After several months of reviews, the long-awaited mashup is here! “Freddy vs. Jason” was teased in “Jason Goes to Hell”, though it sat in the limbo of development hell for quite some time. In one of the rarities of Hollywood, the fans got what they wanted; a bonafide crossover extravaganza.
In the words of Freddy, “what’s worse than being dead is forgotten.” This lit a fire inside Kreuger as he vowed to be remembered in the town of Springwood once more. In order to do so, he uses Jason Voorhees as a vessel to create fear within the real world. When it begins to backfire, a feud erupts between the two horror icons.
The opening credits welcome fans with a mix of score cues from both the “Friday the 13th” and “A Nightmare on Elm Street” franchises. Added to the brief recap of the Nightmare films it’s a nostalgia concoction that will be gulped by an avid horror lover. That’s the beauty of this film; it takes just about everything from the two franchises and puts it in a blender. It’s silly, dated and is filled with all the cliches. If you go into the film with a more celebratory mindset then it can be easily digested. That’s not to say that everything is perfect. Tropes like constant false jump-scares do nothing for the experience and become old rather quickly. Most of the characters fall into the same category.
Aside from Robert Englund, the cast is forgettable beyond their personality tropes. The douchebag with greased bangs is very unlikable, the stoner is over the top and the leading teen is … There’s no confusion on the personality traits, however, there’s not much structure to the one-note characters. We get a little sense of empathy towards the two psychiatric patients, Will and Mark, wrongfully instituted. You genuinely understand their sorrow and want them to be successful in their goals. Their performances stand out due to the lackluster ensemble and screenplay.
What about the killers you ask? Both do their justified parts in carrying the franchises on their shoulders. Englund continues to be a menacing comedic force of nature with his ruthless aggression and one-liners. Jason is back to his slow-stalking self that overpowers his victims with his gargantuan physique. They collide a few times in the film, making for some rather exciting moments. I never thought I’d see Jason’s body bounce from wall to wall in a boiler room while Freddy laughs as pinball sound effects are heard playing. The lighting that “Freddy vs. Jason” uses works not just as a visual cue but as a narrative tool as well. Red hues fill the setting when Freddy is the main focus, while blue is used for Jason; bouncing off their respective elements fire and water.
Once the two come in contact with their victims, the kills are over the top. For the most part, the sequences are creative in their own regards. It’s the execution that hinders some. The film relies heavily on CGI which can sometimes look great and other times awful. There’s a slight charm to it, but it can be jarring at times.
Overall “Freddy vs. Jason” isn’t a film I’d recommend to friends unless they really like horror. It really banks on prior knowledge and admiration towards the characters for it to be fully enjoyed. It has its moments but doesn’t compare to some of the more critically acclaimed entries. Still, there’s nothing like seeing Jason walk the streets of Elm street.