When the two most dominating slasher icons of the 80’s were set to face off on screen, fanboys across the globe rejoiced… We’ve all (nerds/geeks, whatever, that is) at some point pondered who would win in an all out fight, Freddy or Jason? These kinds of pondering’s are typically done while drinking or during “what if” or “which one”existential scenario meanderings we enjoy with friends when we’re bored, such as: “which of the Golden Girls would you go to bed with: Dorothy, Rose, Blanche, or Sophia?” These are not serious questions; these are stupid questions designed to entertain. Why? Well, because its fun and maybe there also might be something seriously wrong with us. So, for better or worse, Freddy vs. Jason was not a serious slasher; it was a dumb movie that simply entertained. The question remains though, was FvJ entertaining enough to warrant a thumbs up or a thumbs down?
The beginning of FvJ picks up were New Nightmare and Jason Goes to Hell left off (ignore Friday part 10, aka Jason X, aka Jason in Space or not, since part 10 is a future story line). In this story, Freddy has been virtually forgotten by the children of Elm Street (Springwood, Ohio) and thus searches “the mounds of hell for someone who’ll make them remember.” And who does Freddy find to help his precious children remember his name? None other than Jason mama’s boy Voorhees, who has been spending his tenure in hell reliving the good old days in an Camp Crystal Lake-Esq dream. Pretending to be Pamela Voorhees, Freddy “tricks” Jason into “waking up” and sets him to punish the children of Elm. And thus we have the main driving force behind the movie: Jason’s job is to upset the apple-cart, the institutions, including both the Sheriff and General Practitioner (who is also moonlighting as chief medical adviser at Westin Hills Psychiatric Hospital), by doing what Jason does best, killing promiscuous teenagers. Sheriff Williams and Dr. Campbell both mistakenly assume its Freddy causing mischief again and set out to silence anyone who whispers his name. Considering the murders do happen on Elm Street and in the very same house Freddy once lived when he was alive, their assumptions are reasonable and believable. Despite enough plotholes you could fit a Buick in, the premise and motivations are actually rather solid, even for a top of the line horror B flick.
However, much to Freddy’s disdain, Jason is a very assiduous and proficient killer and begins to knock off a few too many youngsters. Meanwhile, the surviving Scooby Gang, plus one Deputy Stubbs, come together to figure out who the killer is, is he in their dreams or is he the giant pissed off goalie from the cornfield rave? The group “cleverly” deduce (after watching a few of their friends murdered in horrible ways) that it is not one killer but two, Freddy in the dream world and Jason in the real world and then devise a plan to bring Freddy out of the dream world to face off against Jason. After a few more of the Scooby Gang are disposed, the gang plans come to fruition as Lori manages to pull Freddy into the real world just before Jason is about to murder them all. Recognizing Freddy as a combative, Jason goes on the offensive and the two begin to duke it out, mano-o-mano, knife-glove verses machete, slayer verses slasher. boogeyman verses monster.
The end is what everyone has been patiently waiting for, watching scene after nauseating scene, to see these two powerhouses go at it. Again, this isn’t serious horror, this is just entertainment in its most simplest form, ungratuitous violence. After a few more from the Scooby Gang are dispatched amongst the carnage, leaving Lori and Will as the remaining members, it looks as if we might actually have a victor. However, much to the resentment of fanboys, there really was no clear winner. The “final” stroke comes from Jason, as he impales Freddy through the chest with his own “glove-knife” arm before falling back into the water to “recharge,” as he does in his own franchise films. And so, after Lori and Will celebrate their cathartic victory and ultimately, sheer luck of survival, Jason emerges from another location with Freddy’s severed head in tow…and then Freddy gives the audience a little wink just before the credits roll. (sorry, spoilers!)
As it seems, director Ronny Yu didn’t have the guts to select a clear winner. The movie wasn’t (couldn’t have been) done with “serious” in mind. This was a dumb-fun horror movie designed with the intent to answer the nagging question over who would win in a fight, Freddy or Jason. And just when Jason fanboys were about frail about in jubilant glee (myself included amongst them) we were then robbed of said celebration. As if the real joke was us thinking there was actually going to be a real victory. Thankfully, Freddy vs. Jason doesn’t seem to have any real impact on the two antagonists respective canonical’s. As we stated before, part 10 was released before FvJ, and is a future based in a future timeline where Jason is still active, thus cluing fans in that if there were to be a winner in the FvJ bout, it was either going to be Jason or the deciding factor was not intended to be permanent; thus again cluing us fans that this movie was never intended to be a “serious” slasher with lasting effects on the two franchises. FvJ was simply a blood and juts romp in the wonderful woods of nostalgia.
The Bottom Line: its been ten years and you still haven’t seen this movie? Well friend, unless you a horror fan who just woke up from a decade long coma, chances are you will not enjoy this movie. FvJ was made with fanboys of both or respective franchises in mind. However, if you are a fan of Freddy or Jason or both and are still up for it, i’d say give FvJ a go. If anything, you’ll be entertained, but don’t expect anything groundbreaking here. This movie is pure beer drinking humor and nothing more.
August 16, 2013 | Categories: Horror, Reviews | Tags: 1980's, Elm Street, Freddy Krueger, Friday the 13th, Golden Girls, Horror, horror icons, Jason Voorhees, mash up, Nightmare on Elm Street, Pamlea Voorhees | 1 Comment