Freddy vs. Jason

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Freddy vs. Jason
Freddy vs. Jason movie.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byRonny Yu
Produced bySean S. Cunningham
Written byDamian Shannon
Mark Swift
Based onCharacters:
Wes Craven
Victor Miller
StarringRobert Englund
Ken Kirzinger
Monica Keena
Jason Ritter
Kelly Rowland
Chris Marquette
Lochlyn Munro
Music byGraeme Revell
CinematographyFred Murphy
Editing byMark Stevens
Distributed byNew Line Cinema
Release dates
  • August 15, 2003 (2003-08-15)
Running time97 minutes
CountryUnited States
LanguageEnglish
Budget$30 million
Box office$114,843,030
 
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Freddy vs. Jason
Freddy vs. Jason movie.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byRonny Yu
Produced bySean S. Cunningham
Written byDamian Shannon
Mark Swift
Based onCharacters:
Wes Craven
Victor Miller
StarringRobert Englund
Ken Kirzinger
Monica Keena
Jason Ritter
Kelly Rowland
Chris Marquette
Lochlyn Munro
Music byGraeme Revell
CinematographyFred Murphy
Editing byMark Stevens
Distributed byNew Line Cinema
Release dates
  • August 15, 2003 (2003-08-15)
Running time97 minutes
CountryUnited States
LanguageEnglish
Budget$30 million
Box office$114,843,030

Freddy vs. Jason is a 2003 American slasher film directed by Ronny Yu. The film is a crossover between the Friday the 13th and A Nightmare on Elm Street franchises. It is the eleventh and eighth entries in their respective series, pitting Freddy Krueger and Jason Voorhees against each other. The film is also the last film in both the Friday the 13th and Nightmare franchises before they were both rebooted.

In the film, Freddy (Robert Englund) has grown incapable of haunting people's dreams as the citizens of Springwood, Ohio have mostly forgotten about Freddy with the passage of time, as well as the fact that the current generation of teenagers are kept ignorant of his existence. In order to regain his power, Freddy manipulates Jason, (Ken Kirzinger), into resurrecting himself and traveling to Springwood to cause panic and fear, leading to rumors that Freddy has returned. However, while Jason succeeds in causing enough fear for Freddy to haunt the town again, Jason angers Freddy by depriving Krueger of his potential victims. This ultimately sends the two undying monsters into a violent conflict.

This film marked Robert Englund's final appearance to date as Freddy Krueger, having portrayed him in all seven previous Nightmare films and the 1980s TV series, as well as the first movie since Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives not to feature Kane Hodder as Jason Voorhees. This is also Ken Kirzinger's second appearance as Jason; having doubled for Hodder in the film Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan. The film served as Grammy-winning R&B singer Kelly Rowland's debut as an actress.

Plot[edit]

Freddy narrates that he is trapped in Hell, due to the fact that the citizens of Springwood have mostly forgotten him over time, as well as the fact that the adults have kept the current generation of teenagers ignorant of Krueger's existence, leaving him powerless to return to their nightmares. Hoping to inspire the citizens of Springwood to fear him again, he manipulates Jason Voorhees, (after being dead for two years following the events of Jason Goes To Hell) under the guise of his mother, that the children on Elm Street have been very bad, and sends him to begin killing them, hoping that the fear inspired by the mass murder will bring his powers back.

Meanwhile, Lori Campbell who now lives at 1428 Elm Street with her widowed father, is visited by her friends Kia, Gibb, Trey, and Blake, who are planning to spend the night at her house. Trey is killed by Jason who stabs him in the back repeatedly before folding him in half while Gibb is in the shower. The gruesomeness of the murder and the fact that it happened in bed has police speculate that it was Freddy who had killed him. Lori overhears his name, and while at the police station she has a nightmare where she is scared by Freddy. Later, Blake has a nightmare where Freddy tries to attack him, but he escapes unharmed as Freddy is not powerful enough yet to kill him. He wakes to discover his father beheaded beside him before Jason appears and kills him by hacking him to pieces. The next day, the murders are blamed on Blake who they state committed suicide afterward.

