Before Godzilla Vs. Kong, Batman V. Superman and Alien Vs. Predator, there was Freddy Vs. Jason; the movie that pitted two horror icons against each other! Just the idea of placing Freddy Kreuger from A Nightmare on Elm Street and Jason Voorhees from Friday the 13th in a battle to the death seemed like something a slasher movie fan would conjure up. Well, someone took that idea and decided to put it to film as an original idea instead of something based off of a comic (which were the stages for crossover battles like this), yet upon rewatching Freddy Vs. Jason, it seemed that it was probably better left to a horror fan’s wet dream.
On paper, Freddy Vs. Jason sounds like an awesome idea, and it does have the potential to deliver. The problem that it suffers from is mainly where it keeps its focus. Sure, these two are iconic slashers and seeing them go up against each other is indeed satisfying. Throughout its runtime, however, we are stuck with dumb teenagers doing dumb things with no redeeming qualities whatsoever, nor do they even have defining personalities to make you care enough to stick with them. What made these horror franchises work in the first place were not just the iconic villains, they also relied on characters you cared about, placed in life-threatening situations, where these baddies would come and off them one-by-one. At each turn, anything could happen, making their deaths even more shocking and frightening. With Freddy Vs. Jason, we don’t care about high schoolers partying, smoking, drinking, and having sex, we are just here to see these slashers beat the sh*t out of one another, whether it be with a knife glove, or a machete.
In terms of fan service, what Freddy Vs. Jason delivers is tons of excess. The kills are bloody to an extreme; spurts of red liquid shows up at its reddest, making it the bloodiest film in both franchises. You also get nudity/sex here and there in frustrating writhes (though I am pretty sure the 2009 reboot of Friday the 13th has that record beat already). One thing I have noticed about horror franchises that entered the 2000’s is just how edgy they try to be in terms of shock value. It is no longer about real scares as it is about how much blood it takes the screen and how horny you can make your demographic, which I am sure the amount of frat boys who watched these films ended up being as they guzzled down their cold ones and shouted at their screens.
But what about the actual showdown? Does it more than make up for what we have been subjected to for nearly an hour-and-a-half? Needless to say, when we do see Freddy and Jason go at it, it is nothing more than a few pathetic knock-and-slaps, mostly reduced to slapstick (one instance taking place in a dream sequence where Freddy knocks Jason on boiler room steam pipes in the style of a pinball machine).
Looking back at Freddy Vs. Jason, I will say that it is not as awesome as I remember it being. As a horror movie, it is one of the worst ones in existence, though it is a special kind of bad. You can laugh at it and enjoy it for its acting and set pieces. Comparing it to Seed of Chucky, another entry in a horror franchise which is considered to be the worst. It works less as a horror film and more of a comedy.