Freddy Vs. Jason: Site review.
Welcome to another multiple perspective review, this time, on the clash of the modern day titans, Freddy Vs. Jason. Look, I could go into a huge spiel about the history of these two, or the story of the characters, but come on! Freddy! Jason! Do I NEED to say anything here? (This was essentially a full-website review of Freddy vs. Jason, as something like all of the people on staff had gone to see it opening week, and I thought it’d be a fun thing to talk about as a group. We did a couple of these, though I’m honestly uncertain what the first thing was. We’ll find it eventually I suspect, but this seemed like a fun little recap, so here we are and here it is.)
Alright, let’s go: Freddy Krueger, psychopathic child murderer, was killed some nineteen years ago or so by the residents of Elm Street in Springwood, Ohio. (Which is a fictional town, for those who are curious.) Needless to say, some evil spirits offered Freddy eternal life, in the dream world, where he could murder to his heart’s content. Freddy accepted, and now kills the children of Elm Street, as they are the source of his pain and suffering. As the movies have continued, of course, Freddy has expanded his abilities far beyond concept, and is arguably one of the most powerful demons in existence. (One of the things I, and many others, liked about the original Freddy over the remake version is that he’s an outright dick about the fact that he’s more or less immortal. I know that a lot of people root for Freddy when watching the series, but I prefer that he be a subversive, sarcastic asshole, because I don’t want to empathize with or cheer for him. I mean, he’s canonically a fucking pedophile, guys. I didn’t care for the remake bringing that into question, because if he hadn’t been a child abuser/pedophile, well, at that point he’s kind of a sympathetic heel, and the last thing we need from Freddy is character depth, sorry.)
Jason Voorhees: In 1957, young Jason died at Camp Crystal Lake (Which is at least slightly a real place, somewhere around Sussex County, NJ, which is novel in a “I live in a state that houses a fictional serial killer” sense. Better a fictional one than a real one, right?) by drowning, supposedly, and was more or less blown off by the camp itself, for whatever reason. Jason, however, had other plans. Over numerous years, Jason has metamorphosed from a mentally unbalanced murderer into a nigh unstoppable death tank, whose only weaknesses appear to be flat out destruction or drowning. He is, above all things, a mother’s boy at heart, not to mention mentally ten. As opposed to Freddy, Jason is more of a pitiable character, as he was essentially a deformed kid who was mocked and drowned by other kids while the counselors ignored the situation. Needless to say, he blames everyone in creation for his problems, and has a more clearly defined weakness (water) for the viewing audience. (Jason is a lot more complex of a heel; he’s essentially mentally retarded and blames everyone for letting him drown, but he was essentially left to die because he was freakish and the people who shouldhave cared about him didn’t. I can kind of go either way with him; when he’s killing decent people, or when he fought the telekinetic girl in VII, he’s the heel, but when his victims are assholes, or when he’s fighting Freddy, I’m fine with him being the babyface. He’s basically film’s answer to Kane, which is funny because he was played by Kane Hodder for years. I’m less disagreeable with this franchise rebooting, but no zombie Jason and the compression of two films into one seems kind of stupid to me, so I never cared about it.)
With me so far? Good.
The movie: Freddy has spent the past nine years doing jack shit because the town of Springwood has done everything in their power to eradicate his legacy. From wiping out his history to locking away those who remember him, they have wiped out the fear of Freddy by wiping out the name of Freddy. (Seriously, when they get down to the behind-the-scenes mechanics of how they keep Freddy gone it’s actually pretty intelligent. They wiped his name from history and anyone who does remember him or has seen him in dreams is sent to an asylum and given drugs that repress their ability to dream. Given that his last film made it seem like the whole town was a semi-insane childless wasteland, that’s probably the best possible way of dealing with the problem, and I liked that the movie put that kind of effort into explaining why Freddy was relying on others to begin with.) Freddy, of course, is none too pleased with this, and takes steps to fight back – namely, finding Jason, waking him up, and sending him to Elm Street, to bring fear back into the hearts of those in town. (How Jason got from New Jersey to Ohio, or why he’d totally accept the possibility that he’d need to, is never really addressed, nor is the fact that this is a nine hour drive at the least, but whatever, no one came into this movie for road trip sequences.)