At Westin Hills Psychiatric Hospital, Lori's ex-boyfriend Will Rollins and his friend Mark are patients, being fed Hypnocil to suppress their dreams as being the last of the people who have had contact with Freddy. Will suspects he was sent there after seeing Lori's father murdering his wife. After seeing a news report of the murders, Mark concocts a plan that allows the two of them to escape. They return to Springwood and Mark abruptly tells Lori and the others about Freddy, then later realizes the city's plan of erasing Freddy by making the population forget about him and that he may have ruined their plan. That night, Lori and the others attend a rave located at a cornfield. Gibb, after drinking too much while grieving over Trey's death, sees him and follows him to an abandoned silo which turns out to be dream and a trap set by Freddy. As he is about to kill her, Jason, who had invaded the rave and was killing all of the partygoers, kills her by impaling her with a broken pipe in the real world. Robbed of his victim, Freddy realizes that Jason will not stop killing and stealing his potential victims. Linderman, a classmate who has a crush on Kia, and stoner Freeburg escape the rave unharmed along with Lori.

Lori approaches her father about her mother's death and traps him in a lie. After she leaves the house, she and Will go to Mark's house only to discover to their horror that he is being attacked by Freddy who burns and then slashes Mark's face with his bladed glove. Meanwhile, Deputy Stubbs suspects a copycat Jason murderer, but his suspicions fall on deaf ears. He then approaches Lori and her friends; Linderman realizes that Jason was real. With two killers hunting them, there seems to be nothing they can do until they learn about the Hypnocil at Westin Hills. They go to the hospital to obtain a supply of Hypnocil, but Freddy possesses Freeburg to dispose the drugs via pouring them down a sink. After Jason electrocutes Stubbs, he is tranquilized by the Freddy-possessed Freeburg, who Jason promptly cuts in half before succumbing to the drugs.

The teens then come up with a plan to pull Freddy from the dream world and force the two killers into a battle with each other. They take the unconscious Jason to Crystal Lake, PA to give him the home field advantage and should he defeat Freddy there; he'll already be back at his home and thus, will not come after the teens. Meanwhile, Freddy attempts to murder Jason in his dreams. But due to his apparent lack of fears, combined with his real world indestructibility, Jason proves impossible for Freddy kill even in the dream world. Freddy then discovers Jason's fear of water and uses it to pull him into a nightmare of his drowning as a child. Lori enters the dream world to retrieve Freddy, saving Jason in the process. Enraged by this, Freddy attacks Lori, revealing that he was the one who killed her mother, not her father.

In the real world, Jason awakens and stalks the others through Crystal Lake, chasing them to a nearby cabin. Linderman is mortally wounded when Jason pushes him away and gets impaled on a self bracket in the process and the cabin catch fire. Lori's hand is dragged through some flames which causes her to wake up and pull Freddy from her dream into the real world while the others escape with a dying Linderman who dies of blood loss later on. Freddy and Jason begin to fight just as planned, Jason using his immense strength and taking advantage of Freddy's fear of fire to get the upper hand. Freddy keeps ahead of Jason using his speed, agility and cunning. While trying to escape, Kia taunts Freddy to distract him from Lori and Will, but she is blindsided by Jason who slashes her across the chest causing to fly into a tree, killing her . Unwilling to leave until she sees Freddy die, Lori and Will watch the combat between the two horror titans. Jason rips Freddy's arm off as Freddy gains control of Jason's machete and severely wounds him in return, throwing him into the lake. He turns to Lori, intent on killing her, but is stabbed through his torso by his own bladed arm by Jason. Jason repaid Lori because she saved him in the dreamworld. Lori decapitates Freddy with the machete and both Freddy and Jason fall into the lake, dead. Finally at peace with their past, Lori and Will leave Crystal Lake together. Soon after Jason emerges from the lake holding Freddy's head in his hand in victory. As the camera zooms in on Freddy's head, it winks and laughs.

Cast[edit]

Production[edit]

After fans of the A Nightmare on Elm Street and Friday the 13th franchises had asked for a crossover film depicting a fight between Freddy and Jason, New Line and Paramount tried to make a Freddy vs. Jason movie in 1987. But the two studios failed to agree on a story or what to do with the two franchises. When Jason Takes Manhattan failed to perform successfully at the box office, Sean Cunningham decided that he wanted to reacquire the rights to Friday the 13th and start working with New Line Cinema on Freddy vs. Jason, as New Line owned the Nightmare on Elm Street franchise. The concept of a fight between Freddy and Jason was not new; Paramount had approached New Line about filming a crossover years before the latter had gained the licensing rights to Friday the 13th. At that time, both companies wanted the license to the other's character so that they could control the making of the film. Negotiations on the project were never finalized, which led Paramount to make The New Blood. After Jason Takes Manhattan was released in 1989 the rights reverted to Scuderi, Minasian and Barsamianto, who sold them to New Line. Before Cunningham could start working on Freddy vs. Jason, Wes Craven returned to New Line to make New Nightmare. This effectively put Freddy vs. Jason on hold, but allowed Cunningham the chance to bring Jason back into the spotlight with Jason Goes to Hell.[1] The ninth installment "turned a healthy profit", though it was only intended to open the door for a crossover with Freddy Krueger, rather than start a new series for New Line.[2] Ultimately, the film series would go through another sequel before that would happen. Cunningham's "frustration" with the delayed development of the Freddy vs. Jason project forced him to create another sequel in an effort to keep the franchise in the minds of audiences. Based on Jason Takes Manhattan's concept of taking Jason away from Crystal Lake, the tenth film would put the titular character in space.[3] The film suffered from the loss of its biggest supporter, President of Production Michael De Luca, when he resigned from his position. Lack of support forced the finished film to sit for two years before finally being released on April 26, 2002; it would go on to become the lowest grossing film in the franchise at the domestic box office; it also held the distinction of having the largest budget of any of the previous films at that time.[4]

