*** Official FREDDY VS. JASON Review Thread

Discussion in 'Movies' started by Robert Crawford, Aug 9, 2003.

  1. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator

    Dec 9, 1998
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    This thread is now the Official Review Thread for "Freddy Vs. Jason". Please post all HTF member reviews in this thread.

    Any other comments, links to other reviews, or discussion items will be deleted from this thread without warning!

    If you need to discuss those type of issues then I have designated an Official Discussion Thread.

  2. Will K

    Will K Screenwriter

    Feb 6, 2001
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    No Spoilers.

    If I were sixteen years old, I'd probably still be coming down from an adrenaline high sparked by a spectacle of dueling psycho-killers. As if anyone didn't know, Freddy Vs. Jason is the quite long-awaited team up of the Springwood Slasher and Camp Blood's least-favorite son.

    It seems Freddy has been languishing in oblivion, annoyed that his hometown has tried in vain to completely erase him from books and minds. He wants to kill again but he has to get his power back. His ticket back to dreamland comes in the guise of Jason Voorhees, who has been in hell since his niece sent him there in 1993's Jason Goes To Hell. They never really explain how Freddy is able to control Jason(or much less, how he has the authority to spring someone from hell!).

    The story moves forward as Freddy places Jason at 1428 Elm Street, the former home of Elm Street 1's Nancy Thompson. Soon enough, someone is dispatched in spectacular fashion(think a machete and a fold-up bed) and Freddy's name is whispered much to the disdain of the local police. Our heroine Lori(Monica Keena), of course, wants to know more but is hard pressed to find information on Freddy until ex-boyfriend Will(Jason Ritter) and his buddy Mark(Brenden Fletcher) escape from the mental hospital. It seems the town has locked away all teens who know anything about Freddy and doped them up on Hypnocil, the dream-suppressing drug last seen in ANOES 3: Dream Warriors.

    It doesn't take long before Jason offs a few more unsuspecting folks and starts to figure out he's been used by Freddy, who is now more than annoyed that Mr. Voorhees seems to be stealing victims. If that's not enough plot for a sequel to either series, there's an additional(albeit unnecessary) subplot about Lori's father possibly having murdered her mother.

    Enough with all that. When it's all said and done, Freddy Vs. Jason is a fun, but flawed slashathon that functions a bit better as a typically surreal Elm Street sequel than of a woodsy Crystal Lake tale. Director Ronny Yu keeps things moving at a nice clip and the film is visually pleasing(this one is shot in a 2.35:1 AR, incidentally). The blood splashes and sprays like wine, as if someone put Gallagher in charge of a blood bank. There's tons of it. Sure, there are a few graphic kills, but the violence here is more bloody than gory, if you understand the difference.

    The pitfalls are typical of such sequels; there are a few moments of horrid dialogue and a truly absurd scene in which male lead(Ritter) instantly figures everything out as if he wrote the script himself. One outragerously stupid scene involving mouth-to-mouth rescucitation has to be seen to be believed.

    The payoff, of course, is the showdown. The clashes between the two monsters is one huge moneyshot and it's executed to great satisfaction. Freddy and Jason literally tear each other apart and pummel each other endlessly. In this respect, the film succeeds with flying colors. Teen audiences are going to eat this up and New Line will sing all the way to the bank. Adult fans of the characters will have a good time, but not give it much thought afterwards.

    One thing's for sure, a killer DVD is on the horizon.

    [​IMG] [​IMG] 1/2 / [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
  3. Chuck L

    Chuck L Screenwriter

    Feb 12, 2001
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    Nice review...

    I am way to much of an 'old school' Jason freak to really get comfortable with the new design or the new mythologies that this film tries to draw from for these icons of the horror world.

    Overall, I am still on the fence about this film and one that I don't know if I loved it or hated it. So the best right now that I can muster is a 2.5 out of five...and it is that good because like I said I am in the middle. (I should be able to really know this coming Saturday when I attend the film with my boss and her nine year old son whom I have turned into a horror geek...)

    (I do agree that teens will eat this film up and love every moment of it. For myself, a 32 year old that adores these chacaters, I am having a hard time...)
  4. Scott Weinberg

    Scott Weinberg Lead Actor

    Oct 3, 2000
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    Freddy vs. Jason [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG] out of 5

    Slasher Fan Disclaimer: As a lifelong fan of all things horrific and slasher-related, it's important for me to know that a particular movie critic can appreciate the blood-soaked sub-genre before I read their review of Masked Stalker Part 9. The Slasher Flick creates a divisive rift among movie fans and critics, mainly because 97% of the movies are awash in shoddy filmmaking. But it's important to me that I make this distinction early on: Jason, Freddy, Michael, Pinhead and Leatherface were my babysitters. I love the damn guys. So before you dismiss my mild complaints regarding the long-awaited Freddy vs. Jason - rest assured, bloodthirsty horror freaks, that I am one of your own.

