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Freddy Vs. Jason (R)
New Line Cinema
Official Site
Director: Ronny Yu
Producer: Sean S. Cunningham
Written by: Damian Shannon, Mark Swift
Cast: Robert Englund, Monica Keena, Kelly Rowland, Jason Ritter, Ken Kirzinger, Lochlyn Munro, Katharine Isabelle, Brendan Fletcher, Christopher George Marquette

Rating: out of 5


As the classic tale of Icarus has taught us, some men aspire to too much. This is particularly true of artists for whom the burden of dreams can be taxing, so when I heard that director Ronny Yu (Bride Of Chucky) had signed on to direct Freddy Vs. Jason I thought it pure hubris on his part and I feared for his very sanity. One need only look at the classic Hearts Of Darkness, a documentary about Francis Ford Coppola’s ambitious struggles to bring Apocalypse Now to the screen, to see what I’m talking about. Imagine a movie with both Freddy Kruger and Jason Voorhees in it! I mean the mortal mind strains just to comprehend such a thing. Like Icarus’s flight, this too could be an affront to the gods!

So first you’ll probably want to know how Yu goes about straddling universes to bring these legends together. Well it seems Freddy is in a state of limbo after his last vanquishing, still spying on the teens of Elm Street, but apparently not strong enough to really hurt any of them. Since what he needs to return to form is fear, which he feeds on, he hatches a plan to inspire some by bringing Jason Voorhees to town. He accomplishes this by appearing as Jason’s dearly departed mother and directing him out of Crystal Lake. (Apparently for this film Jason’s space adventures haven’t happened –if only I could forget as well.) Next thing you know Jason is in town and making himself at home by slicing up annoying teens and inspiring the necessary Goosebumps for Freddy’s return. It seems to me the filmmakers missed out on a golden opportunity by not showing us Jason’s travels. Did he just march there or maybe take the bus? I must know!

Anyways it seems Freddy was a bit short-sighted because Jason keeps killing the kids before they get a chance to go to sleep, and because neither of them has ever done a workshop on conflict resolution, they inevitably have to fight each other over who gets to kill the little bastards. Naturally, none of this is actually scary because the conventions of the slasher flick are so clichéd at this point that they’ve actually inspired two parody series. So it is in the spirit of Scream that we are treated to a smirk and a wink to go along with our buckets of blood. All in all it’s not a bad film, certainly much better produced than most of those ’80s horror flicks. And it is nice to see old Robert Englund, ripe as ever, as Freddy Kruger the child-molesting, burn victim from hell, but let’s face it these two belong to an I Love The ’80s clip show. Today’s kids are just to jaded to appreciate their simple, old-fashioned bloodshed. Somebody get a shovel, they’re starting to smell!

—Ted Rholes

 

hybridCinema Ratings Guide:

Take a pal and pay full price for both tickets.

It’s worth a full-price ticket.

It’s worth a matinee ticket.

Wait for video rental.

Check out the video from the library, if you must.

While we would never encourage anyone to destroy a video...


Mike Doughty



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