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"Freddy vs. Jason"

Directed by Ronny Yu.
Written by Damian Shannon and Mark Swift. 
Starring Robert Englund, Ken Kirzinger and Monica Keena.
Release Year:  2003
Review Date:  8/21/03 


A stunning winner at the box office this past weekend, “Freddy vs. Jason” is even more surprising because it was actually pretty entertaining...if you know and like films from early in the series of films represented by our twin bill bad guys.

“A Nightmare on Elm Street” is the better series as a whole, and its concept was very cool when it first got going back in 1984--a child killer named Freddy Krueger (Robert Englund) was burned alive by parents of some of the dead victims, forever sealing his fate in Hell.  But, to get back at the living, he tormented people on the street where he used to live and work by invading their dreams and attempting to scare them to death while they were sleeping.  Jason Voorhees (played here by Ken Kirzinger, not by Jason regular Kane Hodder) has terrorized Crystal Lake, Manhattan, a space station and on and on for no really good reason in the “Friday the 13th” series that has run on seemingly forever.

In “Freddy vs. Jason”, the two meet through strange circumstances but the premise works to set up some sweet deaths as teens die throughout the film.  Freddy, who has been out of the game for eight years, uses Jason to set up some teens to terrorize in their sleep by having Jason kill a couple of kids in the house where Freddy performed a lot of his past...uh, work on Elm Street.  But, Freddy doesn’t kill off the kids very fast, so Jason takes matters into his own hands and kills most of the kids in town, stealing all of Freddy’s glory.  So, Freddy somehow gets Jason to fall asleep and then the real battle begins.

Even writing that paragraph had me laughing, because there is no real plot with this film.  You go because you want to laugh, see some traditional Hollywood horror film stereotypes and see a lot of bodies pile up in a bloody fashion.  “Freddy vs. Jason” delivers the goods all the way in this regard.  Like the most recent Jason film “Jason X”, it seems that the filmmakers know that they are not making “Citizen Kane” here and mix up some good laughs with some way-over-the-top stereotypes.  You’ve got the gratuitous sex scenes and nudity.  You get some cool decapitation scenes. have exactly one black character, newcomer Kelly Rowland (from Destiny’s Child; Beyoncé was probably busy the month they were shooting!), so you’ve got the token angle.  Large-breasted, horrible actress in the lead (Monica Keena, using her eyes to express all of her emotions) and handsome hunk-type opposite (Jason Ritter, also clueless).  Hard rock soundtrack and some reasonably witty one-liners by Englund.

The formula worked for myself and the audience in attendance, but I’ll admit, you have to have seen some of the other films in either series to really get the good fun out of “Freddy vs. Jason.”  But, if you like horror films this does the job.

Rating:  $9.50 Show


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Bellview Rating System:

"Opening Weekend":  This is the highest rating a movie can receive.  Reserved for movies that exhibit the highest level of acting, plot, character development, setting...or Salma Hayek.  Not necessarily in that order. 

"$X.XX Show":  This price changes each year due to the inflation of movie prices; currently, it is the $9.50 Show.  While not technically perfect, this is a movie that will still entertain you at a very high level.  "Undercover Brother" falls into this category; it's no "Casablanca", but you'll have a great time watching.  The $9.50 Show won't win any Oscars, but you'll be quoting lines from the thing for ages (see "Office Space"). 

"Matinee":  An average movie that merits no more than a $6.50 viewing at your local theater.  Seeing it for less than $9.50 will make you feel a lot better about yourself.  A movie like "Blue Crush" fits this category; you leave the theater saying "That wasn't too, did you see that Lakers game last night?" 

"Rental":  This rating indicates a movie that you see in the previews and say to your friend, "I'll be sure to miss that one."  Mostly forgettable, you couldn't lose too much by going to Hollywood Video and paying $3 to watch it with your sig other, but you would only do that if the video store was out of copies of "Ronin."  If you can, see this movie for free.  This is what your TV Guide would give "one and a half stars." 

"Hard Vice":  This rating is the bottom of the barrel.  A movie that only six other human beings have witnessed, this is the worst movie I have ever seen.  A Shannon Tweed "thriller," it is so bad as to be funny during almost every one of its 84 minutes, and includes the worst ending ever put into a movie.  Marginally worse than "Cabin Boy", "The Avengers" or "Leonard, Part 6", this rating means that you should avoid this movie at all costs, or no costs, EVEN IF YOU CAN SEE IT FOR FREE!  (Warning:  strong profanity will be used in all reviews of "Hard Vice"-rated movies.)

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The "fine print":
All material by Justin Elliot Bell for SMR/Bellview/ except where noted
© 1999-2009 Justin Elliot Bell This site was last updated 01/08/09