    And Holy Hatchet in the Head was I really looking forward to this movie. I've no predisposition whatsoever to knock a Slasher Flick for being silly or stupid or formulaic or derivative. Those components come part and parcel with the entirely squishy sub-genre. No, the complaints I have regarding Freddy vs. Jason are the kinds that I'd level at any movie - from a Family Farce to a Merchant/Ivory production.

    I expected a certain goofiness; a vague misshapenness (if that's even a word) that invariably comes when a movie studio attempts to fuse two popular series into one; a string of flimsy acting performances; and (despite all the film's publicity ordering me to do otherwise) an impartiality between the two anti-heroes that must exist in order to appease fans from both camps.

    As a horror freak, I was psyched. As a movie reviewer, I was skeptical.

    But the last thing I expected was to be bored.

    And for big, long, pregnant moments of Freddy vs. Jason I was helplessly and hopelessly bored. The bulk of the problem lies in the Icon meets Icon conceit; the screenwriters are saddled with the unenviable task of combining two horror legends into one cohesive new film. But in an effort to 'explain everything logically' the movie gets stuck in a seemingly endless loop of meandering plot exposition and the frustrating presence of about three subplots too many.

    There are a handful of cool kills, some very enjoyable interplay between the two anti-heroes, and a WHOLE LOTTA chit-chat-chit-chat exposition explanation backstory recovery blah blah blah.

    The plot, which needed only to be a somewhat sturdy framework on which to hang the killers' new exploits, is mercilessly sluggish. The main gist - that Freddy has been rendered impotent by the art of "intentional forgetfulness" before enlisting the undead hockey-face to scare him back into existence - works quite well in theory. And if this were the only plotline on which the filmmakers focused...we could have had something with a bit more focused intensity.

    Unfortunately the relationship between Fred and Jay is often jammed into the background in favor of several unrewarding side plots. As you're subjected to the tedious scenes involving mental hospitals and police stations and our virginal heroine's dead mother - try to keep in mind what it was you were expecting from Freddy vs. Jason. I bet it wasn't a plot-heavy soap opera you were looking for.

    When the two leading men are not onscreen, Freddy vs. Jason grinds to a dead, screeching halt.

    After explaining my complaints to a fellow critic (and one clearly smarter than myself), I began to pick apart my own nitpicks. If I can recommend Friday the 13th Part 2, a film that's basically as plotless as a movie can ever be, then surely I'm being a bit too rough on Freddy vs. Jason by dismissing it as 'lurchy and plot-heavy'.

    But there's good news too: what works in Freddy vs. Jason works quite well. There are the predictably horrific murders, each of which should find my fellow Gorehounds grinning in their seats. Each undead lunatic gets his share of time doling out the death & destruction. The flick gets better as things grow more chaotic. Up until the final Battle Royale between Mr. Krueger and Mr. Voorhees, the sloppy bits are inevitably punctuated by moments of extensive yap - but once the final 25 minutes kick in, there's a heaping helping of gore-soaked carnage. And I mean that in a good way. But even all that gooey goodness manages to disappoint in one small way:

    Remember how several people had a problem with the "Burly Brawl" from The Matrix Reloaded because there's very little tension inherent in a battle between two wholly invincible entities? That's what F and J's final battle feels like. Lotsa splattery gore and stuff like that, but very little actual excitement. These scenes are directed crisply and with an apparently keen eye for strategically placed blood-squirts...but before too long it just feels a little tiresome.

    Logically the acting is fairly atrocious and many of the technical aspects are subpar at best. (Freddy vs. Jason is one of the most sloppily edited films I've seen in a long time.) But considering how atrocious the film could have been, I feel a bit satisfied that it's merely "so-so, certainly watchable for the fans". And let's face it: there was very little chance of it being an excellent film.

    I do offer my recommendation despite all my various misgivings. The best bits do eventually overshadow the interminable slow spots, and I'd certainly never be one to dissuade the faithful from seeing these two immortals duke it out on the big screen.

