Director – Ronny Yu
Cast – Monica Keena, Jason Ritter, Robert Englund, Ken Kirzinger, Kelly Rowland, Chris Marquette, Brendan Fletcher, Katharine Isabelle, Locklyn Munro
Release Year – 2003
Reviewed by John of the Dead
This film shall forever remain infamous in horror lore thanks to the guys at New Line who finally gave us a battle between two of the most successful horror franchises of all time. The buzz started at the ending sequence of the 9th F13 film, Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday, in which Jason’s mask is lying on the ground and then out of nowhere Freddy Krueger’s glove comes from underground and takes Jason’s mask. Talk about one HELL of an ending! Ten years after that epic moment and after lots of script rewrites we finally got this film on the big screen and boy is this flick aimed to please it’s loyal fans. :huge smile:
You may need to have seen a few of the previous films of both franchises to understand the plot, but here’s how the plot goes. The people of Springwood have forgotten about Freddy Krueger and put the town’s horrid past behind them. In order for Freddy to come back and start killing again, the townsfolk have to fear him, without them fearing him…he has no power. The townsfolk have done a good job concealing the town’s past and Freddy’s usual victims, the children, have never heard of him and therefore cannot fear him. There is where Freddy comes up with a genius plan, and where Jason becomes involved. Jason is dead and buried and constantly reliving his own hell in his mind. Because both Jason and Freddy are dead and confined to the afterlife, Freddy can enter Jason’s dreams. He enters Jason’s dream and acts as Jason’s mother, telling him to start killing again in order to avenge her death. Jason then wakes from his grave and the awesome carnage it took us ten years to see again comes back to life, in brutal ways! However because of the town’s past with Freddy the townsfolk automatically assume that Freddy is behind the killings and begin to fear him again. Freddy’s plan works, and he is then able to regain his power and begin killing people in their dreams again. However once our main characters Lori(Monica Keena), Will(Jason Ritter, who is John Ritter’s son), Kia(Kelly Rowland of “Destiny’s Child”), and Charlie(Chris Martquette) figure out that Jason is in town hacking up all of their friends, they devise a plan to bring Freddy into the real world and have Jason finish him off once and for all.
Wow, where do I begin? This film embodies all of the elements we loved from the F13 and Nightmare on Elm Street franchises, with a few surprises here and there. It’s always classic to watch Robert Englund so perfectly execute his role as Freddy, and I am sad to see that after 8 roles as Freddy(including this film) he is not reprising his role as Freddy Krueger anymore. I do however have faith that Jackie Earl Haley will do fine as the new Freddy Kruger, given he is a very fine actor overall. Now as for Jason…well…when I first heard the shocking news that Kane Hodder was turned down for the role of Jason, I screamed to myself “What the HELL???” Kane Hodder remains the only actor to portray Jason more than once(4 times total in parts 7, 8, 9, and 10) and is believed to be the greatest acting Jason of all time, which I concur. Because director Ronny Yu and the producers for the film wanted Jason to REALLY tower over Freddy, the 6’3½” Kane Hodder was passed up for the 6’5½” Ken Kirzinger, who had actually appeared in Friday the 13th Part 8: Jason Takes Manhattan as a cook that gets in Jason’s way and gets thrown onto a table. Ironic huh? Fortunately…Ken Kirzinger was an effective Jason and I actually enjoyed his towering height and found it pretty darn awesome seeing such a huge Jason walking about the foggy forests of Crystal Lake.
I really enjoyed how this film got going right off the back and gave us some pretty sweet Jason carnage early on. Director Ronny Yu managed to incorporate pretty much every 80’s horror cliché all within the first 15-20 minutes of the film! Nice! This film really doesn’t leave out either Freddy nor Jason as far as screen-time goes and managed to mix them into the story pretty well. The majority of the film is really “about” Freddy, however I feel we get a great amount of Jason as he definitely gets more kills in this film. Speaking of the kills…they were awesome! I saw some of the greatest kills in Jason history in this film, starting with the “bed” kill at the beginning and never letting up the use of his trusty machete as well as a few other tools Jason managed to get his hands on. Pay attention to the scene where Jason crashes a rave party in the middle of a cornfield, that scene is honestly about 2 minutes of some of the greatest Jason action ever put on film! I really must congratulate Ronny Yu on making sure to throw in lots of gore and for how he constructed these kill scenes, pretty impressive for the guy who brought us the mediocre Bride of Chucky.
There is not much I did not like about this film other than some questionable CGI scenes that really did not make the film any better(the “caterpillar” scene for one…). I do feel that Ronny Yu’s direction could have been better at times but overall he nailed this film when it mattered most.
Overall, this film manages to live up to the ten years of hype and failed to let it’s loyal fans down by giving us some awesome kills, funny dialogue(thanks to Freddy of course), and of course…the epic final sequence that is literally…Freddy vs. Jason!
– I ranked this film #39 in my Top 50 Horror Movies of the Decade(31-40) post.