Freddy Vs Jason (2003)

Freddie vs Jason

After years of trying, they finally pulled off the crossover we’d all been waiting for.

It took well over 10 years to happen, partly due to rights ownership problems, or unagreed scripts, or unwilling participants, but finally, as hinted to at the end of Friday 13th Part 9 (Jason Goes To Hell) (1993) we get the titans of horror on screen together.

Admittedly, the Friday 13th series did “Jason X” in between, but they were probably bored of waiting !!  Incidentally, Jason X was the highest budget Friday movie, with the lowest returns.  Sad, as I thought “Jason In Space” was a great film !!!

Robert Englund bows out here with his last portrayal of Freddy in what turns out to be a bit of fun, but really not in the slightest scary.

Jason still has the biggest machetes in horror, and Freddy has “The Glove” with its trademark blades, but they decided to make Jason slower and more lumbering (though he still managed to creep up on people with a stealth he really shouldn’t possess) and Freddy is still wisecracking more than he needs to.  He didn’t start of as a comedy anti-hero character, but developed that way over time, ending up on school lunch boxes and such like.  He was supposedly a child rapist and murderer !!

Jason’s mother Pamela Voorhees returns, or at least an impersonation of her, and apparently Betsy Palmer who played the original was asked to star, but she turned down the role as she didn’t like the script.  Paula Shaw comes in instead.

So, you can guess from the title that the two stars are going to end up going toe to toe at some stage, but it isn’t like that from the start.  It is actually pretty smart to have Freddy use Jason as a weapon to get himself back in to the consciousness of the Elm Street youth, thereby regenerating himself so that he can take over.

Pity for him that he can’t control the killing machine Jason, who keeps stealing his kills and therefore slowing his own progress.

So you have an hour of foreplay followed by the battle for supremacy between our two legends of horror.

It is not clever or deep, but it is bloody and messy, with some good performances (Monica Keena is good as female lead Lori, for example) and some poor ones (Kelly Rowland sucks as Kia, but then she is pretty poor in everything).  There are plenty of deaths, lots of running around, and several “I wouldn’t do that” moments where the stupidity of the cast are laughable.  However, that is expected.

To sum up, it lives up (or down) to it’s expected lowest common denominator.  It has the kills, spills, pointless random nudity and banal conversation that you’d expect.  The only thing missing is the scares.  Maybe it was an attempt to get a lower age certificate at the cinema, and therefore get a wider audience.

Funnily enough, the next Friday was a remake/reimagining, and far more graphic, bloody and jumpy.

6/10.  Maybe I’m being generous, but I did mostly enjoy it.  Not scary, but glad to see the final Freddy (and an 11th Jason !!).

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