Franchise Friday is almost up for ‘A Nightmare on Elm Street.’ Join us as we look at 2003’s monster mash, ‘Freddy vs Jason.’ Place your bets!
‘Freddy vs Jason’ – Courtesy of New Line Cinema
Freddy’s been dead and buried since 1991. Jason follows suit two years later. The two titans of terror are in hell, waiting patiently for the blood to flow once more. But when Freddy gets restless glove syndrome and makes an attempt to drum up fear in Springwood using Jason as his murder mull, the town begins to relearn what it’s only dreamed forgetting.
With each dream, Springwood gets closer to getting rid of both mad men by orchestrating the ultimate showdown. Staying awake is hard. Staying in Springwood may become deadly. Welcome to Freddy vs Jason.
I remember growing up and hearing about Freddy vs Jason ad nauseam. Matched only by the hype of the fourth outing in both Sam Raimi’s Evil Dead trilogy and Romero’s Dead saga, Freddy vs Jason was a property talked about at seemingly every turn.
Once the film was eventually released (on August 15, 2003), I rushed to experience the ultimate showdown between two of horror’s greatest icons. Initially, I had mixed feeling but years have been kind to the monster mashup.
So let’s all go back to Springwood, grab a few camp counselors from New Jersey and score a little Hypnocil as I review Ronny Yu’s heavyweight slash match, 2003’s Freddy vs Jason.
Ronny Yu’s ‘Freddy vs Jason’ One Sheet — Courtesy of New Line Cinema
Monica Keena does a solid job and honors the many “final girls” who came before her in Freddy vs Jason. While the script moves at an unkind pace for Lori’s development — people came to see the two horror legends go at it after all — Keena makes the most of her screen time. The actress, who turns in solid work on both Dawson’s Creek (1998-2003) and Entourage (2004-2011), truly shines. Look to the scene where Lori explains her new dream visitor to her fellow high school students for example.
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Jason Ritter also stars in Freddy vs Jason. Playing empathic love interest Will Rollins, Ritter does a decent job here. While not the best performance I’ve ever seen, Ritter has a naturally good-guy aspect to him.
Only, The problem lies with some of Ritter’s line readings. Oftentimes, you think he may actually be a crazy person and not a lost fish in a dreamy pond. As if his pals at Westin Hills rubbed off a little in his many communal Hypnocil sessions.
Then there’s lovable nerd Charlie Linderman. Played effectively by Chris Marquette, Linderman’s a character with a decent arch — mostly due to Marquette’s abilities. Linderman doesn’t have any monologues, a small one if you’re willing, but his character feels more realized than most minors in slasher films. By the time Marquette’s character reaches his conclusion, the audience truly feels it. (C+)