t know if they’d ever get around to it, but they did. So here I am. I am really impressed. When it comes to the battle, even I found myself wondering who to root for, I mean…Freddy is great, and Jason is really tough, it was a hard call. I will say that the film had a beautiful opening. It made us hate these characters even more. Freddy’s new look was really dark and it actually showed the kids slashed up, which is the only time in any Elm Street film where it’s shown that. No more cartoon Freddy, he was dark and disturbing again, something you can fear. Thank God.

The battle itself was fast paced and never let up…once it started. Most of the film wasn’t actually a battle between Freddy and Jason, it was a battle between Freddy and Jason scenes. Is Freddy going to kill in this scene or is Jason? At first, you really think they aren’t going to fight each other, but don’t worry, you’ll be satisfied. Why? Well, even when they aren’t fighting, each respected scene feels like Jason or Freddy belong in it. The dream sequences are the best dream sequences I’ve ever seen (before the remake of A Nightmare on Elm Street) and Jason looks perfect wielding that Machete and killing folks.

The only thing I really have to complain about is that this is evil vs. evil. There is no real protagonist other than the random teenagers who are disposable anyways. Even though they are both evil, they are opposites as the film suggests. One in the dream world, one in the real world, one died by fire, the other by water. Doesn’t exactly give us a glowing arrow pointing at the person to root for, but it did present dynamic differences between the two and let us make up our own choice as to who we want to win. That I can respect.

Freddy vs. Jason is one heck of a fun film, even if it isn’t canonical with either original franchises anymore. You’re allowed to think they are though, and whoever you root for…you will definitely be happy.

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