After more than fifteen years of off-and-on development, and approximately $6 million spent in eighteen unused scripts from more than a dozen screenwriters, New Line finally produced Freddy vs. Jason for 2003. One of the biggest hurdles for the film was developing a story that managed to bring the two horror icons together. Potential stories varied widely, from 2 different drafts: 1 was titled "The Millennium Massacre" where Freddy was revealed to at one time be a counselor at Camp Crystal Lake and molested Jason as a child, and another dealt with a cult called the "Fred Heads" who were going to sacrifice a little girl to Freddy, leading to the girl's older sister putting her dead boyfriend's heart in Jason's body to fight Freddy and rescue her younger sister.

According to writers Mark Swift and Damian Shannon several endings were considered for the film, one of the unused endings involving Pinhead from the Hellraiser fame, and finally producer Robert Shaye came up with his idea which was acceptable for everyone.[citation needed]

New Line believed Freddy vs. Jason needed a fresh start, and chose a new actor for Jason. Cunningham disagreed with their decision, believing Hodder was the best choice for the role.[5] Hodder did receive the script for Freddy vs. Jason, and had a meeting with director Ronny Yu and New Line executives, but Matthew Barry and Yu felt the role should be recast to fit Yu's image of Jason.[5] According to Hodder, New Line failed to provide him with a reason for the recasting, but Yu has explained he wanted a slower, more deliberate Jason, and less of the aggressive movements that Hodder had used in the previous films.[6] Yu and development executive Jeff Katz recognized the outcry among fans over the replacement of Hodder as Jason, but stood by their choice in recasting.[5] The role eventually went to Ken Kirzinger, a Canadian stuntperson who worked on Jason Takes Manhattan. There are conflicting reports over the reason Kirzinger was cast. According to Yu, Kirzinger was hired because he was taller than Robert Englund, the actor who portrays Freddy Krueger. Kirzinger stands 6' 5" (196 cm), compared to the 6' 2" (188 cm) of Kane Hodder. Yu wanted a much larger actor to tower over the 5' 9" (175 cm) Englund. Kirzinger believes his experience on Part VIII helped him land the part, as Kirzinger doubled for Hodder on two scenes for the film,[5] but also believes he was simply sized up and handed the job.[6] Although he was hired by the crew, New Line did not officially cast Kirzinger until first seeing him on film. Kirzinger's first scene was Jason walking down Elm Street. New Line wanted a specific movement in Jason's walk; Kirzinger met their expectations and signed a contract with the studio.[5] Even though Hodder expresses some resentment at not being chosen, he and Kirzinger are still good friends, and some fans think Kirzinger's Jason surpasses Hodder's Jason.[7] However, even Kirzinger did not perform the role throughout the entire film. In the memorable final scene where Jason emerges from the water holding Freddy's head in his hand, the role was played by another actor, 6'5" (196 cm) Douglas Tait. Almost a year after originally auditioning for Yu, Tait was called in for the reshoot of the climactic closing sequence.[8][9][10]

