When the town of Springfield no longer fears Freddy (Robert Englund) that leaves him powerless. Freddy decides to use Jason Vorhees (Ken Kirzinger) to terrorize people so he could start his reign of terror again.
Director: Ronny Yu
Cast: Robert Englund, Ken Kirzinger, Monica Keena, Jason Ritter, Kelly Rowland, Brendan Fletcher
MPAA Rating: R for pervasive strong horror violence/gore, gruesome images, sexuality, drug use and language
Fun Fact: One of Robert Englund’s stunt doubles was professional wrestler Rey Mysterio.
Jason Goes To Hell: The Final Friday was the first film to tease a showdown between the two iconic horror characters. The fans begged for something between the two and other forms of media such as comic books made this possible. While that was satisfying for a while, a film needed to be made to deliver on the tease. New Line Cinema and Paramount needed to hammer out those details. 2003 after a decade of developmental hell finally brought the one crossover film that fans wanted to see.
To say it best the film is underwhelming. Of course, being stuck in developmental hell for that long is going to be a factor in all of it. The film suffers from some of the usual horror clichés that really started to catch on at that time. You have idiotic characters that you don’t really care about or shouldn’t and if you do you will just get disappointed in at the end. These teen characters are just the prey until Freddy and Jason square off. They make stupid and poor decisions that are predictable. Of course, you need to tell a story but, the reason we want to see this film is because of the title. Freddy Vs Jason is what we want to see and that should be what we get. Instead we get an hour of typical and at most points boring subplots that are dominating horror films in this era of filmmaking. Those parts just feel like they drag on until we get to the meat of the film.
When it gets to Freddy and Jason on screen together, then the film starts kicking into gear. This is what the fans of the franchise’s wanted all this time. The action is great, and it doesn’t slow down. Robert Englund delivers for the eighth and final time. For all the films that he’s been in he never has disappointed. As for Ken Kirzinger as Jason, I was fine with it. Kane Hodder, the previous actor that played Jason, was a fan’s dream to have in this film but, the filmmakers wanted to use a different actor. While Ken didn’t have the killer’s edge as Kane did, he still delivered with his movements and actions.
The biggest gripe I have with this film is the acting of the teen characters. The only person I really found decent was Kelly Rowland. Rowland had a certain charm to her and I wish this film would’ve launched an acting career for her but, sadly that didn’t really work out that way. Monica Keena brings a terrible performance as the lead female Lori. Half of the time she is in this zombie like state and delivers her lines in monotone. She show’s more emotion towards the end but, it doesn’t really help her. Brendan Fletcher was way too over the top for me. His character is the one that spread fear about Freddy and they try to make you feel bad for him but, it doesn’t really work out that way.
Overall, Freddy Vs Jason is a letdown of sorts. Once it gets to the title of the film, that’s when it starts getting to be good. The first hour of it especially just gives us a bunch of clichés that we see and keep continuing in horror films. You get idiotic characters that you shouldn’t really care about. While you need to tell a story, the script could’ve told us something different then what we got.
Verdict: Middle Ground