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Wednesday, January 14, 2004


Keith Konior

I have waited almost 20 years for this damn movie to get made. I have been in love with both the "Friday" and "Elm Street" franchises since I was little. I have even attempted writing treatments to bring these two slasher legends together a few times. As it turns out, the story they chose was the most basic, and it works better than any of the stories I've read in bootlegged scripts over the years. Especially the one that placed our favorite maniacs in the 14th century (what the fuck was THAT?!?) Anyway I really think Freddy using Jason to inspire fear in the Elm Street kids in order to bring about sufficient fear to be resurrected was the best way to go. Well done.

The positives: The director, Ronnie Yu, is a very gifted filmmaker. His style is engaging, exciting, and effortless. He never seems to be showing off (although I am sure he could if he wanted to). I believe this to be the best looking film of either franchise. Up until now, that honor was held by Tom Laughlin, director of my favorite "Friday the 13th," that being the sixth installment "Jason Lives." Man, that movie has a great look to it, but this one tops it. Just barely, but it does top it.

Also, the Freddy makeup is excellent in this movie. The filmmakers have done something with it never before attempted. When Freddy is really pissed, his appearence is altered slightly, with "evil eyes" contact lenses and sharp, fanglike teeth. Nice touch, although I have heard Robert Englund say that those contacts hurt so fucking bad he ACTUALLY wanted to kill someone.

The cast. Everyone involved does a fine job, even that "Destiny's Child" girl. Well, it doesn't hurt that she's achingly beautiful, either. Performances were solid, especially the one given by Brendan Fletcher. We will see more of this young man.

The story. This film pays great respect to both franchises storylines, with one GLARING exception. Flashbacks show that Jason was a deformed child, pushed into Crystal Lake by a mob of teasing kids. In "movie reality," Jason had been a normal child, and he drowned during an against the rules midnight swim. His deformities came later. But hey, whaddya gonna do? Frankly, though, there is no reason given as to why this bit of Voorhees history needed to be rewritten.

The soundtrack. The songs in "Freddy Vs. Jason" ROCK. Nuff said.

Freddy not a stand-up comic. Wes Craven has always been pissed about how the studio allowed more and more one-liners from Krueger with each sequel, to the point where he wasn't even scary anymore. That is slightly rectified here. Sure, he has some one liners, but Freddy is scarier in this flick than he's been for a damn long time.

Finally, this movie has the absolute, no "opinion" about it, hands fucking down best line of either of these franchises, ever. After witnessing a Jason slaughter at a cornfield rave, one of the stoner character laments, "dude, that goalie was PISSED about something." Man alive, now that's funny.

The negatives: A while back, I read that my favorite Jason, Kane Hodder (who actually was able to show a bit of style in a non-speaking part) was not offered the part in this installment because he was too tall, and the size difference between Hodder and Englund would make the fight scenes look silly. That cannot have been the case. Hodder (whom I've met, nice fella) is 6'7", Ken Kirzinger is 6'6". That one inch could not have been the reason. Viva le Hodder! Bring him back!

That's all I can come up with, negative wise. As I said, I've been waiting for this movie most of my life, and with the expectations I had, I was sure that I would be disappointed. Holy crap, though...I wasn't. Good script shot exceptionally well, good special effects, an excellent balance of horror and comedy...Just fucking well-done, all the way around. I give this flick 4 outta 5 stars. Shoot, I am watching it again right now. Hell, I have had some excellent luck, horror-movie wise lately. I just saw "Final Destinations," parts one and two. Both are awesome, especially the special effects. Some of the best I have ever seen. And the way the deaths are doled out....So imaginative. Impressive writing.

So, y'all need to see "Jason Vs. Freddy" and both "Final Destinations." Good stuff.

Al Hurd

Thanks for that second opinion. I do think folks should watch it and decide for themselves - horror is such a personal thing. :) And I totally agree with you on both Final Destinations, though I found the first one slightly better than the second.

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