In Theaters: Tuesday 15th July 2003
Box Office Worldwide: $114.9M
Production compaines: New Line Cinema, Avery Pix, Cecchi Gori Group Tiger Cinematografica
Contactmusic.com: 3 / 5
IMDB: 8.1 / 10
Director: Ronny Yu
Producer: Sean S. Cunningham, Wes Craven
Starring: Robert Englund as Freddy Krueger, Ken Kirzinger as Jason Voorhees, Jason Ritter as Will Rollins, Monica Keena as Lori Campbell, Lochlyn Munro as Deputy Scott Stubbs, Kelly Rowland as Kia Waterson, Chris Marquette as Charlie Linderman, Brendan Fletcher as Mark Davis, Katharine Isabelle as Gibb, Kyle Labine as Bill Freeburg, Tom Butler as Dr. Campbell
The long-anticipated match-up delivers all the gore, violence, carnage, and brutality you can stomach. By disregarding continuity, the film simultaneously honors its roots and forgets its past. Which means Freddy Vs. Jason picks up where neither franchise left off. Freddy (Robert Englund) still exists in the dreams of frightened children, but the current residents of Elm Street are being fed Hypnocil, a dream suppressant drug. Temporarily powerless, the scarred monster recruits juggernaut Jason (Ken Kirzinger) to infiltrate his 'hood and start scaring kids again. But once Freddy's returned to power, he can't get Jason to leave.
There's just no getting around the fact that, after two decades of decadence, these villains are pale imitations of their former selves. Freddy's murderous wit has been dulled, and Jason now sports a wispy mullet. Since when did this dude have hair? Because there are only so many ways you can dispose of horny teens, the film's multiple killings look painfully bogus. Director Ronny Yu covers his mistakes with gallons of fake blood, in hopes that his technical blunders will be ignored - or worse, forgiven. Granted, there's enough red juice on screen to fill an Olympic-sized swimming pool, but the shot of a dad losing his head screams Lord & Taylor mannequin.
New Line's so pleased to finally have Freddy and Jason together that the studio neglected to cast decent actors or write a coherent script. The Freddy cast is uniformly awful, though the bodacious females do seem willing to shed their clothes a lot quicker than their predecessors. Yu balances the barest essentials from each franchise, but it becomes obvious which nightmarish film series he admires most. And why not? The Elm Street movies were always more inventive than the straightforward Friday flicks, and the chilling dream sequences imagined in Freddy are far more creepy than the Camp Crystal Lake conclusion, mainly for the mystical way they mess with our heads.
Just be patient. Yu asks us to wade through an hour of inconsequential plot details and frighteningly bad performances before Mask battles Glove, but once they cut to the chase (literally) and start brawling, we get our money's worth. Was there a winner? That's for you to decide. Will there be a rematch? That's for New Line's executives to decide once the box office numbers come rolling in.
New Line rolls out the red -- and we mean blood red -- carpet for the Freddy Vs. Jason DVD release, with two discs of gore galore. The "jump to a death" feature (exactly what it sounds like) is clever, and the commentary from Englund, Yu, and and Kirzinger is worth a listen. Disc two is crammed full of deleted scenes (including the original opening and ending) along with countless behind-the-scenes documentaries. For horror fans it's a real must-own.
Disrobing soon at a theater near you.