Ronny Yu’s ‘Freddy vs Jason’ One Sheet (African Alt) — Courtesy of New Line Cinema
Mark Swift and Damian Shannon’s Freddy vs Jason script is about as interesting an endeavor as I’ve seen in our genre. While the script gets many things right, Freddy vs Jason is also a flawed narrative.
Winner Kills All — Tag
What the script does right is bloody bountiful. Freddy vs Jason builds to it’s third act effectively. While the script should arguably be focusing on the mythology of both series more, having classic characters Friday’ the 13th’s Tommy Jarvis or A Nightmare on Elm Street’s Alice Johnson mingling with new characters, it does stick to a story and never strays off the path to narrative success.
Moreover, every scene involves the A plot line. Even the problems between Lori and her father, or Mark and Will’s crazed investigation (both arguably B storylines), is centered around an important event in the A plot and subsequently emphasizing the main plot through its exposition.
The script also manages to create, and shockingly so, more rounded characters often seen in this kind of genre fare. The characters in Freddy vs Jason pull more empathy and emotion from its audience than the players of say John Carl Buechler’s Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood or Stephen Hopkin’s A Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream Child.
The script isn’t all grins and goat milk though. A red flag in any sequel script, if the producers want the film to be a re-watchable ride (which means more word-of-mouth and theatrical pull — producers are idiots), is to respect and play to the mythology of what came before it.
More from A Nightmare on Elm Street
- 31 Days of Horror: ‘A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors’ rules!
- Hollywood Dreams & Nightmares: A must-see for Freddy fans
- Queer Themes in A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy’s Revenge
- Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare — A nuanced take on abuse?!
- Robert Englund: Stay awake with his special Nightmare Blend coffee
Sadly, Freddy vs Jason thinks Jason Voorhees is afraid of a little Aquafina. Forget Jason stalking swimming teens since Reagan’s first day in office, cutting kids into pond portioned fish food with grinning glee. No, Mr. Voorhees isn’t afraid of a little H2O (no, not Steve Miner’s Halloween movie). If you’re going to make a movie about Mrs. Voorhees’ baby boy, you better know your Camp Forrest Green history.
It’s interesting to note scribes Swift and Shannon, who also co-penned Marcus Nispel’s 2009 Friday the 13th reboot, are on record saying Jason’s idiotic fear of water in the slasher mashup wasn’t in their script. It was likely an idea from that rascal Bob Shaye.
Also, the film plays like a A Nightmare on Elm Street film with Jason acting as a plot device. Granted, the film’s produced by New Line and even the final moments hint at the house that Freddy built siding with Wes Craven’s most iconic creation. But in a feature fantasied more than Farrah Fawcett in the ’70s, you’d think I’d be wise to honor the hockey-masked maniac as well.
I imagine had Freddy vs Jason been housed at Paramount when the film almost happened between both studios (other being New Line) in the late 80s, Jason Voorhees would’ve actually be Jason. Jason’s not really Jason here. Kane should’ve played Jason for a fifth time, but I bet you already knew that. (C+)