Needless to say, chaos ensues, people die, and a kickass movie occurs.
And so, I’ve asked all of the members of the cast, regulars and new, to provide a brief review of the movie from their perspective. Thus, you can see what the movie is like from multiple viewpoints, and at the same time see what your favorite columnists opinion of the movie is.
So, without further BSing, here we go.
CAILLECH: (Caillech is an ex of mine who I’ve remained friends with; she isn’t an incredibly great writer, by her own admission, but she was game to try and enjoyed her time with the site.) Finally, I have been waiting a long time to see another Freddy movie. I am a big Freddy fan, and I have all the VHS movies to prove it. (She also made me watch all of them in one day, I don’t know why.) I haven’t really seen a Jason movie except for Jason X, which was really cheesy but fun to watch. (That was, I believe, my revenge on her.) This movie really lived up to my expectations (which weren’t top of the line, but I wanted it to be bloody). (This lady has a child now, and I want you to know that.) I enjoyed seeing how they took the past movies of Freddy and incorporated Jason into the plot. Freddy needs fear and uses Jason, Jason likes to kill, Freddy gets pissed because he wants to kill, and they fight. You can’t get better then that for a slasher movie. I jumped in my seat and got to say, ew ew ew a lot. It was cool. They even ended it with the door to open for more, as they do with every Freddy and Jason movie. 2 thumbs up from me.
8 Stars (Out of 10, for reference.)
EXYT: (Another Marc, he’s an old friend of mine from the area who used to give me his submissions either in Notepad or written out by hand, and I’d edit them and/or retype them as needed. This was a futuristic operation, I tell you.) Go see FvJ. Now.
DR MD: (Friend of a friend who, near as I can tell, no one talks to anymore for various reasons. He and I were never really friends per say, mostly I think because we just didn’t click; he was a decent guy but we had no common ground and he stopped contributing pretty quickly.) I like the whole concept of Freddy using Jason to strike fear back into Elm Street, then getting pissed off at Jason for killing the kids and getting in his way. Kind of had the Roadrunner/ Wyle Coyote thing going at times, except without the anvil. Last thing… it actually had a strong plot, considering that in the last few movies in either series, the plots were horrible. (Yeah, Freddy tricked a kid into leaving town to draw in his daughter so we could see 3D effects, and Jason went to space and beheaded a cyborg. It was a weird time for both franchises.)
VIDEOXDRONE: (Joel motherfuckin’ Rose, son. VideoXDrone came from the band Video Drone, which was named after the film of the same name; I don’t think he was a fan in the strictest sense, but “The Devil’s Sweepstakes” was fun.) I can remember talking about this movie in 3rd fucking grade, basically if this 2 monstrosities were to ever engage in mortal, or ”immortal” combat I should say, who would win? Now many years later (you do the math) it becomes a reality! Yay!
Being a fan and historian of most things Kruger and Voorhees, I can shortly sum up my feelings for the movie simply by keeping what I know of both series in mind. Combining the proper elements of cheese, 90’s horror flick stereotypes, and cheap scares Freddy vs. Jason surprisingly pulls off what it set out, and should have accomplished. None were more surprised then me, as I thought this movie would suck and bomb. But after being #1 in the box office this weekend past, and receiving my approval, it seems Freddy vs. Jason is a decent movie overall. (I don’t THINK he meant that, because he approved of the film it was doing well, but sometimes I never know with him.) Fans of the characters will not be disappointed, and primarily through the lack of a million computer effects, you can really revisit the grit and atmosphere of the past movies (please disregard Jason X). (Hey, Jason X was hilarious; the cryogenic face shattering scene and the “killing holographic campers by swinging one against the other while they giggle” scene made that movie.) Also include the great gore effects, most of which are classically executed (blood bags, sprays, aesthetics) and you got a definite updated winner, that’s not only a cool idea, and a blast to watch, you get a ”current” piece of cinema starring 2 movie legends, that doesn’t suck. This is a rare movie product to say the least. I would proudly display it amongst my other Nightmare and Friday movies without hesitation, and if I can say that, most fans of these characters will tell you the same. Good job.