    Solid points for treating the adored anti-heroes with some semblance of respect, and the goopy bits make for a rousing good time. On the flip side, those rousing moments are a bit too few and far between to wholly satisfy this Horror Freak, so the experiment succeeds and fails at the same time. Clearly on a flick like this - your mileage may vary.
  5. Joshua_Y

    Joshua_Y Screenwriter

    Dec 19, 2002
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    Movie kicked complete and total ass...which is what I was expecting!

    10/10! [​IMG]
  6. Brian Kissinger

    Brian Kissinger Screenwriter

    Dec 11, 2001
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    First off the short version:

    If you are a fan of either franchise, you will most likely enjoy this movie. If you are not, then don't bother wasting your time or money. Nothing new there I know, but it doesn't hurt repeating it.

    Now, the long version:

    About ten years or so ago when this project was first rumored, I got really excited. Of course back then, I was only a teenager, and still very much into the horror genre. Flash forward to about 6 months ago, when the filming was done and the hype really started to build. I really could care less. I hoped they would make a decent picture, one that I would enjoy. I had no intentions of seeing it in the theater. Then something crazy started to happen. I started to get glimpses of other folks excitement. I also got a loose version of the plot, and began seeing some stills. Then one day I went to the Freddy vs, Jason website and downloaded the trailer. It was good. It did what trailers were meant to do: it made me want to see it. The trailer certainly appeared to make this film as if it was going to be serious. By that I mean taken in a scary (at least as far as a film from one of these franchises can be scary) direction. Not just a enter poor shmuck teenager number 3, kill number 3 in a gory yet unusual fashion, move on to number 4. That got me excited. I heard this same thought echoed from a couple of other folks, and decided I would try to make it to a showing on the big screen.

    Well, I was right and wrong. The scenes I saw in the trailer do exist in the film (and are still decent scenes to an extent) but didn't convey exactly what I was hoping they would. And you know what? I think I'm pretty glad they didn't. The movie had just the right tone to it. And judging from the heavy applause the film got when it ended, I think many other people feel the same.

    I'm not totally sure when I shut my brain down, and just began to enjoy, but I'm pretty sure it was around the time Jason folded some guy in half. You see, you can sit there and pick this movie apart. Where there gaping holes in the film? You bet. Did many performances bite the big one? You know it. Are there times (more than likely several) when something happened that is not only implausible/impossible but just plain absurd? Does a bear shit in the woods. But if you just sit back (and for those like me, think back to your younger years when this stuff kicked ass) and enjoy, you won't come away disappointed.

    Now I'm not all about the praise. There are times when a character will mutter something so inane that you want to wretch, or the story gets a bit bogged down with uninteresting subplots, but they never drug me all the way back to reality. Besides, if you let yourself snap back to this-would-never-happen mode, you miss the fun and pleasure of the good stuff. Bong hits with Freddy anyone?

    I could go on about how for some reason I just didn't like the way the back of Jason's head looked this time out, or how I found Robert englund's performance going back and forth from good to crap, but I won't. I bet everyone has quit reading by now anyway. If you've made it this far, thanks. If you are just skipping down to see what my final remarks are, no offense taken.

    All in all, I rate it [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] out of [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] on the good old fashioned fun scale.
  7. ColeKR

    ColeKR Stunt Coordinator

    Feb 15, 2003
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    I would like to thank Brian for writing a review that mirrors my exact thoughts. It was one of those movies where I could just sit there and didn't have to think about anything and have fun. Like he said some parts I was thinking where's Jason or Freddy? But overall I enjoyed the movie very much and plan to see it with my friends who didn't see it with me tonight.
  8. Travis_W

    Travis_W Supporting Actor

    Aug 8, 2000
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    This too me was the ultimate summer film. Tons of gore, cool fights...and bad actors. I'm not expecting Oscar calibur acting but geez the main heroine was just whiny and very annoying (she was the only character I wanted Jason or Freddy to get to next). But other than that this was easily the most fun I had at the theater this summer. Definitely picking this up on disc.

    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] out of 5

    Also liked how Ronny Yu went with the 2.35:1 aspect ratio. New Line also proves again that they care about the fans. They could have done this film in 1995 or something but they waited until it could be done right, even though it took a decade I'm glad they waited.
  9. MickeS

    MickeS Producer

    Jul 24, 2000
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    Freddy vs Jason" was pretty much what I expected, though it was perhaps more to the "Elm Street" side of things than what I thought it'd be. That's not a complaint, those movies have normally been a little more clever in story and structure than the "Friday" movies.

    There were a few memorable murders, and a really cool sequence where Jason goes bezerk among a bunch of teenagers. The fights between Jason and Freddy were pretty cool.

