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FREDDY VS JASON (2003): Retro Review…”How Sweet… Dark Meat!”

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Ahh, FREDDY VS JASON, a film that horror fans either love or think is an abomination to the horror cinematic community. There are a lot of love/hate opinions on the film.

A lot of the hate stems from the conclusion of the film. There was no clear winner, and rightfully so. Many people who favored Jason or Freddy didn’t want to see their favorite character die, neither did the studios. What we didn’t know at the time is that it didn’t matter, these two characters that we knew and love would not appear in another film that was a part of either of the original series, but birthed the remakes.

For me, there was a lot of greatness in the film. First and foremost, seeing my two favorite horror villains on the big screen again… and at the same time no less.

Not to rehash too much here (since the film is over ten years old and everyone has seen it), but the film is about how Elm Street kids don’t fear Freddy any longer because of a drug that prevents them from dreaming. As we all know, Freddy can’t exist unless there is fear driving him, so with no one fearing him he is dormant. Freddy’s not having any of that and manipulates Jason into terrorizing the kids for him, allowing the history of Freddy’s past to leak out and Freddy begins to take credit for the deaths, which in turns gives him the strength to come back. However, Jason is a little overzealous and takes all the killing away from good’ol Fred. Well that pisses him off and in turn the battle begins.
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Notice how in the synopsis I didn’t mention any other character’s? That’s because they don’t matter one bit in this film. Let’s see: these two beasts fight — we didn’t care how we got to that point, just hurry up and make it happen! It does; it takes awhile to get there, but we get there and what a glorious battle ensues! The ending of Freddy Vs Jason is one of my favorite and most fun moments for me in film. The moment Jason wakes up, Fred see’s him and the music starts, is just brilliant!

The rest of the movie has some good elements (Jason with the fire machete at the party comes to mind), but nothing that really is innovative and most of the film is Jason’s, since Freddy only has one kill in the film (which is another reason people disliked the movie).

The cast does their job by driving the story to what we really want to see. But in all honestly they could have been hand puppets because no one cared about them… hurry up and die in a gruesome way and get us to the main event!!
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Most of the CGI effects in the film also brought it down a notch. Kelly Rowland’s nose getting slashed off in the doctor’s office is laughable, as is the Freddy worm or snake or whatever that was supposed to be that went down Jason Mewes’ throat (wait…what… that wasn’t Jason Mewes?)… horrible at best.

But what it really comes down to is the interaction between Freddy and Jason. In my mind I don’t really see how it could have been any better. Freddy talking his shit and the mute Jason doing what he does, looking like a beat to hell tank on a mission.

Just for the fight scene at the end I would put the film up there in my all time ‘funniest” flicks. It’s one of Robert’s best performances of Freddy out of the entire series and Ken Kirzinger does a fine job as Jason. A lot of hate stemmed from Kane Hodder not getting the job. Kane is my favorite Jason actor but would have the movie been better at all if he played Jason here? I don’t think so.

Despite the horrendous script and laughable CGI, FREDDY VS JASON delivers what it was supposed to in the climax of the film. Though we didn’t get a clear winner out of it, it sure was one of the finest monster battles in recent horror cinema.

 

 

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Chad Armstrong

President/Co-Owner at LC Films
Chad Armstrong is a writer/producer/director who was born and raised in Long Beach CA. In 2009 he relocated to Alabama where he founded LeglessCorpse, a site dedicated to independent horror films, and soon after created the indie horror distribution company LeglessCorpse Films (currently known as LC Films). Not only is he co-owner of LeglessCorpse.com and LC Films he is also President of the newly formed Back Aisle Video label. Chad's most recent feature film is Deimosimine, and currently in development on the feature film Blood Dancers 2: Full Moon.

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