Freddy vs. Jason
3 out of 5 stars
R E V I E W   B Y   R I C H   C L I N E
freddy vs jason Two long-running slasher franchises collide in this shamefully entertaining action horror movie, a lively concoction of genre in-jokes with elements that'll please fans of both murderous characters. As we begin, Freddy (Englund, veteran of seven Nightmares on Elm Street) is literally rotting in hell, feeling the need to remind the living that he exists. To do this, he invades the dreams of the indestructible Jason Voorhees (Kirzinger, newcomer to the character after 10 Fridays the 13th) and leads him to Elm Street to start a new killing spree. The fear among the current residents gives Freddy the strength to make a comeback on his own. But now he's upset because Jason won't stop killing his victims. Meanwhile, an ever-diminishing group of teens figures out what's going on and develops a plot to make Freddy and Jason fight it out both in the dream world and the real one.

Without being a comedy or a spoof, the film has enough knowing humour in it to keep fans chuckling even as they grip their seats in fear. Although it's not that terrifying; Yu leans more toward tense action set pieces, rather than just making things jump out at us. Although he does that as well. And there are bucketloads of gore to keep us flinching in horror, plus a conspiratorial plotline that is actually much scarier than all the bloodletting. The screenwriters cleverly draw on the elements of each characters' original demise (Freddy by fire, Jason by water) to create some intriguing possibilities. And the young cast is solid; Keena and Ritter are an intriguing variation on the usual heroic teen couple, and first-time actress Rowland (of Destiny's Child) is an amazingly talented bundle of on-screen personality. All in all, there's a witty and strong teen slasher movie vibe here that makes it great fun for horror movie fans, toying with the cliches and plot exposition, and including subtle nods to films from Psycho to Children of the Corn. Profoundly silly, yes, but also jumpy and nervy and entertaining. If you like this kind of thing..

cert 15 themes, gruesome violence, language, nudity, drugs 30.Jul.03

dir Ronny Yu
dir Damian Shannon, Mark Swift
with Robert Englund, Ken Kirzinger, Monica Keena, Jason Ritter, Kelly Rowland, Katharine Isabelle, Brendan Fletcher, Lochlyn Munro, Christopher George Marquette, Kyle Labine, Tom Butler, Jesse Hutch
release US/UK 15.Aug.03
NewLine
03/Canada 1h41

Teens in jeopardy: Keena and Rowland (above), Ritter (below).

R E A D E R   R E V I E W S
send your review to Shadows... freddy vs jason "This movie was a dream come true. I loved it so much. I cant wait to see it again." --Leroy Patterson, Springwood CA 4.Aug.03
2003 by Rich Cline, Shadows on the Wall

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