Thursday, September 4, 2008

Freddy vs. Jason

Back in the early 90s, New Line, which already owned the rights to the Nightmare on Elm Street series, bought the rights to the Jason series (though not the Friday the 13th title, because why would they need that to continue the franchise?) from Paramount. The first major sign fans had that this was a big deal came at the end of 1993’s Jason Goes to Hell, when he was dragged down to Hell by Freddy Krueger’s arm. This was intended to set up this film, which would have come out one or two years later to thunderous box office. Then it languished in development hell for a decade before finally getting made, but at least it still did really good business (probably not as good as it would have in the early 90s, though).

One of the odd things about the Nightmare series is in how it both insists on calling back to previous films, and yet still repeatedly tampers with the rules involving Freddy. In this film we both get kids rescued from Freddy through the use of Hypnocil, the experimental dream suppressant first introduced in Nightmare 3, and then also rewrites history to say that he can’t attack any children in their dreams unless they’re already afraid of him, which makes one wonder how he was able to start in their dreams in the first place. Anyway, he decides that the only way to fix things is to bring Jason back from Hell to attack everyone, thus creating a panic about Freddy’s presumed return that enables him to return for real, an ingenious plan complicated only by Jason’s insistence on remaining after he’s no longer needed.

As Nightmare films go, this one falls somewhere in the middle. It doesn’t reach the heights of the original or New Nightmare, but at least it’s consistently entertaining, and is easily the bloodiest in the series (once we get to the final fight between them, they pretty much open up new arteries with each swipe they take at each other). There’s also one pothead character that completely steals every scene he’s in, though he sadly doesn’t quite make it to the end. You get a couple groaner lines, like when our heroine, completely out of nowhere, suddenly says, “Wait, Freddy died by fire, Jason by water. How can we use that?” but for the most part it’s solid all the way through, and thanks to its crossover with the Jason-verse we get an extra infusion of nudity, something I will never complain about in a movie.

There was a planned sequel to this, titled Freddy vs. Jason vs. Ash, but unsurprisingly it languished in development hell as well, and now that New Line has recently closed up shop, it looks like that film will never get made. Shame, really.

Rating: ***

1 comment:

Momel said...

Evil Dead Ash? Against those two? He will so die in the first fifteen minutes. Bruce Campbell already peaked.

Hi, my name's Momel. I have this blog where I write horror movie reviews and a truck of gay bullshit. Let's exchange links, at least for the horror of it all?