In an interview, Tait explained the reason for the reshoot. He said, "Unfortunately for me, it was the only scene I was hired to do. The test audiences were confused about the original ending, they thought Jason Ritter’s character was becoming Jason. You can see it in the deleted scenes, that is why they decided to reshoot the ending. Originally I was being considered for playing the role of Jason in the entire film. It was actually between me and Ken. When they took the film to Canada, I was out of luck. There was no way they were going to pay for my flight and hotel stay when Ken was a local. Also, Ken is older than me and he was a lot more established in the business than I was at the time."[11] Describing the scene, Tait said "I was on the film for a couple days. The water sequence took a lot of preparation. They realized that when I got wet, I looked too skinny in the clothes, so they had to bulk me up with pads and extra clothing so it would look like I was still big. Being with all this extra weight, one eye covered, a machete in one hand, Freddy’s head in another hand, and being totally submerged in water, made that scene very difficult. Also, Ronny Yu wanted me to walk like I was walking on land. He wanted it to look like I could walk through the water without it making me rise to the surface. To do this effect, they had a rope tied under water that I held onto with my left hand (with Freddy’s severed head in it also), and I held myself down on the ground so I could pull myself and walk forward."[11] Interestingly, regarding Hodder, Yu says he hadn't any problems about him and even says he likes his work as Jason in the previous films. However, he says it was ultimately New Line's decision to exclude Hodder, not his. Many of the New Line executives working on the film persist on stating that excluding Hodder was Yu's idea. These conflicting statements may imply New Line regrets not hiring Hodder.

Music[edit]

Distribution[edit]

Novelization[edit]

Publishing company Black Flame released a novelization of the film on July 29, 2003.[12] It was written by Stephen Hand, who also penned the novelization for New Line's The Texas Chainsaw Massacre the next year. The book, as with many other novelizations Black Flame published for New Line, follows closely the plot of the film with a few alterations. For example, the novelization utilizes the original ending where Will turns into Freddy when he is about to have sex with Lori.

Home media[edit]

The film was released on VHS and DVD as part of New Line's Platinum Series on January 13, 2004. The DVD release featured a second disc of bonus content that included: audio commentary by Ronny Yu, Ken Kirzinger, and Robert Englund, deleted and alternate scenes with commentary, Ill Niño's music video to "How Can I Live", trailers and TV spots, and behind the scenes featurettes.

The film was released on UMD on October 4, 2005 and on Blu-ray September 8, 2009. The Blu-ray contained the same features as the original Platinum Edition DVD.[13] The film was also released as part of an 9-disc pack of all twelve Friday the 13th films on Blu-ray and a Triple Feature Blu-ray pack with the Friday and Nightmare remakes.

Reaction[edit]

Box office[edit]

On its opening weekend, Freddy vs. Jason grossed $36 million. By November 9, 2003, it grossed $82,556,855 million in North America and $32,286,175 in foreign sales.

Critical reception[edit]

The movie received generally mixed reviews. Based on 153 reviews collected by Rotten Tomatoes, Freddy vs. Jason has an overall 41% approval rating from critics, with an average score of 4.9 out of 10 saying, "Fans of the two horror franchises will enjoy this showdown. But for everyone else, it's the same old slice and dice".[14] On Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, the film has received an average score of 37 based on 29 reviews.[15]

Accolades[edit]

Doug Chapman and Melvin Martinez were nominated for the Best Fire Stunt in the Taurus World Stunt Awards 2004 for the double full body burn and wire stunt. Doug Chapman doubled for Robert Englund as Freddy and Glenn Ennis doubled for Jason in the stunt.[16]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Bracke, Peter, pp.218–219
  2. ^ Bracke, Peter, pg. 238
  3. ^ Bracke, Peter, pp.242–243
  4. ^ Bracke, Peter, pp.263–264
  5. ^ a b c d e Bracke, Peter, pp. 280–286
  6. ^ a b Grove, David, p. 217
  7. ^ His Name Was Jason: 30 Years of Friday the 13th
  8. ^ Best Creature Performers. The Top Tens. 2011. Retrieved April 5, 2011.
  9. ^ No Long Faces Allowed!!: The Exclusive BGHF Interview with Freddy Vs. Jason's Awesome Douglas Tait! Big Gay Horror Fan. December 18, 2010. Retrieved April 5, 2011.[unreliable source?]
  10. ^ Full Cast and Crew for Freddy vs. Jason (2003) Internet Movie Database. 1990-2011. Retrieved April 5, 2011.
  11. ^ a b Interview: Douglas Tait (Jason Voorhees, ‘Freddy vs Jason’) fridaythe13thfilms.com October 14, 2010. Retrieved April 5, 2011.
  12. ^ "Freddy vs. Jason novelization". amazon.com. Retrieved 11/12/2010. 
  13. ^ Calonge, Juan (13 May 2009). "Warner Announces Ten Catalog Titles for September". Blu-ray.com. Retrieved 10 December 2012. 
  14. ^ "Freddy vs. Jason Movie Reviews". Rotten Tomatoes. IGN Entertainment. Retrieved July 4, 2009. 
  15. ^ vs. Jason "Freddy vs. Jason : Reviews". Metacritic. CNET Networks. Retrieved July 4, 2009. 
  16. ^ Taurus Award Archive

External links[edit]