Freddy vs. Jason (Canada/USA/Italy, 2003) - Color, Director(s): Ronny Yu
MPAA Rating: R
Approx. 97 min.
Z-rating: 5 stars out of 5
Cheese Factor: 3 stars out of 5
After 16 years in development, two of the biggest icons in the history of horror finally meet on the big screen. At the end of Jason Goes to Hell, there was a big teaser with Freddy Krueger's clawed arm reaching up out of the ground and pulling Jason Voorhees' mask under. Now in the hands of veteran director Ronny Yu (the man who brought us Bride of Chucky, my favorite entry into the Child's Play franchise) we finally get to see these two monsters go head-to-head.
The movie starts with an introduction of Freddy Krueger's character, how he slaughtered children until the parents of Springwood came for him. They play a montage of Nightmare on Elm Street clips showing how Freddy could invaded the kid's nightmares and their fear would give him strength. Now he was trapped in Hell because they finally found a way to forget about him. Disguised as Jason's mother, Freddy sends Jason to 1428 Elm Street (Freddy's old stomping grounds) to start killing off some teens. Knowing this would spark a panic among the families of Springwood, who would all just assume that Freddy was back. His plan works but Jason is killing off the kids faster than Freddy's able to gather his strength. Now that Jason's been cut loose, not even Freddy can stop this killing machine.
Meanwhile, at Westin Hills psychiatric hospital, two former residents of Elm Street see a news report about the murders at 1428 Elm St. Recognizing this as his girlfriend Lori's house, Will and his buddy Mark escape from Westin Hills to make sure she's okay. They've been given Hypnocil to prevent them from dreaming about Freddy Krueger. In fact, anybody who had any contact with Krueger have been quarantined at Westin Hills. Now the teenagers are trapped between Jason who can kill them in the waking world and Freddy who can kill them if they fall asleep. Realizing that they can pit one against the other, they take Jason back to Crystal Lake and pull Freddy out of the dream world. Finally, the two meet face-to-face for their final battle.
Nudity: We get some nudity right when the movie starts, before the title screen appears. Ronny Yu really knows what he's doing! We also get the always beautiful Katharine Isabelle (Ginger Snaps, American Mary) baring her breasts on camera.
Gore: In an epic meeting between two of horror cinema's greatest slashers, of course there's going to be tons of the red stuff! People are stabbed, cut, slashed, impaled, burnt, electrocuted, decapitated, eviscerated, and torn in half.
Awesome: to the MAX! This movie was satisfying on every level for fans. The story is loyal to both franchises, including references to previous films like Westin Hills and Hypnocil. There were buckets of blood and guts with some quality T&A, both of which are staples of this genre. The best word I can use to describe this movie is FUN! I had a blast watching this movie in theaters and it's always a good time whenever I pop this into the DVD player. They did a great job marketing this film, having fans pick sides before the movie came out. They even had a weigh-in like they do for professional fights. I was so excited for this movie to come out, I had it set as my background on the computer. The only thing missing was Kane Hodder in the role of Jason. That'd probably be my only complaint. From what I understand, they kept telling him that he'd be in this movie up until things really started getting rolling. Then they wanted someone who was taller to tower over Freddy. Fans were really disappointed when they didn't bring him back. Aside from that, the movie was pretty much everything we've ever wanted from this crossover. One of the original ideas for an ending was both Freddy and Jason would end up back in hell. As they ran toward each other, chains with hooks would pull them apart and Pinhead from the Hellraiser would make an appearance. The biggest problem with this ending was that they didn't have the rights to the Hellraiser characters.