Why we shouldn't hope for a Freddy vs. Jason 2 anytime soon.
And so it was that in the early 2000’s horror icons decided to turn on each other. Alien and Predator, and Freddy and Jason. These titans of the genre paused for a moments breath and thought “killing people just isn’t enough. I want to target something much more difficult.” Some may say it’s fan service, others doubling up on your cash cows to milk both their udders dry, leaving a red, raw friction burn to make it official. But whatever it was, we got it. Freddy vs. Jason. Two of the heaviest of heavyweights of the Slasher genre duking it out for little to no reason. Here’s my take on the film, and a note about why i’m glad we didn’t get a Freddy vs. Jason 2.
Wait. This film has a plot? Huh. Cool.
Freddy has been forgotten, which is not good if your only aim in life is to terrorise teenagers in their sleep. He wants to be remembered, and so he enlists a new buddy to once again strike fear into the angsty hearts of the Elm Street teens. Unfortunately for him, the buddy is Jason, who’s all up for killing,regardless of where it is. Leaving Camp Crystal Lake, he slowly ambles his way towards Freddy’s old haunt.
Meanwhile Lori Campbell is getting glum that the love-of-her-life who she hardly knows isn’t around anymore. He left without even saying goodbye. This angst though, makes her prey for a blockhead, who’s name I both forget and is irrelevant. Her buddy Gibb and her boyfriend start getting frisky upstairs, and all is suitable uncomfortable until Jason comes in and sort that stuff out - no underage sex on his watch. He folds Gibb’s boyfriend up in the bed like that type of depressing sandwich you make when you only have one slice of bread left, and have to cram the insides in and fold it, hoping it won’t tear. You know the type. So begins Jason’s reign of terror.
Somewhere nearby in a mental asylum, Lori’s bae Will is hauled up as a patient along with his buddy Mark. They know about Freddy, so they’re being kept away from everyone else and drugged out of their minds so he doesn’t kill them in their sleep. How kind, but they aren’t happy with this arrangement, and when Will sees that there’s been a murder at Lori’s house, he decides to escape - thus setting about a chain of events that allows everyone to remember Freddy. Good job guys.
I won’t go anymore into the plot, but suffice it to say, the weed smoking Freddy-pillar is a personal highlight.
The film plot is pretty much the standard you expect from a slasher, but the writers were stuck with the knowledge that they would have to find a way to create a confrontation between Freddy and Jason you know, as the name suggests. I feel that this is fairly crowbarred in, considering Freddy could have just asked Jason to leave in the same way in which he asked him to arrive - by pretending to be his mother. He could have nicely asked him to go, and things would have been fine. N.B (I know he tried this in the film, but why wouldn’t it have worked really?).
And so we prepare for what the real point of this film is, to see the two slasher icons battling it out. All the rest is just fluff that surrounds these little segments that we actually want to see.
We first get to see them duking it out in dream world. Freddy learns how to use Jason’s fear of water against him, and definitely has the upperhand. This fight is a little underwhelming. It’s quite obvious that Freddy was always going to win in this setting, but it provides the segway into the final fight as Jason drags Freddy out into the real world with him when he wakes up.
But again, no real dice. It seems to me that both of the fights are just a succession of environmental hazards, some flames, and very little else. They’re also surprisingly short - a film called Freddy vs. Jason may lead you to assume that there will be more Freddy vs. Jason in it, but apparently not.
Given that it is really the main selling point of the film, it is such a let down to have to give it a failing grade on this assessment. But I have to. So there.
I don’t normally write anything about the soundtrack in my reviews, but I do with this film for one significant reason; it’s awesome. It came out in 2003, when Nu Metal was king of the world, and the track listing reflects this. With such bands as Slipknot, Seether, and Spineshank gracing the album, it’s no wonder that the soundtrack could strike a chord with metal lovers like myself. Indeed, many of the songs on the Freddy vs Jason soundtrack still float around on my spotify playlists to this day.
I appreciate that this type of music isn’t for everyone and that makes this section irrelevant to some, but for those who’s musical tastes are trapped in this era like mine, it’s a must listen to.
Why we don’t want a sequel
Now onto the big question, why don’t we want a sequel? It was certainly on the cards for a while, and why wouldn’t it be? The film did rather well at the box office which make no mistake, if you’re a movie producer that matters above all else. But i’m glad it hasn’t come to be (at time of writing, who knows, I may have to write a blog about what I think could make it work as a film in the future, if it starts shooting).
The first reason is that I think the crossover horror icon subgenre really died on it’s arse. It wasn’t like Freddy vs Jason and Alien vs Predator were the first to do this, remember Godzilla vs the Thing? But I hope they’re the last. What we essentially set up is a cinematic ego trip, not necessarily between actors, but between the personalities of the characters. When Freddy or Jason occupy their own film, they have the space to grow and flourish, to terrorise in their own unique idiom. Put them together, and you squash a huge chunk of what makes them them. My advice is, keep them seperate and use subtle hints to imply a shared universe if you must.
Secondly, particularly with Freddy and Jason, each universe already has its own established set of rules, both of which have contradictions with the other. We know what to expect in each of the series on their own, but it becomes a muddy mess when we combine them together.
Finally, neither of these two characters can die! We went into the film knowing that, why would we be in the slightest bit surprised that they both survive beyond the end of the film? If we have Freddy vs. Jason, why don’t we atleast aim to have a victor? No, because we can’t. You can’t just kill off the main villain in the series in the crossover and then be like “ oh, but that was different he isn’t dead in his own universe.”
What did you think of Freddy vs Jason? Was it the crossover you’d dreamed it would be? Let me know!