Enemy of my enemy is my friend. Enemy of my nightmare is a machete-wielding zombie, and he's not my friend, but he's the only hope we have.
Freddy vs. Jason (2003) follows two of the most notorious horror villains of all time. Freddy, the burned boogeyman and Jason, the hockey-masked zombie duke it out in this celebrity death match. I wish there were more of these films made, pitting more and more horror villains against each other for pure, gory fun.
In Freddy vs. Jason (2003), Freddy has now been forgotten since the events of Wes Craven's New Nightmare (1994.) All of the citizens on Elm Street no longer fear him, so he no longer has the strength to terrorize nightmares and carry-out brutal murders on teenagers. He searches the "deep bowels of hell" and finds Jason Voorhees in a deep, zombie coma and awakens him to carry out murders in his name so that the citizens may feel the fear of Freddy Kreuger again.
This film is pure 1990's horror fun- chocked full of sexual scenes, cheesy deaths, and heavy metal music. As Jason goes on a brutal murdering spree, Freddy's plan actually works and the people on Elm street begin to fear him again- making him stronger and no longer in need of his "puppet" anymore. This is when Jason and Freddy begin to butt heads. As they both begin to hunt the same people, they find that two killers are one too many for this small town.
This film contains a lot of recycled scary movie tropes, especially the minimalization of women's roles in horror films. I am so glad that in the recent horror genre, films focus a lot less, if at all, on the idea that women have to be virgins in order to survive. Everyone who's "naughty" dies in this movie, enforcing silly horror plots that I can't help but roll my eyes to. It also seems as though they recycled material from previous Nightmare films for some of the scenes, making it feel like a lot of "been there, seen that."
The storyline and dialogue isn't much to marvel at neither. The humans of this film feel like nameless, faceless characters when compared to our two main characters. They're more like mindless clones of iconic characters before them, just used as collateral damage for something more interesting. Lori Campbell is a final girl, but she's no Sidney Prescott nor Laurie Strode, and they really tried to keep Kelly Rowland alive as long as they could, but she definitely should have been a final survivor as well. It is, however, fun to watch Freddy and Jason interact with these modern "teens" (not a single one of them looks like they belong in high school.) Their contemporary wittiness and nonchalance makes some of these deaths truly hilarious.
The faults of this movie can definitely be made up by the third act. No spoilers, but the end-duel between Freddy and Jason is just as outrageous and comedic as you would imagine, but it is also a true horror film pleasure. Their rivalry is everything you want, as they both use their strengths to out-villain each other. In the end, there has to be a bigger villain so the people have someone to "root" for, and the film creates a perfect dynamic for that without allowing you to ever feel sympathy for either bad guy. It's just a full-on, stereotypical slasher fest. This film is my guilty pleasure, because there is truly nothing of substance in it- there's not even enough to write about.
Jacindable Rating: ★★
starring, Robert Englund, Ken Kirzinger, Jason Ritter, Monica Keena, Lochlyn Munro, Kelly Rowland, Chris Marquette, Brendan Fletcher, and more
written and directed by, Ronny Yu, Damian Shannon, Mark Swift, and Wes Craven