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Freddy vs. Jason /

Rated: R

Starring: Robert Englund, Ken Kirzinger, Monica Keena, Jason Ritter, Kelly Rowland
Directed by: Ronny Yu
Produced by: Sean S. Cunningham, Wes Craven
Written by: Damian Shannon, Mark Swift, David S. Goyer
Distributor: New Line Cinema

 

ďWhy wonít you die!?Ē

     I was really dreading this one, walking into it. Iíve hated almost every movie in the Friday the 13th franchise, and have only seen the first flick in the Nightmare on Elm Street series. I was shockingly surprised by Freddy vs. Jason, though. Itís occasionally creepy, often hilarious, and always entertaining. The material wears thin by the end, and itís definitely not one of the better movies playing across the nation, but I had a tremendously fun time watching it.

     From a marketing standpoint, New Line is genius. Itís not a new idea to make a movie, which features two legendary, unstoppable villainous monsters fight to the death (though the loser never really dies). However, Freddy vs. Jason is being advertised as if itís the freshest movie to play in multiplexes all summer. Itís definitely an experience watching Freddy Krueger and Jason Voorhees battle against each other, in one movie, but Freddy vs. Jason is essentially the exact same movie as any of the others in the two lead characterís franchises, just a bit better quality-wise.

     Though most of the dialogue in it is awful, the plot is ingeniously inventive. Freddy (Robert Englund), the nutty villain of the Nightmare on Elm Street series, who kills children in their dreams, is having a difficult time conducting evil. If no one remembers him, or is scared of his deadly capabilities, they will not dream of him. If no one dreams of him, he therefore cannot kill them, while they slumber. In order to gain the remembrance of many, he must recruit Jason (Ken Kirzinger), to strike on the teens who occupy the houses on Elm Street, the place where he is famous for killing people. When Jason begins to murder somewhat random victims, the police (and others that live in the neighborhood), think that Freddy has committed the crimes. The families and friends of those whole were killed by Jason, begin to dream of Mr. Krueger. When he is ready, he will regain power, and cause much more terror on Elm Street.

     Unfortunately for Freddy, his plan backfires. He cannot completely take over, because Jason will not stop killing innocent people. To reign supreme, he must stop Jason. Hence, another battle emergesóFreddy vs. Jason. There is a winner, though the victory is a lot less clear-cut than one would expect, despite the fact that the rest of the movie is always very obvious and straight-forward.

     Much of the credit for what this film accomplishes should go to director Ronny Yu. Behind the camera, he doesnít take any big risks, but obviously knows how to surprise the audience. Freddy vs. Jason is definitely scary at times, primarily because of the chilling atmosphere. This is a better-than-average slasher-flick, even if it does occasionally resort to using old and conventional techniques. One thingís for sure, though; I enjoyed myself while viewing it. What more could you ask from a movie of this sort?

     The balance between campy humor and nail-biting horror is off, however; I laughed more than I was frightened. Freddy vs. Jason, though gory and shocking, really shouldnít be categorized as the average horror movie. Itís exhilarating, but is missing some crucial elements that are needed, in order to terrify audiences. Even though the original Friday the 13th film was very similar to this, execution-wise, it did have its fair-share of scares. Even though Freddy vs. Jason is fun and entertaining, some of producer Sean S. Cunninghamís and film editor Mark Stevensís work misses the mark. Regardless, itís still considerably enjoyable, flaws aside.

     Freddy vs. Jason has a higher budget than most of Kruegerís and Voorheesís other flicks, which most noticeably, improves the quality of the visuals and special effects. While the look of this film is still nowhere near perfect, itís definitely an improvement on that of the recent Jason X. Wayne Beauchamp, the special effects director on the project, has clearly put much effort and time into his work. There is a lot to be commended in Freddy vs. Jason, but unfortunately not enough to earn it an entirely positive recommendation, from me.

     While the cool concept of this one wears thin towards the end of it, Iíd probably pay to see a rematch between Freddy and Jason. Freddy vs. Jason is definitely interesting, and worth your money, if youíre only paying matinee price to see it. Itís not even close to being the best motion picture, currently in release, but does offer tremendous amounts of entertainment. I thoroughly enjoyed it, and those who see it, who arenít bothered by witnessing many of the violent and gory (though cheesy) onscreen sequences, will too. Freddy vs. Jason is a wonderfully campy romp, and a step in the right direction for two franchises, that were thought to be extremely tired, and nearing death, by most.

-Danny, Bucket Reviews

 


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