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FREDDY VS JASON, 2003
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FREDDY VS JASON,  MOVIE POSTERFREDDY VS JASON, 2003
Movie Reviews

Directed by Ronny Yu
Starring: Robert England, Jason Ritter, Ken Kirzinger, Monica Keena, Kelly Rolland, and Chris Marquette
Review by Andrew Kosarko


SYNOPSIS:

Four years after being killed by his daughter, Freddy Krueger rests in Hell. He depends on the dreams of those in Springwood to fuel his existence. But when the town covers up his existence in an attempt to make people forget, Freddy is left powerless. In a last ditch effort he springs Jason Voorhees from his own personal Hell and sends him to Elm Street, determined to strike fear in the hearts of Springwood teens. But when Jason won't stop killing Freddy's "children," Krueger decides it's time to take Voorhees out. Caught in the cross-fire are Lori and Will, both of whom feature a history with Freddy.

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REVIEW:

This is a bad horror movie. No really, it is. But I love it because of that. This is a movie that is clearly for entertainment value. Mindless entertainment of seeing 2 horror icons kill a lot of dumb teenagers and then try and kill each other. That’s all it’s trying to be and that’s all it delivers. This is a great film for horror fans not only because it took over 10 years to actually happen after being the ending tease of a Jason film, but because if you’ve ever read the 12+ drafts that came before it you actually appreciate how well thought out it finally is in the end.

The Story: It’s not the greatest thing ever. It’s a horror plot designed around getting 2 killers to try to kill each other. However, the writers did their homework in terms of paying homage to both franchises and keeping a somewhat solid plot moving forward and delivering on the mindless wants of the audience. Along the way, they raise some interesting questions that could make for some really moving and emotionally intriguing scenes. The flip side however, is they’re great ideas that are bailed on relatively quickly as if they were afraid the thought process would be above their audience. Instead we get the cheesey dialogue and plot sidetracks that this genre is known for. Hopefully, a writer in the future will see the potential from these points and tackle them seriously in the new franchises.

Acting: Jason Ritter starts to shine but the directing and story always keep him on “dim” mode instead. Everyone else really fails to rise to the occasion. England is almost too comfortable and over the top as Krueger by this point. He just makes him too jokey and the horror and creepiness isn’t there anymore. It doesn’t help my view on his performance that ¾ if not all of his dialogue is ADR’d and then stylized in post. It just….hurts his performance overall.

Directing: Ronny Yu also did Bride of Chucky. I really don’t like this “frat boy” mentality that he takes with horror franchises and takes them to cheese territory and campiness. Granted, this is the film where some asylum is granted, but even still. He doesn’t do much to get believable dialogue out of his actors and it hurts the non-action/horror areas of the film.

Cinematography: This puppy looks like a comic book movie. Like a Zack Snyder 300/Watchmen style film. And I guess it works given what it is and the atmosphere. But while some parts of the lighting are very nice and work well for the film, some are over stylized and feel more action oriented than horror. I don’t necessarily mind them, but the mix just kills the vibe for me. One or the other with little dabs of the contrast would have been the best way to go instead of a 50/50.

Production Design: Again, highly stylized and comic book like. Everything seems brand new and clean and shiny. Even the boiler rooms in which Freddy terrorizes the kids. Jason’s campground looks brand new as well. No signs of aging or deteriorization. It’s as if people were just there yesterday and overall makes the fans of the franchise go “wait…what? No, no no…”

Editing: Monotone. I realize that’s not an opportune word for editing, but the pace is very “blah” in terms of editing. There’s really no passion behind it. Then again, the overall approach to the production seems like the editor may not have been given a whole lot to work with. Sure signs of that with slow’d down (not slow-motion mind you) shots.

Score: Webster’s Dictionary Says: Freddy VS Jason Score = See: Product Placement for Soundtrack

Special Effects: Now here’s a roller coaster. Sometimes the CGI looks really good. Sometimes it’s over stylized and really bad. Sometimes the production designed effects are really gut wrenching, other times laughable. Not sure if it was a shortage on time, budget or passion, but something dithered out along the way here.

In closing: This is not a movie for the general audience. This is a movie for the horror fans. While it wasn’t what any of us would have done, it suffices in an above mediocre level. The only disappointing notion that we’re left with now is that 1) The “winner” decision was kind of “meh” but should have been seen coming and 2) This is England’s last outage as Freddy. I almost wish he had had a better finale moment in the red and green sweater. But that’s life I guess. So to sum it up: if you’re a new fan of these franchises, this movie is “ok”. If you don’t care about the mythology or anything really intriguing (or even scary for that matter) then you can skip this one.

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