    I've read some reviews complaining that the movie was boring, but I didn't think it was. Sure, there was a little too much talk in the beginning of the movie, and a few too many "false alarms" (someone jumping into frame), but not enough to distract from the enjoyment of the movie.

    The most negative aspects of the movie were the same as in all slasher movies: it wasn't very suspenseful most of the time, just a bunch of kids picked off one by one. The story wasn't much to write home about, even if they did do their best with a "Scream"-like subplot (the main female character's mom died mysteriously). The movie itself isn't like "Scream" at all however.

    I was also disappointed in the lack of gore, there were too many reaction shots of the murders, and the gore we did see was often of the "machete comes out in back" variety. A lost opportunity there, IMO, I was looking forward to some more gore.

    Overall, the movie is well worth seeing, I don't think anyone who doesn't already enjoy these characters will be disappointed! In fact, there was actually applause at the end of the movie, so I'm guessing many in the audience enjoyed it as much as I did. [​IMG]

    Grade: 3 of 5.
  10. Eric Emma

    Eric Emma Supporting Actor

    Feb 18, 2003
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    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] out of [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]

    I'm sort of bias though cuz I love horror films[​IMG] This movie rocked!
  11. SteveGon

    SteveGon Executive Producer

    Dec 11, 2000
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    Being a one-time horror freak, I couldn't resist giving Freddy vs. Jason a rental...

    Was I expecting much? No, not really. Is the film any good? Well, it is and it isn't. It's a sloppy horror film with nary a good scare. Still, it manages to hit all the genre conventions: spurting blood, naked chicks, and indestructible villains. It also doesn't take itself too seriously and avoids the pitfall of self-caricature.

    Aside from the irresistible titular premise, there are some good ideas here: the Elm Street kids being drugged to keep their dreams (and Freddy) at bay, and um, actually that's about it. There is at least one totally superfluous subplot (the one regarding Lori's mother). The performances are scattershot with only a few sympathetic characters (Lori and the nerdy guy). The production values are decent for a slasher flick. But really, let's get to the meat of this movie: the showdown!

    When Freddy and Jason go at it, it's no lame, truncated fight ala Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man. No, they slash, stab, and hack at each other in not one, but two boisterous and bloody battles. Kudos to the filmmakers for delivering in spades on that one!

    Freddy vs. Jason doesn't quite make it to guilty pleasure status in my book, but it's a fun little flick for genre fans.

    [​IMG] [​IMG] out of [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]

    P.S. How about Freddy vs. the Tall Man? Now that would be cool! [​IMG]
  12. Mikel_Cooperman

    Mikel_Cooperman Producer

    Jan 16, 2001
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    Joshua? Why do you think it is 10/10 or kick ass?

    I am going to rent it to give my own opinion. I am curious but wasnt curious enough to pay in the theatre.
  13. StephenA

    StephenA Screenwriter

    Nov 30, 2001
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    I just finished watching Freddy Vs Jason and was kind mad that they didn't completely stay within Jason's character. What I mean is that I don't ever remember Jason going into a big crowd and killing people in the rest of the series like he did in this movie, and I know he's not afraid of water like in the dream where he was fighting Freddy. If he was afraid of water, he would not have gone after Tommy Jarvis who was in the lake in part 6 or he wouldn't have got to Manhattan when the ship sank in part 8. That's just my 2 cents. Other than those nitpicks, I liked it.
  14. Ryan Wishton

    Ryan Wishton Screenwriter

    May 17, 2003
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    The fear of water makes no sense in the movie... Why? Because they cut out every bit of what it was suppose to mean... It doesnt mean that Jason wont go in water (as past movies have clearly shown)... He is even in water at the end of this movie... It means that in the Dream World, Freddy was able to draw out his past fears from being alive (one being drowning)... The movie didnt explain this at all...

    Another example is how the dull cast figures out everything that is going on in about 2 seconds... This is not the way it was suppose to go down...

    The movie doesnt explain very much at all... On one hand, they dont explain things we should know... But, on the other hand, they explain the basic story over and over again like we are all brain dead... The movie just bored me... There were also useless subplots such as the one with Lori's mother... This takes us nowhere and is very poorly done...

    I was insulted by the commentary on a deleted scene... The whole original opening is almost missing in full... They explain on the commentary that it was cut because they figured audiences would have a very difficult time following it... I dont know how exactly watching a woman put campers to bed and run off to the lake is hard to follow, but thats their reasoning...

    Here's the next big idea!!! I see box office hit written all over it... Funny thing is if this type of movie was actually to ever get made, I really would see it... The cast would certainly be better than the horrible one in FVJ... lol...


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