No, this film is nothing like
Kramer vs. Kramer.
Two of the most recognizable figures in horror
face off in this, the ultimate battle: Freddy vs. Jason.
While the Masked Reviewer knows all and tells (almost) all about film,
he has never been a big fan of the "slasher" movie. While the
Masked Reviewer loves some horror films, such as Romero's Dead
films and Raimi's Evil Dead films, it is with a bit of reluctance
that the Masked Reviewer reveals that, going into Freddy vs. Jason,
he had never seen a single Nightmare on Elmstreet or Friday
the 13th movie all the way through.
Sure, you can chalk that up to movie snobbery. Or you can call the
Masked Reviewer a big scaredy cat. Perhaps the Masked Reviewer was
morally opposed to the gratuitous violence and objectification of women
in these types of films? Okay, we all know that wasn't the
reason. The truth is, the Masked Reviewer never got around to
seeing them. But he saw this one.
Prior to Freddy vs. Jason, there were seven movies starring
Freddy Kreuger (the one with the Ginsu (tm) gloves and Charlie Brown
sweater) and ten movies starring Jason Voorhees (the big feller with the
hockey mask). The Masked Reviewer would like to think those
seventeen films would provide a deep well of character development from
which to draw. But the filmmakers did an excellent job of
establishing each of their characters right away, so that no one in the
audience will be confused. They're both killers. Got it.
There are other characters in the film, and the Masked Reviewer
couldn't tell if they were in earlier movies starring Freddy or Jason.
It doesn't really matter. You can tell what's going on. You
know where the movie is headed from the title.
In fact, the publicity for this film included a lot of boxing
references, even a Las Vegas weigh-in. The point of the film is to
see these two "sultans of slaughter" go head to head and...they do.
It's too bad, really. In this time of global conflict, it
would've been nice if the filmmakers decided to have Freddy and Jason
resolve their differences and work together. They could've gone
after Saddam Hussein...together! But, alas, pride and grumpiness
keep these two in conflict for most of the film.
There is a human element in the film, and humans do get killed in
slasher horror movie style. That style traditionally involves
something jumping out with a loud noise at a very predictable moment,
but it does make many people in the audience jump. A lot of people
screamed during this one.
There was plenty of gore, too. If you like spurting streams of
blood (and who doesn't?) you'll be happy. There are some good
laughs in the film, too. A couple of the horrific deaths got
cheers and laughter from the audience, and those are the highlights of
the film. There weren't any truly remarkable or groundbreaking
death scenes or startling surprises...it follows the slasher formula
very closely, but it does it well, and it has enjoyable moments.
The highlight, of course, is the big fight. Freddy (with 30
killings, not including those he killed in the TV series) takes on Jason
(with approximately 127 killings). It's good. What else can
be said? The Masked Reviewer can't get into any details without
tipping off who wins. But, in this battle, everyone wins,
especially the audience. In case you're worried about a possible
Hollywood puss-out ending, rest assured that Freddy and Jason don't end
up holding hands and singing "Kumbaya" by the campfire. Nor do
they become gay lovers and open a quilt store in South Beach.
The film stars Robert Englund as Freddy, and he brings an impish joy
to the role which he created in 1984. Stunt master Ken Kirzinger
plays Jason. Though he doesn't say anything and just stomps around
slashing people, Kirzinger brings a subtle nuance of Oedipal angst to
the character. For those who know everything about both films,
Kirzinger was the stunt coordinator for Friday the 13th Part VIII:
Jason Takes Manhattan and had an uncredited role as the New York
The film also stars a bunch of townspeople, but who cares? The
Masked Reviewer does! And why? Because one of the young
ladies in the film (Katharine Isabelle) does a few nude scenes.
This is, of course, symbolic nudity, showing her vulnerability to the
emotional upheaval caused by the traumatic events of the film. But
still, you get to see her boobies.
The film is about graphic violence, surprise laughs, and
cat scares. For what it is, it works
well. Hopefully this will be the beginning of many more unions of
classic film characters. Will Robocop meet the Terminator?
Will Aliens meet Predator? Will the chauffeur from
Driving Miss Daisy meet Tom Cruise's character from Days of
Thunder for a street race to the death? Maybe the gang from
Porky's will do battle with the cops of Police Academy.
The fun never stops.
Just remember, in Freddy vs. Jason, it's not who wins or
loses, it's how you inflict the pain.
Expectation from the Title: When the star of Scooby Doo
and I Know What You Did Last Summer takes on the best friend from
"Seinfeld" in a custody battle after their gay divorce, Freddy Prinze
Jr. and Jason Alexander take off the gloves and go head to head.
Mother's Rule (Always Say Something Good About Everything):
Freddy and Jason seem like two boys who didn't get enough attention as
The Pros: Good fights, a couple of nice killings, several good
laughs. It makes you nostalgic for the old days. A nice dose
The Cons: Too predictable, not groundbreaking or nightmarishly