The Jason Voorhees Marathon: Part XI
Although it’s considered to be garbage and makes no sense to the continuity, Jason X was pretty fun compared to the later films in the series. Between that and the madness of Jason Goes to Hell we were looking to end on at a fun note. But first…
Freddy Versus Jason
Director: Ronny Yu
Cast: Robert Englund, Ken Kirzinger, Monica Keena, Kelly Rowland, Jason Ritter, Brendan Fletcher, Chris Marquette
Plot: Both Freddy Kruger and Jason Voorhees are trapped in the afterlife. The people of Elm Street have gone to extreme lengths to erase Freddy from the public consciousness to prevent his return, so he recruits Jason to kill on his behalf so he can regain his powers.
Review: Bloody finally! While doing the background reading for this marathon we learned that a crossover was first suggested way back in the 1980s but the rights to the characters couldn’t be worked out. Between Jason Goes to Hell and Freddy’s Dead the franchises were more or less done. It’s cool that they managed to dig them both up for this long awaited mash-up.
What’s impressive is how it fits into the continuities of both franchises. Both of the characters had been sent to hell by their respective family members, so we’ve got an obvious starting point. The idea of Freddy’s ( Englund – read our interview with him right here!) powers being tied to how scared the community is of him has been explored in the past, so it’s a good way to bring both the characters back to the real world. There’s some smaller details that work extremely well, such as bullies pulling a sack over Jason’s (Kirzinger) head in a flashback/nightmare adding context to his unusual appearance in Part 2. It also bridges the gap between Jason being sent to hell in Jason Goes to Hell and his return in Jason X, removing that plot hole. Some of the new ideas makes less sense, such as Jason being terrified of water. He’s had no problem with water in the past, and spends quite a bit of time hanging around the lake.
For the first part of film we alternate between what is essentially a Friday the 13th film and a Nightmare of Elm Street film. With the higher production values and studio backing they both come off as strong examples of both. Most of the effects are good and the horror is creative. The production team have successfully tapped into what made each character a fan favourite and given fans of both plenty to enjoy. Freddy is scarier than he had been in years at this point, as he’d largely become a wise-cracking clown. Jason is…well, he’s Jason, but at least they don’t do anything stupid with him.
Whilst it combines the best of both worlds it doesn’t do much to remedy the problems that come with both. The acting is awkward, the dialogue is laughable and much of the writing is silly. You’re not going to win critics of the slasher genre over with this one. The nadir of the experience is Kelly Rowland, perplexingly cast as an ‘actor’. It is satisfying when she gets unceremoniously splattered into a tree as a result.
This is fan service, but the good kind of fan service. Not the lazy fan service where they expect everyone to cough up for a shitty product just because Darth Vader is in it. It gives fans just what they love about slashers and does it with glee. This would be an ideal point to end the marathon on, but there’s still the remake…
Rating: SEVEN out of TEN
Jason’s Best Kill: The bed is such a great way to get the movie started. At first it’s pretty bland, just a stab stab stab stab. Then after a pause…CRUNK.