Freddy vs. Jason

It was rumored for years, and now that 80s horror icons Freddy Krueger and Jason Voorhees finally get the chance to rumble, does anybody really care? Both are long past their prime. They have nearly twenty movies between them in the Nightmare on Elm Street and Friday the 13th franchises, and recent installments in both franchises have left much to be desired. In the meantime, horror films have taken another direction, mainly because of the Scream movies. So what does Freddy vs. Jason do? It pretends like nothing has happened. It is, in a sense, a return to the glory days of each franchise, with stupid teenagers, gratuitous nudity, and even more gratuitous violence. It's nothing great, but it doesn't care.

To call this Freddy vs. Jason is somewhat of a misnomer. There is a big fight between the two, and predictably, it happens are the very end of the film. Otherwise, Jason (Ken Kirzinger, Trixie, Screwed) plays second fiddle to Freddy (Robert Englund, As a Bad Dream, Windfall). Things begin in hell, where people have forgotten Freddy. All the parents from Elm Street and the surrounding neighborhoods keep their children drugged in an institution so they cannot remember their dreams. Freddy derives his power from fear, so since no children are afraid or remember him, he is powerless. His solution? He revives Jason and sends him in to wreak some havoc. Caught in the middle are Lori Campbell (Monica Keena, Orange County, The Simian Line) and her friends.

Things move extremely predictably from there, which isn't necessarily a bad thing. Director Ronny Yu (Formula 51, Chasing Dragon) infuses the film with a certain amount of gusto, which is more than can be said of the script by David S. Goyer (Blade II, Zigzag), Damian Shannon, and Mark Swift. The characters go from being extremely dumb to extremely smart, and the story makes very little discernible sense. Still, the point of every movie of this ilk is to make people jump and to kill as many teens as possible and it does a passable job at this.

Lori's boyfriend Will (Jason Ritter, Swimfan, Earth Day) escapes from the institution and the mayhem soon begins. Most of the teens are indistinguishable, with just enough personality to show that they are alive before they die. For the most part, Freddy vs. Jason is pretty dull, and the audience is merely biding its time before a protracted battle between the two titular characters that lasts a little too long and is not interesting until the last round.

Haro Rates It: Not That Good.
1 hour, 37 minutes, Rated R for pervasive horror violence/gore, gruesome images, sexuality, drug use, and language.

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