CORROSION: (Shawn PC from Diehard Gamefan; he’s always been kind-of sort-of interested in writing, but fell out of touch with said interest during his DHGF run. Getting old kind of sucks sometimes, kids.) This movie was so funny at times, that I couldn’t breathe normal for about an hour after the movie ended. I always loved Freddy more, as he had the best of both worlds. He reminds me of a killer clown; he’s evil, he kills, and he makes others laugh until they pee while doing it. Jason, on the other hand, is pure evil, no funny, just plain ol’ whoop ass! The kids in this movie were pretty lame, except the one pot smokin’ kid that reminded me of “smoochies poochies” Jay of Jay and Silent Bob. (I vaguely remember that someone, somewhere was trying to get Jay and Bob into a Freddy or Jason film, and if this would have been the result I think I’m fine with it never happening, honestly.) I was surprised how they made the plot unfold… it was different and twisted. The deaths were great and bloody, like the classics… especially the corn field scene. (Girl falls asleep in a corn field, Freddy tries to kill her, only for her to disappear from dreamworld because Jason killed her by accident, sort of.) Plenty of teens fell prey to Jason that night. The ending was kind of predictable, but what do you want after 15 or more of the same movies, done a little different every time? I still don’t understand if Freddy is still alive at the end though (I guess so). All in all, this movie was well worth the now high price of admission. I went opening night, and the public treated us to a show of antics not seen since the star wars geeks of episode 1&2, so bonus points for that, too.
JEWELED STAR: (Friend of mine from Florida; we’ve kind of lost touch but she’s done well for herself and I’m happy for her all the same.) Freddy Vs. Jason is definitely categorized as a new-age horror movie, unlike the previous Nightmare on Elm Street and Friday the 13th movies before it. They took 2 unkillable creatures and made them fight…. Okay … keyword here… UNKILLABLE! That means the movie sucked when it came to “Who’s going to kill whom?”… Opening scenes were … well, favorable to men and lesbians… as there was a chick with boobs the size of cantaloupes running around… yeah so to all you horny men and lesbians… go see it! (Well I mean that’s not really unexpected, but… it was a different time, let’s move on.) Other than that, the superhuman, or should I say inhuman, fight scenes were alright, the movie made a huge thing about sex… let’s just say you don’t want to see Freddy naked, yet they give your mind incentive as to picture him naked… ugh! So, overall linking? I loved it, because Freddy is the bomb! Next up should be Michael Myers (Halloween) Vs. Leatherface (The Texas Chainsaw Massacre). (I think there were talks to get Michael Meyers and Pinhead involved in such a thing for a while, but nothing ever came of it.)
RANTMASTER MARK: (I was in my twenties and I thought that name was a good idea at the time, okay? Fuck you.) Hello, I’m a Jason fan. That said, I can appreciate what Freddy’s done, creatively, for the horror genre, and I think he’s a well designed villain. I just prefer Jason overall, as he’s much more of a “realistic” character, if that makes any sense. (Basically I felt like Freddy’s weird-ass kills made him uninteresting as a character because they got super excessive, while Jason had to be creative with what he had.) As far as the movie goes, to be completely honest, this movie was exactly what I wanted. Gory, violent, and grotesque as all hell, a storyline that fit the mythos of both characters, and some truly inspired creativity on the part of the producers. (And compared to the scripts that COULD have been the final product, this one was a masterpiece.) Jason and Freddy were played against one another to perfection, and the ending was as I’d hoped. In the end, this movie was everything I’d hoped it would be, and more.
8 Stars (losing ½ because of Kane Hodder not playing Jason this time, ½ because of the sheer kill ratio between Freddy and Jason, (You’ll see), and 1 star because of the distance between Ohio and Jersey being about 9-11 hours. Yeah, Jason walked from Jersey to Ohio, riiiight.) (Of COURSE I was the only one to explain his score. Though it should be said that Jason killed like twenty people and I think Freddy killed maybe two. I still feel like the complaints I made are valid, and I still think it’s a great one-shot film, though, so I’d say this score stands.)