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 Freddy vs. Jason
 Critic's Rating
   [C+]
 Date Posted
   29th October, 2003
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Cast: Robert Englund, Ken Kirzinger, Monica Keena
Director: Ronny Yu

Bringing together cult favourite horror icons, Freddie Kruger (Robert England) from the 'Nightmare on Elm Street' series and Jason Voorhees from the 'Friday the 13th' saga has comprised the bulk of slasher fan discussions for close to two decades now. This long gestating film, has been in the works for well over a decade, with complications arising at many stages of production from choosing an appropriate director to scripting a proper tale which would bring the two together for a confrontation. After viewing the final product, it is clear that while New Line made an appropriate enough choice, under the circumstances, in allowing Ronny Yu (whose previous credit includes another horror film, 'Bride of Chucky') to direct this, the weaknesses of the film in setting up the clash clearly shows.

In a short prologue during the opening minutes, a quick recap for those who aren't aware of the back story of both Jason, who drowned in Crystal Lake and child killer Freddie, whose disfigured face was burnt in a fire, is provided. It seems the Springfield slasher's thirst for young blood, which thrives on killing his victims while they have nightmares has driven him to extreme's, namely enlisting the help of Jason to scare the residents of the aforementioned street, thereby reviving their memories of Freddie and hence the nightmares themselves.

But it seems in the process of terrorizing the youngsters Jason gets carried away, leaving Freddie frustrated and wrathful. Soon enough, as is the case with most competing killer predators, the stage is set for a one on one between them, which takes nearly three quarters of the running time to get to. What happens between this period then? Well, atrocious teenage performances, hackneyed horror techniques, meaningless talk revolving around making sense of the killings and a faux murder mystery. Not that this isn't to be expected considering the genre, but when the opportunity exists to make something more than what has been executed countless times before, the resulting experience is a tiring renewal.

After the first victim has been reduced to blood and cracked bones, the survivors are hunted by both Freddie and Jason, oddly feeling like the slasher films of the mid to late 90's ('Scream' and its sequels) which were done much better than this. Given two characters with whom most members of the movie going public are generally familiar with, why waste time with the usual jumble of teens (the pretty girl, the jock, the black chick, the sheriff etc), none of whom are particularly good or well known, save for Kelly Rowland from 'Destiny's Child'.

The mildly interesting aspect of the film consists of the dream sequences where much of the terror occurs. It is sporadically fascinating to watch since we are suddenly thrust into the dream, some of which are actually effective. The film gives its characters a reason for doing stupid things (they are in a dream state after all!), like walking into an empty corn field. To its credit, it does manage to generate a certain level of excitement in allowing two fiends to literally take each other apart. However, towards the end, the movie seemed to deceive in actually siding against one of the characters. While one of them is seemingly a killer by nature, the other was a killer by circumstance. If that isn't cheating in a fight, I don't know what is. - Faizan Rashid

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