The Showdown of Slasher Icons – Freddy and Jason’s Gory Battle Royale
Does anyone remember a movie entitled The War of the Roses? It starred Michael Douglas and Kathleen Turner as a couple going through a divorce and fighting over who gets what. Everyone I know talked about how great the film was and how funny it was. I thought it was a manipulative piece of shit. The reason I say that is because it tried to guide you into taking sides against either the husband or the wife. The thing is, they were both a couple of reprehensible assholes and I didn’t care if they killed each other.
In the sinister showdown Freddy vs. Jason, two enduring horror icons face off in a grisly battle royale that brings chills and thrills. When the dream-stalking Freddy Krueger finds himself rendered powerless in the fiery depths of hell, he hatches a nefarious plan to resurrect masked madman Jason Voorhees and reignite the fear needed to fuel his demonic powers. As the unstoppable Jason embarks on a merciless killing spree in the town of Springwood, the traumatized citizens are plunged back into panic, unaware they are playing right into Freddy’s sadistic hands.
With its epic crossover premise, director Ronny Yu brings these titans of terror together in a visually striking and sinisterly entertaining spectacle. As Freddy and Jason slash their way through countless hapless teens, the gruesomely inventive kill scenes tap into audience bloodlust, evoking the graphic carnage that built both franchises’ notoriety. The creepy dreamscapes and ominous atmosphere recapture the sick humorous spirit of Freddy Krueger, while Jason Voorhees personifies the lurking dread and brute force of an unremorseful stalker.
Yet beneath the carnage, Freddy vs. Jason explores deeper themes of generational trauma and cyclical violence. By delving into the warped psyches and painful pasts that created these iconic killers, we gain insight into the darkest parts of the human condition manifested through them. Their motives are laid bare, from Freddy’s sadistic penchant for vengeance to Jason’s anguish over childhood trauma. As they ruthlessly prey upon victims, who represent innocence lost, we are reminded of our own vulnerability in the face of unimaginable evil.
The explosive final act provides a visceral culmination, as the horror heavyweights engage in a brawl of brute force combined with supernatural powers. As they pummel each other with punishing blows, their shared capacity for suffering is evident despite their disparate backgrounds. In a masterful convergence of slasher styles, Freddy wields his custom-made glove and Jason his legendary machete. By leaving the victor ambiguous, the door is left open for terrifying possibilities to come.
With shocking plot twists, inventive kills, and plenty of wicked humor, Freddy vs. Jason pays respectful homage to both franchises while delivering a macabre spectacle that satiates hardcore fans and terrifies new audiences. HorrorGenre.com enthusiastically recommends this gruesome genre mashup that reminds us the greatest terror stems from within.
Okay, so I told you that story so that you’ll know that I really could care less who won in the battle of Freddy vs Jason. I like both characters and I was happy to see them in a movie together. But I also feel that the filmmakers were just as manipulative in this film as they were in The War of the Roses. The only difference is that I went into this film with the clear intent not to choose sides. I liked this film for reasons other than just the titular characters. Monica Keena was good in her role as the wide eyed final girl Lori Campbell. Jason Ritter did a good job as the hero type, but I also found his character to be boring. As for the rest of the cast I felt that Katharine Isabelle turned in the best performance overall. Too bad it was so short. Robert Englund has played Freddy Krueger so much that he probably slept through his scenes. The new Jason on the block is Ken Kirzinger. I hated the fact that Kane Hodder didn’t reprise the role, but I also think that Kirzinger did an adequate job.
The plot of the film is that Freddy is trapped in hell and powerless. The parents in Springwood have gotten smart in keeping their kids from remembering him. In the guise of Pamela Voorhees he coerces Jason into going there to spread fear and panic in order to get people to talk about (Freddy) again. But once Jason starts killing he doesn’t stop and Freddy realizes that people will become more afraid of Jason than of himself. This sets off a series of events that leads to the final battle between the two of them. Caught in the middle of it all are the surviving Springwood teenagers led by Lori and Will (Jason Ritter)
Freddy vs Jason is a good film, but it’s not going to settle any arguments about who the better slasher is.
But we all know its…
Veteran Friday the 13th actor Kane Hodder who played the part of Jason in the last four Friday the 13th movies offered to reprise his role as Jason Voorhees in this film but was turned down because director Ronny Yu as well as New Line had their own image of what they wanted the Jason character to look like and believed Jason should be gigantically big, and because it was “Freddy Vs Jason,” Yu always thought that in this comic book style that he was going to exploit, Jason would be larger than life, almost basketball player like. So Yu wanted an actor who would tower over Robert Englund (Freddy Krueger) so he could create a David and Goliath/Popeye and Brutus/King Kong and Godzilla/Rocky Balboa and Ivan Drago sort of visual imagery between Freddy and Jason. And Yu felt Hodder was too short for the role and wanted a new actor to play Jason. Also, Yu thought Kane Hodder’s eyes were too intense and wanted the Jason character to have more sympathetic, soulful eyes that could reflect pain and loss because Yu wanted Jason to come off as a sad, pathetic, Phantom of the Opera type character. This was the call sheet New Line use for actors trying out for the part of Jason: “20′s to late 30′s . 6’3″ – 6’5″. Male, Caucasian. If you’ve ever participated in the WWE or your chest resembles a bulked up Arnold Schwarzenegger, you need not apply. Jason is not buff, Jason does not weight train. Jason is just BIG. Not fat. Big. We’re looking for some classical training here, folks. The Jason that we’re going to portray in this film isn’t just a machete wielding slasher. He has a lot of EMOTION. What we really need is an actor and or stunt man with poetic eyes, who is good at expressing himself with the slightest of movements. Because, believe it or not, Jason DOES have a sensitive side.” Veteran Canadian stunt man Ken Kirzinger, ended up winning the role of Jason Voorhees, but the decision to not have Hodder return disappointed some fans of the genre, while other Friday The 13th fans were quite impressed with Ken Kirzinger’s performance as Jason Voorhees and thought he surpassed Kane Hodder.
According to writer Mark Swift, producer Robert Shaye seemed a bit more interested in the Freddy side of things which made a huge elimination in their screenplay (and in the film) from the Crystal Lake/Jason side of things.
One early version of the script called for the beginning of the film to take place in medieval times, while another called for the beginning to start out at camp crystal lake, with Jason getting arrested. Another script was to have the beginning of the film take place at the eve of the millennium.
Robert Englund as Freddy Krueger
Ken Kirzinger as Jason Voorhees
Monica Keena as Lori Campbell
Jason Ritter as Will Rollins
Katharine Isabelle as Gibb
Kelly Rowland as Kia Waterson
Christopher George Marquette as Charlie Linderman
Brendan Fletcher as Mark Davis
Directed by Ronny Yu
Written by Damian Shannon and Mark Swift
Based on characters created by Wes Craven and Victor Miller