Thursday, August 15, 2013

Freddy Vs Jason Turns 10 Years Old!

In another one of the ever so growing "has it really been that long?" cases in my life, today marks 10 years ago that slasher icons Freddy Krueger and Jason Voorhees FINALLY met together on the big screen.  It was an idea struck in the 80s that finally came to fruition in the summer of 2003.  It also became the highest grossing film for either character.  Both's previous few entries had shown a big decline,  To reiterate Scott Mendelson's article from last week when referring to diminishing returns on sequels and mentioning Wes Craven's New Nightmare tanking...SHAME ON ALL OF YOU for not going to that one.  But this one showed, they still got it!
I don't want to spend too much time discussing this movie as this one is going to come up in 2 retrospectives I plan on doing in the future.  So lets talk my personal experience.  Where was I 10 years ago?  Ah yes, in college!  I had to go to an early afternoon screening on a Saturday as I worked both Friday and Saturday nights (rot in hell, Circuit City).  My expectations were really nothing at all.  I was going to a Freddy Vs. Jason movie.  I had real live ticket to a real live Freddy/Jason showdown.  If the movie started and played all the way through, I had already won.  This was something always discussed on the playgrounds in the 80s and 90s and teased to us by production interviews and Fangoria and then REALLY teased to us at the end of Jason Goes To Hell: The Final Friday.  But, we always thought it probably never would happen.  But, there I was, in a theater watching it!

My sister had seen it the night before and texted me that she didn't care for it and it "wasn't very scary"(Don't worry, if I missed anything there or got that exchange wrong, she'll be in the comments to right the ship).  After the text I thought to myself that the last thing I was expecting this to be was scary.  I was going in expecting to see some cool kills, some nostalgic homage to the older films, Jason, Freddy and a big brawl between the two.  It didn't need to be super smart (if most of the others weren't, why did this have to be?) or give me nightmares.  Its called Freddy Vs. Jason, they're too busy with each other to worry about saying "boo" to kids.
There seems to be a lot of haters of this movie and I struggle to figure out why.  Some of the plot problems and whatnot I chalk up to camp and the fact sometimes this is just how these movies are.  Like them or not, the teens in this movie are a lot more memorable than many of Jason or Freddy's other entries.  If you can remember them because you liked or hated them, then they've done their job.  And maybe some people take their Friday & Nightmare movies too seriously.  Some in those franchises, yes, are horror movies and good ones at that.  But others have become campy or were intended to push some thrill buttons instead of "check under my bed before i sleep" ones.  I really dig the battle royale fight at the end and Freddy saying stuff to Jason like "Hey, asshole!"  It was just a real joy for me to see.

Katharine Isabelle is in this movie.  She gets her own space.

Like I said, I'm straying from having a full on discussion of the movie itself.  This is a celebration of a film I really enjoyed turning 10.  Maybe a lot of the film's detractors didn't wait as long as some of us for it.  Maybe they take their stuff way too seriously or just are obsessive about repetition (Friday has 12 movies about paint by number stalk and slash, yet the ones that try something "fresh" or "different" are always met with hate BECAUSE they're not Camp/Woods-Teens-Jason-Kill).  The movie does have some problems (Jason afraid of...water?), but some things they need to make it work and I'm having enough fun that I'll give it to them.  And its super cool, not too complex and actually kind of smart the way they cross universes.  Plus Robert England, almost 10 years removed from playing Freddy at this point jumps right back in to the top of his Dream Warriors A-Game.  My hat is definitely off to Ronny Yu as well, you actually did something good with Chucky and your sensibilities to mish mash Freddy and Jason were a big success.

Here's to 10 years since a day I had to wait no longer for a Freddy Vs. Jason movie!

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